DEER VALLEY, UTAH — July cyclocross is atypical, but Raleigh Bicycles does not try to be a typical bike company, and has successfully differentiated itself through its support of the sport, a professional team, and unique cyclocross races, including the Sea Otter Classic cyclocross race in April, the SSCXWC, and for the last three years, the Raleigh Midsummer Night’s Cyclocross Race in July.
Not all cyclocrossers are a fan of mid-summer cyclocross, but the lure of big prize money, bikes and travel money for a non-contracted racer still attracted fast talent from across the country and some of the States’ best racers. The task at hand? Survive the course and conditions and put on a good show for bike shop employees from around the country gathered for Dealer Camp 2013.
Prior her race, Caroline Mani (Raleigh / Clement) was not a happy camper, and the early course conditions had her fiddling with tire pressure and grumbling about bumps. But in the heat and altitude of the mountains above Park City, Utah, the French cyclocrosser overcame the dreaded bumps, some technical course features as well as a brand-new bike fit, and as a result, kept the $1500 first place prize within her sponsor’s family. She also continued the team’s win streak after teammate Craig Etheridge won the singlespeed race earlier in the day.
Mani started fast, with new Redline signee Erica Zaveta quickly latching on to her wheel. After a series of off-camber rollers, two sets of stairs and a steep switchback climb, NoTubes’ Amanda Carey had moved up into second, gapping Zaveta. And then there was a two-women race. Zaveta chased the leading pair, but an untimely flat ruined all chances of her bringing back Carey and Zaveta.
Carey told us, “I felt pretty good out there but I clearly had no speed or pop. I basically pulled Caroline around for four laps, but I preferred it that way. I wasn’t so sure of myself on the new bike and knew I was making silly mistakes that I usually don’t make when my everything is dialed in, so I was content to be in the lead. Caroline attacked on the last hill on the last lap. When we got to the top of the switchback, she had a small gap, but when I shifted into the big ring for the pavement downhill to shut it down I threw my chain to the outside over the crank arm and that was that.” She also told us that she elected to run tubeless, pumped up to 30 PSI to avoid flats, despite the bumpiness of the course.