Kicking off the night at Cross Vegas – and for many, the ’cross season – was the Wheelers and Dealers race, where the very people responsible for the gear we ride, the races we enter, and the pros we watch lined up to show that they are more than just pencil-pushers and metal-wrenchers.
Lining up at the gate was two-time winner Jon Cariveau of MOOTS, LUNA Team manager Waldek Stepniowski, cyclocross legend and National Champion Mark McCormack, Raleigh’s Brian Fornes and KNR’s Craig Etheridge, the 2010 Bike Messenger Champion. 158 other industry ‘cross fanatics lined up with them.
At the gun, Cariveau showed he was here to take a third title and launched ahead to nab the holeshot in the deep, wet grass. The weather, far from the usual dry heat of Vegas, was a damp 70 degrees as the riders began to snake around the course.
Cariveau’s lead did not last long, however, as McCormack showed he’s still to be reckoned with and overtook last year’s winner. Hot on his wheel and quickly in the lead, though, was Seattle’s Craig Ethridge, who on lap two came into the barriers first and never relinquished the lead. Ethridge was showcasing a single-speed Raleigh with a Gates Carbon Drive, his customary 42X19 and a Tufo tubular clincher on the rear.
With Ethridge in the lead, Jesse Swift and Cariveau continued to chase, but to no avail. Ethridge had more than enough time to enjoy his victory and add Wheeler and Dealer champion to his palmares, with Cariveau taking an unofficial second and Swift just behind.
1. Craig Ethridge
2. Jon Cariveau
3. Jesse Swift
4. Casey Williams
5. Timothy Matthews
6. Mitch Westall
7. Jeremy Dunn
8. Michael Robson
9. Carlos Casali
10. John McKone