Monday, June 18, 2007

Pics from the Pro Race at Nevada City

Rather than do even more max-heart-rate hill intervals, I decided to take some pictures during the pro race. I think I suck at photography even more than I do at bike racing, but what the heck... at least it's free.

(As always, click on the pictures to see full-size versions.)

I caught MarkZen trying to channel some of that old USPS Lance Armstrong magic.

...and he would need it against this stacked field on this very challenging course.

The crowd eagerly anticipates the start. At its peak popularity in the 1970's and 1980's, the spectators numbered in the tens of thousands. There was a deafening wall of sound when you climbed the hill. It's not like that any more, but it sure beats an industrial-park crit.


Into the first corner they go. That's Ned Overend in the red Specialized jersey. Anytime any of us start whining about being too old, think of Ned. In his 50's and battling for a top-10 at Nevada City!

And again on lap two!

Dave Towle and Eddy Van Guisse, two of the best announcers in the country, working with a great crew of officials.

Within a few laps, an elite front group is formed. They fly down the hill at 45 mph.

The downhill gives you a brief respite before going max-effort back up the hill again. Over and over again.

Pat Caro between a Rock and a Strawberry.

Vince Owens leads a group down the hill.

Jon Eropkin between groups.

MarkZen leads a group down the hill.

This is what they see. They reach speeds between 40 and 50 mph through the start-finish, and then they hit an off-camber sharp left turn immediately followed by another one.

The lead group.

When going into this bang-bang turn, you really have to trust the guys beside you and infront of you. And vice-versa!

30+ mph and no margin for error.

MarkZen takes his own line through the turn.

Meanwhile, away from the chaos on Broad St., many of the residents on the upper part of the course use the race as an excuse for an afternoon party! What a concept... residents and businesses actually like this race!

Cresting the hill in front of the party.

Sayers was active early.

LaGrange's Marco Rios putting the hurt on a BMC pro.

Vince calls it a day. He got a bad start in the back, otherwise I think he would have been a survivor and a top-25 finisher.

How many crits do you see with a neutral water feed?

Gavin and helper keeping the BMC boys fed and informed.

But they couldn't keep up with this guy, Darren Lill of Navigators rode away to a comfortable solo win.

He looked really smooth.

Marco Rios had a great day, riding the last third of the race with Scott Moninger and Tony Cruz. In the end, I think it was Moninger 2nd, Cruz 3rd, and Rios 4th.


dr-nitro said...

So, how long did the Tailwinds kid stay with the Moniger group? That would have been Jared's first race as a 2. He's damned strong.

Marco Fanelli said...

Not sure how long he hung. As you know, it gets pretty hard to keep track of who's where ...except for the front guy(s) of course!

wheatgerm said...

seems like agreat race