Results tagged “24 Solo” from spare cycles

24 Hour Worlds Photos Up

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Sunset on the 24 Hour Course
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I've posted the bulk of my photos from the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo/Team Championships at Laguna Seca, which was won by Tinker Juarez in a battle with Kelly Magelky. I was inspired to go shoot the race after watching 24 Solo -- cycling is about pain, and these riders are definitely at the extreme of that. They raced for 24 hours through 90+ degree sun, uphill sand sections, pitch-black night, and poison-oak-lined single track. You have to race perfectly because a broken chain can flush all your efforts down the drain.

As a photographer, it's a great event because you get to shoot under every type of lighting: noon, sunset, darkness, and sunrise. You also have plenty of time to explore different parts of the course and find your shot. I had to limit myself to an eight-hour effort -- I'll have to train harder if I want to do a full 24-hour event as a photographer ;).

I was a bit disappointed to not see an Eatough/Gordon rematch -- Eatough was busy closing up his NUE crown (DNF with a broken axle), but Juarez and Magelky delivered great action as they were constantly on each other's wheel.

World 24 Hour Championships Photos

Previous: Tinker Juarez wins World 24 Solo Championships

Tinker Juarez wins World 24 Solo Championships

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Tinker Juarez

46-year-old Tinker Juarez out dueled Kelly Magelky to take the title of World 24 Solo Champion in Laguna Seca, California. Tinker was constantly nipping at the heels of Magelky for the first nine hours of the race that I was present -- the long hours of the night tipped things in favor of the now five-time champion. Both Juarez and Magelky finished with 19 laps completed, an amazing feat in hot weather and sand-ridden tracks.

24 Worlds Results

Laguna Sand-a

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As it turns out, I took close to 800 photos at the World 24 Solo and Team championships. While I figure out how I'm going to slog through that, there were two photos in particular I wanted to share.

There is a short uphill climb on the course that is pretty much all sand and darn near impossible to do on a bike. I watched rider after rider from the non-elite category come through. Some would get halfway up before getting off the bike. Others would jump off immediately and push their bikes, pleading with their eyes for me not to take a photo of this. I was surprised to hear excuses and expressions of shame, as if you need to justify your actions to someone who's sitting on their butt while you're racing a 24-hour race. I would console them with the fact that I had yet to see anyone make it all the way to the top.

These riders might be interested, "how do the pros handle this?" Continue if you would like the answer.

24 Solo Premiere

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24 Solo Premiere Photo Gallery

Director Jason Berry's film 24 Solo (web site) shows that no matter how extreme your sport is, there's someone out there taking it to the next level. 24 Solo focuses on the MTB discipline that makes others cringe: the 24 hour solo race. Chris Eatough had dominated his sport through six consecutive World Titles, so naturally the film picks up as Eatough attempts to acheive the Armstrongian mark of seven.

The Eatoughs red carpet entranceI don't know much about the world of mountain biking -- most of what I learned is from Berry's previous film, Off Road to Athens. But I couldn't pass up an opportunity to see cyclists in pain, so Al, Jill, and I all went to the premiere in Monterey during Sea Otter. We were treated to red-carpet entrances by the film's stars and makers. There were also plenty of other professional MTBers in attendance, including Alison Dunlap and Sam Shultz. Shultz and his family were seated behind us, so Al took advantage and plied Shultz for advice on how to race the sandy downhill section of the Sea Otter XC course -- don't use the front brakes, lift up the front end lightly, and use the rear brake as a rudder if you need to.

Eatough signing posters The film's other star Film makers

The first part of the film follows Eatough and his team manager Jon Posner through their training and early season races, including in far-off China. It also splices in interviews with fellow 24-hour competitors, Gary Fisher, Alison Dunlap, and others, all to establish the two important facts about the film: 24-hour racing is insane and Chris Eatough is really good. The DVD packaging features the quote, "This sport is so hard, you can't do it for a paycheck" (John Stamstad). This part of the film is fun, entertaining, and light, but the film really is about the race.

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Copiously shot with an array of cameras, including a poor soul who had to follow with helmet cam, the film delivers with its coverage of the 24 Hours of Adrenalin 2005 World Solo Championships. After establishing that there really wasn't any equal to Eatough, the film was blessed with the sudden entrance of Craig Gordon from Australia. The new antagonist injected a new level of intensity and tension in the film that makes the race worth watching start to finish.

Seeing as most of what I know about mountain biking is from Berry's Off Road to Athens and 24 Solo, I am only left with those two films to compare. I prefer Off Road to Athens as there is more story to tell: 8 cyclists competing for the US Olympic Team across an entire season. 24 Solo was about one rider and one race. Both tell a great story and I'm happy that my goodie bag contained DVD copies of both for repeat enjoyment.

For those of you who have seen the film, you can read the cyclingnews summary of the race (PS: I hear the promoters are trying to get Craig Gordon back for a rematch).

24 Solo Premiere Photo Gallery