The Ins and Outs of CXLA
By Troy Wells (Team CLIF BAR)
The Los Angeles cyclocross races this weekend packed a bigger punch than expected. I figured it would be 70 degrees and sunny. Instead we dealt with some wet and muddy conditions. On Saturday our start time was 8:30pm Pacific time which is a late start for me.
My race began when I got a nice dose of L.A. traffic on the 110 freeway. I arrived at the course 45 minutes before the start – not exactly optimal. The course had a couple of cool sections with a little BMX roller and berm section. It was misting once we started which made for a slick course. I had a bad start which left me battling to close gaps and spending vital energy. I got to as far up as eighth, but ended up settling for 10th. Then it was off to In-n-Out Burger for a quick post-race meal, reminiscent of Cross Vegas.
On Sunday my pre-race routine ran much smoother. The course was also a bit heavier with the mud sticking to everything. I had a much better start and was in the mix from the beginning. I even was able to get to the front and apply a little pressure about 15 minutes in. I ended up paying for it in the latter part of the race though. Still, it always feels good to be able to be at the front of a race. I ended up rolling in ninth after everything was said and done.
After the race I got to take in a little singlespeed culture. I like the idea of the tequila short cut. Seems like they should put that in all the UCI races. I’m looking forward to returning next year for another SoCal UCI weekend. Next up for me is the USGP in Bend, Oregon. Hoping for similar conditions to this weekend, although it will be much colder.