UCI MoVal CX Weekend: Taps and Tail Whips
I'm not saying the Clif guys were responsible for all the tail whips out on the moguls today, but they certainly contributed a large percentage of them:
4:30 rang out loud and clear - Retreat, from nearby loudspeakers. All around was the March Reserve Base, after-all, and it should not have come as a surprise. Not being familiar with military time protocol, the only thing I could think of was Taps, though it seemed much too early for that, and far too late for Reveille. The one I could not grasp was Retreat, 4:30 sharp, time to bring the flag in; it was only later, when I checked the good ol' internet that I realized my mistake.
Anyway, while I may have been mistaken about what was being played at the old air base - turned reserve base, there was no mistaking the tail whipping and general air time, nor the chases and pursuits that were taking place all around the course. Terrific battles of competition played out between riders all around the field, which was expertly transformed in usual, diabolical, SoCal Cross fashion; there was no surrender, and little retreat, from either the course or the competition.
As evening approached and light began to fade from the sky, putting on quite an amazing show of its own by the way, the competition continued unabated. If anything, speeds increased, lap times shrank. As Jeff ran around turning on the portable lights, illuminating hot spots such as the moguls, the fly-over, etc, darkness enveloped the majority of the course just in time for the UCI races. By the time the UCI women's race took the start, the shroud had fully settled and, though not everyone had them or used them, head lights became the norm. One who did not seem to need one was French Champion Caroline Mani; with white points chasing her around distant twists and turns, she led for much of the early race, as well as at the finish.
The good stuff continues on Sunday, if you are looking for something to do. Though the races will finish up earlier, the same course obstacles will be there, the same chases will take place over and around them - check it out.
one of the best battles of the morning was between those two guys right there
caught between take-off and landing
Though riding turned to walking, no mere flat was going to
keep Leticia from getting a little air beneath her wheels.
A selection of ninety-five photos are now up in the album for your viewing pleasure.