In an unlikely turn that we've never seen in the five years the CrossVegas event has existed - and one we'll likely not see for another decade - Las Vegas turned wet after a handful of soaking rainstorms descended on the venue right up to the morning of the event.
The rain caused teams to put away the file treads and get out their intermediate tires. No it wasn't a mudder, but it was as close as CrossVegas may ever come. The moisture sent most teams, unprepared for the wet, scrambling for knobbier tires and to keep racers' bikes clean in-between warm up and racing.
Even with more aggressive tires, the course laid claim to many racers. Specialized's Max Plaxton went out of the race on the first lap, while mid-way through the hour long men's event Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld's Tim Johnson and Garmin-Cervelo's Danny Summerhill went down together on one of the faster descents on course. Johnson was up quick on his spare bike, but Summerhill, who tore all of the spokes out of his front wheel, was slower to rejoin, never making it back to the front where he spent the entire first half of the race.
CrossVegas brought the fans out of the woodwork including Giant's newly crowned downhill world champion Danny Hart, who was seen chatting with Rabobank-Giant's ’crossers Bart Aernouts and Lars van der Haar, who happens to be the reigning U23 cyclo-cross world champion and would go on to win the men's pro race.
Giant's world champions: Danny Hart (left); Lars van der Haar (2nd from right)
We've gone to the pits to check out what the top names brought to what's been billed as the UCI's international season opener. Click on the photo gallery to see it all.
This article originally appeared on BikeRadar