Category: Women's Cycling

September 27, 2009

Cross Vegas 2009: Women

Katie Compton - (c) Ken Conley
Katie Compton Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Podium - (c) Ken Conley
Georgia Gould - (c) Ken Conley

Katie Compton continues to clean up on the CX circuit as she repeated her victory at Cross Vegas. Luna's Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould put in a great effort to round out the podium, which gave the spectators the chance to see Luna's Podium Dudes escort Nash and Gould to the stage.

Click for more Cross Vegas 2009 Women's Race Photos

USA Crits Finals 2009

Laura Van Gilder Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Brooke Miller - (c) Ken Conley

Click for more USA Crits Finals 2009 Photos

Mellow Mushroom's Laura Van Gilder outkicked the pack for the win in the women's race. The field was relatively small, and the attacks came fairly fast early on with TIBCO's Brooke Miller and others stringing out the pack. Eventually Mellow Mushroom's Kristen Lasasso got off the front and the field was content to let her dangle there until the finishing laps. It proved the right tactic for Mellow Mushroom as Laura Van Gilder was able to take the win and clinch the USA Crits overall crown.

I didn't stick around after the first couple of laps of the Men's race as I had plenty of photos to process from Interbike itself.

Dominque Rollin - (c) Ken Conley
Jenn X - (c) Ken Conley

Click for more USA Crits Finals 2009 Photos

August 22, 2009

Womens Cycling Magazine Issue #1!

mag-cover-clouds.jpgIssue #1 of Womens Cycling Magazine showed up in the mail on Friday. From what I know of Carson Blume as a photographer, I expected a high-quality production, yet he, Marian Hunting, and Echo Robertson managed to exceed that. At a time where other magazines are shrinking down and going with cheaper and smaller paper, they delivered a high-quality, oversize, heavy-stock Issue #1 that's a gorgeous testament to the women of cycling. As for the content, they've jumped out of the gates with articles on Tina Pic and a training article from Dotsie Bausch, plus racing articles that range from high school to pro, road to mtb. It's worth every penny -- subscribe now and get Issues 2+3 (#1 is already sold out).

Of course, I'm biased -- I landed several photos in this first issue, with full-pagers of Jill Kinter, Liz Hatch, and Hanan Alves-Hyde. It's freaking cool to see photos on such high-quality stock and so big. It's like seeing an entirely different photo.

June 28, 2009

Photos: Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pro Womens Race

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 - Women - (c) Ken Conley
Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 - Women - (c) Ken Conley

Click here for more Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pro Womens Race Photos

Proman's Coryn Rivera rocked the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix. She's pretty much been tearing up the SoCal circuit. All the more astonishing is that she is 16 years of age, which means that she is out kicking the fields on junior gearing. Who knows what she'll do with some taller gears to turn.

The size of the field was pretty small this year and, as a result, the women were admonished/threatened before the race by one of the officials. They were told to bring a bigger field next time, lest their event be replaced by another mens' geezer division. I'm not sure where the wisdom lies in chastising the riders that actually chose to show up in spite of the gross disparity of purses ($15k vs $2k) or the fact that the MBGP lost its NRC status.

This isn't really a gallery of the pro women's race as I was on assignment for this one, and thus conserved my the cycles of my flash for riders of a particular team. It was stressful enough attempting to pick out two riders in a peloton and then get good framing on them.

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pro Womens Race Gallery

June 22, 2009

Nevada City Classic 2009: Pro Women

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

Click here for more Nevada City Classic Photos

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

Click here for more Nevada City Classic Photos

May 2, 2009

Tour of the Gila Stage 2: Gina Grain's Victory in Her Own Words

gila.jpgAfter I read Gina Grain's race report of her victory in stage 2 of the Tour of the Gila I knew I wanted to share it here. Official news race summaries rarely give you real insight into the tactics of a stage or the viewpoint of the racers within (especially not for a women's race), so a race report like this is a treat. So, here you go: team tactics, GC fights, and a Kristen Armstrong leadout, all leading to a stage win.

Gina Grain's Report, used with permission

The day started out with a nice 5-mile, leg-opener climb....well, leg opener for some, and locker of pain for others. Not too much happened on the climb until near the top when yours truly, Webcor, was firmly represented in the straw that broke the camels back break. Super-leader Kathryn [Curi Mattis] and Alex [Rhodes] were amongst the 15 women whose legs and/or lungs didn't implode.

And so it was. A chase group of about 20 or so, including Nikki [Butterfield], Amy [Dombroski] and myself, worked the descent and got within 200m of the lead group when the next little hill came, which wasn't so little, so we lost them to about a minute and 30 sec by after the rippin' technical descent. Somewhere in between the 2 descents we saw a struggling soldier up ahead: Rebecca [Much]'s astounding climbing efforts yesterday on the final 7-mile climb battling with one of the best climbers in the world caught up to her a bit today, and so she got stuck between the two groups and waited for ours.

