Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Men: 2011 Redlands Bicycle Classic Prologue...

Funny thing about taking photos at events like this - even though you are close enough to the action to feel the draft off riders racing by, you still sometimes miss what is right in front of you. WTH do I mean? Today I saw Alexi Grewal race by, and I saw Raul Alcala race by. But at the same time, I did not really see them. Usually when I take photos I am focused on overall composition, making sure everything I want to be seen fits within the frame, and rarely narrow that focus to someone's face. Now, I followed the careers of both these men back in the day, so looking back through the photos, I can recognize them, so it is really only thanks to the camera that I can say, yes I saw Alexi and Raul, and many others race by. 

Victor Riquelme, of Wonderful Pistachios.
The tatoos under his eyes are pretty wild.

Raul Alcala, riding with Herbalife/LaGrange this weekend.

Alexi Grewal, riding for Swami's this weekend.

Rahsaan Bahati

The day's racing was definitely worth the little trip. There was just a small, but enthusiastic crowd cheering everyone up the last few hills of the course. I expect the racing over the next three days will be even more exciting. Oh, I almost forgot, Francisco Mancebo won the day, with a time of 9:39, Ben Jacques-Maynes, second at 9:40, Chris Baldwin, third at 9:42, Andy Jacques-Maynes, fourth at 9:48, and Luis Amaran took fifth at 9:49.

Slideshow for the men's prologue is here. Again, if you want to see them in the order that they came up the hill, click reverse order when the show pops up.

The Women: Redlands Bicycle Classic, Prologue...

HOT. While I could use that word to describe these racing women, I actually am using it in reference to the temperature today. It was hot, probably in the 90s (that's Fahrenheit, sorry everyone outside the U.S.), but thankfully the racers did not have to battle the wind, which can often be quite malevolent  in this area. The 5km (3.1 mile) prologue course ended with a series of short, steep hills, leading to the hilltop finish. Some racers were clearly going better than others, and I think that when the final times are made available, that will be evident. 

Signs just kind of say it all, don't they.

Herbalife - LaGrange rider on the penultimate hill

A welcome sign.

Amber Neben, fresh from her victory at San Dimas last weekend.

Kristen Armstrong, like Neben, a former World Champion.

Well, there you go - Velonation has already posted up results for the women: Amber Neben took 1st in a time of 11' 12", with HTC teammate Evelyn Stevens 8 seconds back, and Erinne Willock (TIBCO - To The Top) third at 13 seconds back. Andrea Dvorak at 30 seconds, and Kristen Armstrong at 34 seconds, rounded out the top 5 places. The slideshow of photos from the day is here. Click reverse order, to view them in proper sequence.

Heading out...

to Redlands, for the time trial prologue. Hopefully have some photos up later.

It may be the only stage I get to this weekend, so I should make the most of it. And then Rose Bowl tonight. More driving than I like to do in a day; the sacrifices I make for this blog thing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wonderful Pistachios...

and many other fast people at the Rose Bowl this evening. Getting some quality training in during the few days between the end of the San Dimas Stage Race last weekend, and the beginning of the Redlands Classic on Thursday.
Victor Riquelme

Just for the hell of it, I brought out an old Team Xtreme jersey to wear tonight. It never fails that someone will remember me because of it, or it will catch the attention of a team member from those years. Tonight was no exception, hey Kent. And I could swear I have seen Marco rolling around in the opposite direction.

For those who don't follow domestic professional cycling, Wonderful Pistachios is a pro Continental level cycling team, based out of Santa Rosa, California.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

San Dimas Stage Race 2011, Stage 3 Criterium...

I was looking forward to some warm sun today, but instead we got a little drizzle in the early morning hours, and as a result the course was wet for the Junior 17/18 and 15/16 race: 

After that first race though, the pavement was dry, and the sky somewhat sunny. The Men's Category V race was next, with Clinton Hostetler (yellow) and Ryan White (green) attempting to hold on to their race leaders jerseys for one final day:

Coming into the final stage Jeff Block of Ritte Racing was wearing yellow, and Steve Boniface of Monster Media / SC Velo was wearing Green. Both kept themselves in the action to the very end.

The Men's 45+/55+ race kicked-off with a neutralized lap in remembrance of Kevin Unck, and led by his teammates of the Coates / Back Abbey team. Where else but in a combined field could you see two Yellow Jersey wearers racing side by side?

As usual, the Men's 35+ race was set to be one of the fastest of the day. Kevin Klein in the Yellow Jersey, and Adam Livingston in Green, raced at the front all day to defend their top placings. Also up there for the entire race was Chris DiMarchi in the Stars and Stripes. At the end of the day it was DiMarchi blasting across the line with room to spare:

Not to be outdone, the Men's III race was also nice and fast, with Matthew Walther unleashing a monster sprint at the end to win going away:

Always one of the popular events of the day, the kids races saw Chris DiMarchi providing an honor escort to the victor of the older group of future champions.

As usual, click reverse order for all slideshows after you make the jump to view them in correct sequence.

Slideshow for the men Cat. V race is here.
Slideshow for the combined Masters men 45+ and 55+ races are here.
Slideshow for the Masters men 35+ race is here.
Slideshow for the Juniors 17/18 race is here.
Slideshow for the men Cat. III race is here.
Slideshow for the kids race and other misc. photos are here.
Slideshow for the men Cat. IV race is here.

San Dimas Stage Race 2011, Stage 3 Criterium, Masters from Michael Wagner on Vimeo.
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