I got a chance to talk to Lance Armstrong by the Trek caravan at tonight’s CrossVegas event in Las Vegas.
I asked him how many cyclo-cross races he’d ever done. “Two,” he said. Then he looked me in the eye, and mock fiercely, said: “Undefeated.”
His third race didn’t go well. He was well down on the leaders, but this wasn’t his natural terrain and he wasn’t expected to cream the opposition.
The eventual winner was my ‘team-mate’ Ryan Trebon. I was an honorary Kona rider for the night. Jake Heilbron – co-founder of Kona – had hooked me up with a Jake the Snake to ride. Team mechanic Mark Matson even switched the brakes the right way round for me.
Not that this helped much. I got round the Wheelers and Dealers event, but only just.
Interbike über-PR stars Rich Kelly and Uwe Weissflog found me looking dazed and confused a short while after the race and kindly gave me a VIP pass for the rest of the evening. It was Rich who discovered Lance was warming up by the Trek tent and we headed off that way.
Lance was totally relaxed and friendly, a million miles from his usual ‘race character’. He was out for some fun. For once, winning was the most important thing.
Here are my favourite shots from the night. The rest of my pix can be be found on this Flickr set.
Slight fuzz, but not totally clean shaven.
This great shot above was taken by Lindsay Thomson from the Interbike team.
I promised this security guard I’d publish his pic.