Cyclocross Magazine sat next to the retired Alison Dunlap next to the Cross Vegas course as riders warmed up for the first-ever Vegas race in 2007. Seizing the opportunity to chat with the former ‘cross star, we asked the five-time national champion if she missed racing at all. Alison smiled, shook her head and then said, “no, not really!”

But things have changed quite a bit in the year and half since that race. According to Velonews, it’s that exact race that got her thinking about possibly returning to racing. Was it our simple question that prompted her return to the scene she once dominated? We can dream, but now Dunlap, at age 39, is planning on racing a full USGP and NACT schedule, along with nationals and Cross Vegas.

After fellow Colorado resident Katie Compton neared Dunlap’s record six national titles this year with her fifth win in Kansas City, will Dunlap return to protect her record? Are we in store for an epic battle to see whether Katie can share the record or Dunlap will extend hers? Or will someone else spoil the party?

One thing that’s certain is that U.S. fans will be treated to some the best women’s ‘cross racing in the world this season.

Stay tuned for more details.