Results tagged “Nevada City Classic” from spare cycles

Nevada City: Tales of Champions

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Shelley Olds Solo - (c) Ken Conley Lance Armstrong Group - (c) Ken Conley

Ben Jacques-Maynes and Shelley Olds both wrote up race reports and their great performances, with Ben providing the appropriate car analogy to compare Lance vs. Levi, and Shelley showing how one team had a plan that unfolded perfectly.

As a bonus, there's Podium Insight's Interview with Ben Jacques-Maynes at the American Velodrome Classic

Press Pass: Nevada City Classic 2009

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press_pass_mountain_style.jpg

Wil Matthews took a break from shooting more important race photos for VeloNews to snap this shot of some of the local Chamber of Commerce charm. The city handled the onslaught of fans very well, even setting up a press room with food and drinks, but for press passes it was up to pen and paper. Cathy's name at the bottom was the strike against forgery.

As it turns out, the town is friendly enough that no passes were necessary and, unfortunately, the paper joined the litter of the day as the safety pin and paper did not hold.

thanks Wil!

Lance Armstrong Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Lance Armstrong Post-Race - (c) Ken Conley
Lance Armstrong Attacks - (c) Ken Conley Lance Armstrong Attacks - (c) Ken Conley
Ben Jacques-Maynes - (c) Ken Conley Levi Pre-Race - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Click here for more Nevada City 2009 Photos

The Nevada City Classic can add another awesome event to its storied book. I don't know how a tiny little historic town like Nevada City does it, but they had no trouble absorbing the throngs of Lance Armstrong worshippers that transformed the 1.1 mile cycling stadium. I've never heard a crowd at a cycling race as loud as I heard when Armstrong came across the finish line solo and it may be long before I witness something that awesome again. Michael Hernandez compared it to a football stadium -- which is about right, but imagine that on a city street instead. Sorry Tour of California, but I think the little town has you beat for premier California race of 2009.

The circuit is an excellent course that starts the riders going downhill before quickly turning back uphill, winding through the historic district, out over the rolling hills of the surrounding neighborhood, and then plunging back downhill into the historic district. It's a course that will break your legs and puts teams at the disadvantage. Even Astana's big three -- Armstrong, Leipheimer, Horner -- couldn't figure out what to do with Bissell's Ben Jacques-Maynes. They shed the rest of the field and pressed their advantage again and again, but it took a final assault from Mr. Seven-Time to put in a gap. Any day that you go up against two of the best time-trialists in the world and come away second is a victory.

Armstrong is looking in pretty good shape for the Tour de France. He looked 'fat' at the Tour of California, at least in a relative sense, but I didn't get that impression watching him this weekend. I still don't think he stands a chance in hell of winning, but he's in good enough shape that I think the Astana team dynamics with Contador won't be so healthy. As for Horner, he had trouble keeping pace and I wonder if he's healed-up enough from his recent crashes to make the Tour cut.

As for my own preparedness for dealing with LanceFest, I scored poorly. At the end of the womens' race I managed to sprain my quad while standing up (yes, that simple). I went from having the opportunity to shoot from moto to hobbling around on the sidelines. My injured quad meant that I could really only shoot from two points out on the course, but thankfully it's a pretty course. Lesson learned: always stretch, even for taking pictures.

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Nevada City Classic 2009: Pro Women

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Shelley Olds Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Shelley Olds Solo - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

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I followed most of the Women's race from the moto. The fireworks started on the first lap with a group of five getting a gap immediately. Proman had all the cards as they had three of the riders in this group -- Shelley Olds, Helene Drumm, and Rachel Neylan. TIBCO's champ Brooke Miller and mountain biker extraordinaire Katerina Nash seemed to be working together as best they could, but they were put under immediate pressure as Rachel Neylan launched an attack. Miller and Nash put in a lot of effort to bridge it back, but that only setup Shelley Olds' counter-attack.

Olds had the advantage on the hilly course and was soon lapping riders left and right. Miller and Nash strained to chase her back, but the tight turns were not friendly to chasers. It took a full lap at motorcycle speeds to bridge the gap between Miller/Nash and Olds, so there was little doubt that the move was decisive.

Brooke Miller and Katerina Nash - (c) Ken Conley Nevada City - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

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Transitive Panda

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