I’m in the process of trying to re-organize some of the online galleries of the pro cycling races I’ve shot over the past few years. I’ve occasionally linked them here, but haven’t created any central index. I’m still working on that, but in the meantime:
The CSC Invitational has been a favorite race of mine for a very long time now. It helps, of course, that it takes place just blocks away from my house. It was, in fact, what got me interested in watching pro cycling races after we stumbled upon the first edition of it in 1998.
While the name has changed – it started off as the Clarendon Cup, turned into the CSC Invitational, and will now be known as the Air Force Cycling Classic Clarendon Cup this year – the race has remained the same. 100 laps of a very tight 1km circuit through the middle of the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington. Often acting as a prelude to “Philly Week”, it has consistently attracted a top-quality field of US pro cyclists. It also happens to be the source of one of my favorite finishing shots (see above – Rahsaan Bahati winning for Rock Racing in 2007).
The ING Direct Capital Criterium has only run a single edition, thus far, in 2008. Notable for its setting – a course that runs through downtown DC – it offered such a spectacular backdrop that it’s been noted as one of the reasons the organizers of the Giro d’Italia are considering starting their race in DC. Race organizers say it will be back this year – on July 11, 2010.
I probably shouldn’t link this gallery, as I didn’t go to de Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) with the intention (or capacity) of really shooting it. I went purely as a fan of the Belgian cobbles, and managed a few pictures. Frankly, the quality is a little embarrassing, but I was particularly lucky to be positioned on the Muur.
Which is exactly where Fabian Cancellara opened up his (ultimately race-winning) attack on Tom Boonen. This is an unedited set, to be whittled down in the future.
The Philadelphia International Cycling Championship is a grand tradition in US pro cycling, with 25 editions behind it. It is not, I suppose, as grand as it once was. The Philadelphia International Cycling Championship used to cap off a week’s worth of racing through the Pennsylvania countryside, but a tough economic environment has pared it down to a single day of racing on Sunday. But a fantastic day of racing it is. It’s a short road circuit that winds its way along the Schuylkill River, through the working class neighborhood of Manayunk, and then back onto Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a finishing straight I’d put up against any in the world. It’s a lot of fun to shoot – and not just the action on the road, but the crowds there to see it.
- Philadelphia International Cycling Championship – 2008
- Philadelphia International Cycling Championship – 2009
The Tour of California is the US last and greatest stage race left in the US (sorry, Tour of Missouri – I fear we won’t see you in 2010). I only made it in for a couple of stages, but got some great time trial shots.
The Little Bald Nugget of Santa Rosa (Levi Leipheimer) almost looks scary, doesn’t he?
The Tour de Georgia was the first stage race I had a chance to properly cover. It was a great experience, meeting a lot of folks from whom I learned a lot. The galleries below (hopefully) illustrate that progress. I’m particularly happy with how the 2008 race coverage turned out, and have broken it out into stages (check out Stage Four, which consisted of a team time trial at Road Atlanta).
Unfortunately, 2008 was the last edition of the race. Though promoters are claiming to be working to bring it back in 2011, the TdG is by all reasonable standards dead. They haven’t even renewed the race’s domain name. A shame, really.
- Tour de Georgia – 2007
- Tour de Georgia – 2008
- TdG 2008 Stage Four
- TdG 2008 Stage Five
- TdG 2008 Stage Six
The Air Force Cycling Classic is a recent addition to the DC cycling calendar, added by the promoter who has been running the Clarendon Cup for the past decade. The Air Force, as a sponsor, is behind this Crystal City circuit race in a big way, and I hope it will find a long-term place in the domestic cycling scene. This race briefly took over the Clarendon Cup’s traditional slot on the National Racing Calendar, but it looks like that’s been handed back. You might want to check out the Service Academy Shootout for my (entirely luck-based) How To Win A Sprint The Army Way series.
- Air Force Cycling Classic – 2008
- AFCC – Service Academy Shootout – Team Time Trial – 2008
- AFCC – Service Academy Shootout – Sprints – 2008
- Air Force Cycling Classic – 2009
The U.S. Open Cycling Championships, which took place in Richmond, Virginia in 2007, was rather notable for a number of reasons. First, it was nearly canceled because of heavy snow at the start (in April!). Second, there was even a cobbled climb! But most important, it was the first pro cycling race broadcast live on a major network (NBC) in recent memory. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep the race alive, and despite year after year of assurances from the promoter it would return, this remains the only edition on this race.
So what’s next? I’m definitely getting to the 2010 editions of the Clarendon Cup, Air Force Cycling Classic, ING Direct Capital Criterium, and the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship. Also aiming for the USA Cycling Professional Championships in Greenville, this year. Had been hoping to (finally) get to the Nature Valley Grand Prix, but that will have to wait for another year.