Monday, August 23, 2010

Tour of Utah bike race

The Tour of Utah is a pretty impressive stage race for the US. I won't describe the whole thing, but you can click on the link to get all the details.

This year, the next to the last stage was held as a criterium in Park City. The rode about 90 minutes around a loop that went up Main Street and back down Swede Ave, with one extra set of turns thrown in onto Park Ave.

This years race included some pretty big Tour de France names, including Levi Leipheimer, George Hincappie and Francisco Mancebo Perez.

Levi won the whole tour, but Jeff Louder from team BMC won the criterium. It was fun to watch and a bugger to photograph well. There were a lot of places where the sun was setting behind the buildings, leaving the riders in the shade and the buildings behind them in the brilliant sunshine.

Radio Shack had the best looking outfits.

I thought it was ironic that his bike says "FOCUS" in clear letters. That was one of my challenges was focusing on things moving that quickly, so close to you.

This turn had a bump in the pavement. A couple of the racers started peddling out of the turn too soon and caught a peddle on the pavement. Fortunately, they got startled, but not thrown down. Some were very close though.

That's Levi in the yellow jersey.

The only racer I saw wearing one of those breath-right strips on his nose. Sorry, that just won't help much with the adjustment to 7000 feet.

Hard work pushing it up Main Street.

Can you feel his pain? This was right near the end.

Not a great photo of him, but the guy on the right in the red was the stage winner. He actually pulled ahead by one minute, eventually winning by about 30 seconds. That's unusual in a criterium.

This is the pack trying to catch back up to the leader at the end. Too little, too late.

I think everyone did a great job including the racers, the race organizers, all the police and traffic control, and the many thousands of fans. Nice event. I am sure it will be back to Park City again soon.

Next time I will be just a hair smarter about photographing bike races.
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