Once again, Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA played host to a microcosm of the international cross country mountain biking scene at the 2015 XC Season Opener - the US Cup. Nearly 800 racers were in attendance, ranging from from amateurs to seasoned professionals, juniors to masters. In the elite fields, twenty-two nations were represented amidst the blur of tall seats and highly coordinated outfits. Forty-seven elite women and ninety-nine elite men.
Barry Wicks and I made the journey to San Dimas to shake things out for the 2015 season, which will last until September. As with any long commitment, we made sure to start things off conscientiously with two visits to the time-honored Bru Bar at Klatch Coffee San Dimas. Stimulating brew and Barry's colloquy on quantum entanglement proved to be the perfect warmup for our pre-race testing. And as quickly as the interaction between entangled particles occurs, the 2015 race season was underway.
|The perennial first scene of the season-openers in Southern California - Klatch Coffee|
Bikes assembled (and tuned) at the Holiday Inn Kona Endurance Team HQ, we dusted a couple warm-up laps to shake down the new equipment. For 2015 the Endurance Team (Barry, Kris, Cory, Helen and Spencer) will be using 1x11 drivetrains and wheels from Shimano components, electronically adjustable suspension from Fox Racing Shox, Maxxis Tires, Pro-Bikegear cockpit, FSA headsets and ODI grips.
We decided we were warmed up enough after Barry had left sufficient amounts of sweat and blood on the course. He liked his new bike so much he showered with it at the end of the day.
As I took in the first sight of the venue, I appreciated the familiar scene of race tape strewn across the hill and all of the trim cyclists zipping around aboard their fresh bikes and fresh coordinated outfits. I thought to myself that we bike racers are like many entangled quantum systems. We are all entangled in a system of behaviors which are highly correlated, if not linked. For the last several months, most of us have had zero direct interaction, yet in March, our quantum state as racers may be taken as a whole, given the preparation we have all undergone during the winter. Legs and lungs are primed for maximal performance (or at least pretty close), and at the start line, none of us can necessarily be described independently. The energy at the first start line of the season is greater than the product of each of its individual parts. Then it all blows apart, and we're all disentangled, and highly measurable.
I measured in at 18th overall in the Elite men's field, 3rd for the US. Barry had worked his way up from a back row start and lots of "handlebar entanglement" but suffered a flat on the penultimate lap, relegating him to the 30s. In any case, the race was fast and furious, and left us both feeling motivated for the season to come.
**RESULTS??! PRESS COVERAGE?!? Throughout the events last weekend, it became clear that water was not the only thing in short supply in California. So was the press coverage of the race. While ShoAir Cycling Group and Ride Biker Alliance did a FANTASTIC job of race coverage DURING the event, there was a drought of press coverage from major news outlets.
Velo News, CyclingNews, where were you? Thanks to CyclingIllustrated.com, CanadianCyclist.com, and CyclocrossMagazine.com for getting race reports and a few photos catalogued.
Check out the VIDEO REPLAY HERE: http://uscup.net/us-cup-tv/
Race Results are HERE: http://shoaircyclinggroup.com/events/race-results/