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Cascade Cycling Classic - The 2011 Recap

09.02.2011

Ride Ride Ride

Another recap post. Yes, the Cascade Cycling Classic Twilight Criterium happened back on July 23rd of this year. This is always one of my favorite events in Bend to go watch (and photograph). Of course over the last few years, the course has become a rather boring oval shape. In theory it's supposed to create fast straightaways, for great action. However, all it really does is create two so-so corners and two boring corners.

The typical challenge of taking photos of this event is getting something fresh and different. What's the point of getting the exact same shot from a prior year?

This year Shannon (of BMC) asked about using one of my photos from last year's race on a VIP invite. We worked out a trade. Part of the trade was getting access to the VIP tent as well. I wasn't sure if I wanted to limit myself to one spot, but I thought about the boring course and decided it probably wouldn't take away anything. So, thanks Shannon!

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

She did tell me that there was a slight issue since the VIP tent was supposed to be for doctors only. This basically forced me to give out bogus medical advice while I snapped photos. Since they started letting drug companies advertise on television, it's much easier to name drop prescription meds into a casual conversation.

So, besides medical advice the VIP tent had a very nice view of the start / finish line. Not a bad thing, indeed.

Prior to the race starting, Bend's Chris Horner (fresh off his Tour de France injury) spoke to the crowd.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Soon the riders lined up.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

And then they were off.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

I love how the first few laps have a few extras.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

The announcer quickly said "get that thing off the course", when the Bend Cycle Pub made a surprise appearance.

This was also a good spot to watch people make mad dashes across the course before the riders came back.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

I wasn't alone in the tent (with my Doctor friends). Chloe and Manon were also with me. Manon was an exchange student from France, so this sort of this was right up her alley.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

So, to keep things interesting (photographically) and I tried to make some artistic type shots. This are the kind where you take hundreds of photos and hope a couple work out. Yep.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Overall, I was pretty happy. Of course I had to guess what lenses I would bring for this event. Usually being too close is not an issue, but this time around it was at times. I had a couple of wider lenses at home that I had wished I brought along. I brought a small bag and not the kitchen sink worth of gear.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

The best part of being right at the finish line was knowing what was happening in regards to the race. That's my biggest gripe when you walk around the course and get away from the loudspeakers and can't hear what's being announced. So, as the race came to a conclusion I got the witness the close finish.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Usually, after the race concludes I head out. Since we were so close to the finish line, we hung around for the podium jersey presentations. The VIP tent fence was lowered and I basically walked right out to where all the other professional photographers gathered. The fact that I am 6'-10" makes it slightly easier to have no one standing in my way either.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Yes, it was a little cheesy. But it only got better.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Each of the jersey winners got kisses from the ladies as well. Some of the riders were really into it, and some weren't.

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

Odd, but worth hanging around for. I'm sure I'll be back next year.

More photos on flickr if you want all of the action.


Posted by monkeyinabox ::: |

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