måndag 16 september 2013

CrossVegas - intervju med tävlingsledaren Brook Watts

Det är snyggt, det är snabbt och det är amerikaflashigt - CROSSVEGAS baby!

Dags för en av årets coolaste crosstävlingar och en fest utan dess like - CrossVegas. På onsdag den 18:e september släpps proffsen lösa i Las Vegas och bjuder på en grym show i strålkastarskenet. Läs mer om tävlingen på CrossVegas hemsida.

Det finns många exempel på hur passionen för cykelcross sammanför människor över hela världen. För en tid sedan blev vi på CX Sweden kontaktade av Brook Watts, tävlingsledare för CrossVegas. Och eftersom han var så trevlig och intresserad av svensk cykelcross så passade vi på att ställa några frågor tillbaka till honom:
Brook Watts

CXS: Hello Mr Brook Watts, Race Director of CrossVegas. Tell us how and when you got into Cyclo Cross in the first place.
Brook: As a racer in the 70's my friends and I were fascinated by the unique style of cycling call 'cross even though we were university students in the middle of Texas.

CXS: Earlier you told us that "the life of a race director is driven by passion not money". This passion for the sport, which actual factors do you find to be the strongest to drive you?
Brook: I enjoy seeing the growth of cyclocross in the U.S. and the rising caliber of our athletes internationally knowing that I played some small part in making it happen. But also, a race director is like a party host, you make plans, send out invitations, purchase the beer then wait for everybody to come and have an enjoyable time. That is as rewarding as a big paycheck, though I would not refuse the paycheck.

CXS: CrossVegas is a huge, well known competition in the cross calendar. What major steps have you been taking through the years to improve and develop the event?
Brook: I work to make the field of riders more elite, that is to say it has gotten more selective in who lines up to race. For that reason I added a lower category of racing for those riders who are not ready for the UCI Elite level. And as I tell people, I put on a show first and a race second. That means my focus is as much on the spectacle of night event as it is on the competition. I think racers and fans appreciate that.

CXS: Even though Las Vegas is situated in the middle of the Nevada desert, you have managed to find some grass for the track. Now, as racing in sand is one of the most entertaining parts of cross, how come we don't see more of it in Cross Vegas, as you seem to have the elements on your side, so to speak?
Brook: The course is on a football (soccer) complex that unfortunately has no sand. It also has very short section of paved surface. It's an ideal race course for the early season date we hold on the international calendar. I have added 2 "flyovers" to add excitement and for 2013 there will be a ramp section that's like a mini-velodrome to make a show for the spectators by the riders who are acrobats.

CXS: If we would invite you to see a proper Swedish National Cyclocross series competition in sub zero temperature with two inches of snow covering the track and small fires to keep the viewers alive, would you turn up as; a) a racing cyclist, b) a spectator, c) a guest race director.
Brook: You must remember that although I organize the race in Las Vegas I live in Colorado, at the foot of the mountains. So I enjoy a cold, snowy race. I compete as a Master Racer at age 57 so I would be there with all of my equipment including multiple sets of wheels & tires to fine tune the bike in the snow and ice. Of course as a Race Director I would be observing and looking for ideas to use at my race, perhaps I'll hire a snow-making machine for CrossVegas!

CXS: Many thanks for your time and all the best of luck to you and your crew on the upcoming event on Wednesday.
Brook: Thank you, it's so gratifying to know that CrossVegas is followed by cross fanatics worldwide. I hope to see a Swedish rider in a future edition of CrossVegas

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För alla oss som inte har en Vegasbudget i år (heller) kan vi hoppas på en live feed här.