The caveat in the whole chase group was the 3rd-place rider on GC was with us, meaning that the 2 other major-player teams in the chase group, Colavita and Value Act, didn't want to catch the lead group, because that would put their team GC riders higher on team GC and onto a podium position. So, yep, you got it, Webcor and a few other random riders at times were the ones to chase. Stellar efforts from everybody, we caught the lead group and the game was on -- or the bar was open for business, as Dave asked in the radio at about 10 miles to go! "Gina is the bar open for business...i.e. ready to sprint.?" I said, "the bar is open and has an open tab." Others said it was happy hour and ladies night. You see race radios are helpful!

Well, before this happened, a Value Act girl, Nicole Evans, managed to get away after Webcor was aggressive with attacks. She got around 2 min 50 sec at one point. But, was this enough to stop Webcor from a sprint finish and possible stage win? NO. Webcor again got on the front, this time with help from Colavita and Kristen Armstrong to chase her back. We caught her at about 1 mile to go -- I say we, well I was actually in the pack saving the sprinting trunks. So, by the time Webcor caught Nicole, their trunks were done in and needed watering. Kristen Armstrong came up to me and said that she was going to help us in the lead out!!! I said, ok, you know how this goes: it is a strong cross headwind, just gutter it and I will be there. Sure enough, going into the right hand turn at 1 mile to go, Kristen was there, Webcor was up there manning near the front, and I jumped on Kristen's wheel. She went into TT mode, and, in the cross winds, anybody who wasn't in the top 5 were going to suffer!! Me, I tucked in behind her and launched my sprint at about 200m to go on a slightly uphill grade. It was a bit early but the time was then. I kicked it really hard and made a pretty good gap coming across the finish line with time to think about the victory salute!!! (note: I forgot to zip up my jersey).

April 19, 2009

Sea Otter Classic 2009 Gallery: Women's Circuit Race

Jo Kiesanowski - (c) Ken Conley
Vanderkitten - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley


The conditions weren't quite right for good race photos: heavily backlit course (at least the interesting half), pretty tame racing, and lousy photographer. A fairly small field (~40 riders) meant that the pack stayed together most of the race, with the real fireworks happening in the closing laps. Jo Kiesanowski outsprinted fellow breakaway companion Catherine Cheatley (Colavita) to take the stage for TIBCO. Colavita and TIBCO had been battling all Sea Otter with Colavita taking the spoils, but TIBCO took the final prize.

In the spirit of offering advice to fellow photographers -- and not at all criticizing riders who are suffering their butts off -- I will say that it sucks to take photos when a race isn't full on: riders don't take predictable lines and they also bunch up. There's not much you can do about it, except to be prepared.

April 2, 2009

Women's Cycling Magazine


Women's Cycling Magazine is something I've been looking forward to both generally and specifically. While at the Tour of California, I was complaining about a lack of media outlets for womens' cycling photos (selfishly, so I could have a way to cover the sport and cover my costs). Just a couple of days later, cycling photographer extraordinaire Carson Blume comes along and mentions that he has a solution to that problem. He and Marian Hunting were going to do it all, front cover to back, and throw down a foundation on which women's cycling coverage could grow and prosper. I was really happy when WCM opened its doors just a week ago. I would have posted more excitedly here, except I was in Hawaii and I was restricting myself to little more than checking Twitter on my iPhone (where I spotted the announcement). Already they've put together a blog to provide more immediate coverage and, if that's not immediate enough, you can get Marian Hunting's race updates on Twitter.

The Bay Area is a bit of a stomping grounds for women's cycling and its good to know that the riders I pass on a daily basis will have a new way to promote their sport. Subscribe like I have (few things in cycling cost as little as $15) so the magazine can grow, so more sponsors will be interested in promoting the sport, so the sport can support more riders, so the magazine can grow, and so on. It's a small investment in something that the sport sorely needs.

March 8, 2009

Menlo Park Grand Prix 2009

Menlo Park Grand Prix

Holloway Wins-12

Menlo Park Grand Prix-16

Click to see more Menlo Park Grand Prix 2009 Photos

Brooke Miller, Daniel Holloway, case closed.

February 15, 2009

Tour of California 2009 Women's Crit

Columbia - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Columbia - (c) Ken ConleyVanderkitten - (c) Ken Conley

Emilia Fahlin won the sprint from an early break that was too hard to catch on a wet and nasty day. She had plenty of help from Kim Anderson, who took plenty of turns at the front of the break to control the attacks. I'm not sure if there were any crashes, but Brooke Miller had to switch to her spare bike after her rear derailleur hanger got taken out in a collision.

Santa Rosa Women's Crit Photo Gallery

September 28, 2008



Christine Thorburn -- two-time Olympian, 2004 US TT champion, Palo Alto doctor -- bade farewell to the sport at the World Championships in Varese, Italy. I had the pleasure of seeing her put the pain on the field at the Giro di SF and SF Twilight races as she prepared for her farewell on the international stage.

It unfortunately had to end with an injury to her hand after she was forced into the barriers, but as the CycleTo video interview makes clear, she appears ready for retirement.

