The night before the big show. We spent some time at the CrossVegas World Cup media event at the Monte Carlo Resort on the Las Vegas strip. Outside the event restaurant, we had the opportunity to catch up with Sven Nys, Jeremy Powers, Stephen Hyde and Zach McDonald.
Sven Nys is in a good place. He’s prepared, excited to be racing, and having fun now that the pressure to win every race is on the young guns instead of him. We talk about his role in helping grow the visibility of the sport and life after cyclocross.
One final note, you will hear Sven’s mild frustration in this interview about how his fellow European racers did not show up for the media event and how they need to understand that is an important part of their job. Especially in a place like the U.S. where the sport is still growing. Even though he was one of a handful of riders who made an appearance, Sven, the ultimate pro and genuinely good guy, took the time to talk with practically everyone who showed up while his competitors were in their rooms with their feet up.
Jeremy Powers comes into this first ever World Cup on American Soil as the U.S.’ best hope for a podium spot. For a guy who has a level of focus, when it comes to racing, that is off the charts, it would seem impossible for him to come into CrossVegas somehow more focused, but he has done just that. Leaner, stronger, and no longer satisfied with just being in the front row of a World Cup, Powers knows he belongs among the best in the world and is eager to prove it.
Powers talks to us at the end of a long day of interviews before heading out for a meal and a night’s rest before tomorrow’s race.
Stephen Hyde is one of the strongest elite riders in the United States. After a breakout season, last year, Hyde comes into the 2015-2016 campaign ready to win races. He is stronger than ever and spent time in Belgium, last year, figuring out how to play the European ‘cross game.
As you can see in the photo, above, Hyde has an infectious personality. Even exhausted from travel and preparing for the CrossVegas World Cup, his enthusiasm cannot be contained. We talk about racing in Vegas, his plans for the season and his experience in Belgium.
Finally, we talk to Zach McDonald. A rough 2015-2016 season had McDonald questioning whether he’d concentrate on school full-time rather than racing. After having an offseason to recharge, Zach is once again excited to race. He enters CrossVegas with the support of Cadence Cyclery in Texas but not full sponsorship.
We talk to Zach about possible windy conditions at CrossVegas and how that may result in a more physical race, having fun, and the novelty of competing as a contract racer in a World Cup event.
Thanks for watching. Check back for full coverage from the World Cup Cross Vegas Cyclocross Race. Also, please check out all of Bruce Buckley’s photography at www.brucebuckleyphotography.com.