US Pro Road Race 2011

These are my images from the US Pro Cycling Road Race for this year. I am only a few weeks late but hey, better late than never. This year the race was held in May rather than September, giving the now former US Champ Ben King a short reign as the US champion. They moved the race over the holiday weekend hoping to attract more viewers and give the riders a rest day between the time trial and road race.

One thing that stood out in my mind of the race was that it was HOT! I mean like mid summer hot. By the time the race was over, less than half of the riders who started the race crossed the finish line. Everyone was dropping like flies, including myself. I made the poor decision to leave the morning of the race from Auburn, which meant I left at the crack of dawn. Ad to the fact that I had spent pretty much the entire month before traveling, I was pretty exhausted both mentally and physically.

I arrived to Paris Mnt a little late which meant I was riding my bike up. I maintained a good pace all the way up, passing a few roadies on my mountain bike with 20lbs of weight on my back. I was caught out by the caravan about 3/4 of the way to the summit where I shot the riders for their first go up Paris Mnt.

After the field passed I began to think that I wasn’t 100% on my game and it turned out that I wasn’t. As proof I included my images of the finish line. It would have been an awesome picture if the riders had been in focus and NOT the hands, a simple mistake that cost an important shot. I was still able to get some good shots but I made some pretty basic mistakes throughout the day, wasting some good opportunities. Mistakes I wouldn’t have made if I hadn’t been so tired. But that’s the way the photography biz goes and you have to push through it.

One part I was particularly pleased with was continuing on my success of shoot with a prime lens. I really enjoyed how some of the images turned out from the work I did for Sunny King this year. So I picked out a pretty shady spot on one of the steeper sections of the climb and slapped my 50mm on. Leaving the aperture at 2 I wanted to capture some detailed images of the riders as the made their way up as well as take advantage of the low depth of field. The pictures I shot with the 50 (that were in focus) turned out to be some of my favorite of the day. I felt like it gave a very intimate feel to the race. Which if you have ever been to a race you know they are very intimate,  with the action happening only feet away from you.

As always I hope you enjoy the images. Thanks and take care!

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