September 27, 2008

USA CRITS Finals: Women's Race

Jenn McRae 20080924_6073
Jenn McRae 20080924_6094 Jenn McRae 20080924_6070 Jenn McRae - Race Winner 20080924_6398
Mandalay 20080924_5981 Cheerwine 20080924_6042

Jenn McRae put on a solo clinic: she jumped off the front with Christine Smith and then shed her breakaway companion with several laps to go. She had no teammates to help in the pack behind, but Colavita, Cheerwine and Vanderkitten were unable to put together a cohesive chase.

Katie Compton put a lot of hurt on the field, only a day after her win in Cross Vegas. Tina Pic was also there to crank things up and ended up taking the field sprint over Laura Van Gilder.

USA CRITS Finals: Women's Race Photo Gallery

September 14, 2008

SF Twilight: Women's Race

Not feelin' like prose tonight, so lets recap in photos.

Vanderkitten SF Twilight20080913_4633

Race starts as the sun starts to set.

Vanderkitten SF Twilight20080912_4369 SF Twilight20080912_4352

Kat Carroll goes with a break and jumps free.

Kat Carroll Breaks Free

Kat Carroll collects a lot of laps while Christine Thorburn, Shelley Olds, Laura Van Gilder, and Chrissy Ruiter chase.

Kat Carroll SF Twilight20080912_4278-1 Shelley Olds SF Twilight20080912_4263-1

SF Twilight20080912_4293-1 Vanderkitten SF Twilight20080912_4286-1

Kat Carroll is reeled in and soon the whole field comes back together.

Kat Caught SF Twilight20080912_4303-1

Somehow Shelley Olds still finds the legs to follow the attacks on the uphill before the finish and take the sprint.

Shelley Olds Wins SF Twilight

And my flash fails to recycle fast enough, so you'll have to make do with these better lit shots.

Shelley Olds SF Twilight20080912_4323-1 Shelley Olds SF Twilight20080912_4263 Shelley Olds SF Twilight20080912_4508

September 1, 2008

Giro di San Francisco 2008 Photos



Brooke Miller, national champion twice over. Christine Thorburn, 2-time Olympian training for her farewell ride at World's. And many more. It was a great field at the Giro di San Francisco today. It's been too long since I've shot a race, so it was a great course and great field to shake off the rust.

Giro di San Francisco 2008 Photos

August 12, 2008

Kristin Armstrong Gold!

Thumbnail image for BeijingOlympics.jpgShe's unbeatable on US soil and now she's crushed the field in China as well. Idaho powerhouse Kristin Armstrong, who took commanding victories at Cascades, the Nature Valley Grand Prix, and the Exeter TT, can now add a decisive gold medal to her tally as she won by nearly a half minute over the UK's Emma Pooley and Switzerland's Karin Thurig.

Emma Pooley seemed to set an unbeatable mark early in the day that others were minutes behind. Even Armstrong, who was busy passing Spain's Marta Vilajosana, couldn't best Pooley's time at the first split, but the race started to turn as towards the end of the opening climb. Armstrong was four seconds ahead at the top and powered on the descent to catch yet another rider in the sprint to the finish. Armstrong thanked many for her victory, including Cervelo for helping keep her equipment light for the climb, I suspect the legs have something to do with passing two riders on course and dominating the field.

France's 49-year-old cycling Queen Jeannie Longo was impressive in fourth, just two seconds off the podium. American (and Palo Alto native) Christine Thorburn also put in a good time to finish fifth another two seconds back. Both held close at the first time check, but the uphill finish seemed to just keep them out of contention.

Defending World Time Trial Champion Hanka Kupfernagel was distraught at the finish. The hot and humid Beijing conditions seemed a bit too much for her as she finished in 12th.

June 16, 2006

Stage 2 Nature Valley Grand Prix won by Palo Alto Bike Works/TIBCO rider

Rookie Brooke Miller of the Palo Alto Bike Works/TIBCO team beat out the likes of Kristin Armstrong and Christine Thorburn for the stage 2 win at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. I rode briefly with one of her teammates (a friend of Dan's) on Wednesday's ride and it's great to see a local rider, team, and bike shop get some national race headlines.

VeloNews: Rookie screams to win in second stage of Nature Valley Grand Prix

April 11, 2006

Sea Otter Classic (Saturday): Women's Pro Road Race

Tina Pic holding on

Left-Right: Dotsie Bausch, Christine Thorburn, and Tina Pic going up the Rahal Straight climb

The women's pro race at the Sea Otter Classic was full of attacks and regroupings. If you go through my photos, it was pretty much Colavita/Webcor duking it out over the Rahal Straight climb again and again. Webcor wanted to drop Colavita's Tina Pic, but Pic hung on and powered away from the pack to take the win. In my photos you can see Webcor's Olympian Christine Thorburn (who I last saw annihilating the field at the Morgan Hill Grand Prix a year ago) marking Pic's wheel and putting in some attacks, but it wasn't going to be a Webcor day. Pic probably owes a lot of her victory to teammate Dotsie Bausch, who was right up there leading Pic through the final laps and finished in third.

Thornburn attacks-1 Pic and Thornburn at Sea Otter Tina Pic (Rahal Straight)