Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tour de Nez '10

Reno was invaded last weekend by the Tour de Nez, our long-running professional cycling race. Featuring 3 days of racing, mint juleps, and frighteningly large shaved legs, it's always a fun weekend.

This year, Ethel got invited to be a podium girl, which means that she'd be kissing a bunch of guys who are better bikers than I am. To the winners go the spoils, eh?

The only day I made it to was the downtown Reno criterium, so here are photos from that race. Photo geeks: all shot with a 300mm f/4.

Receiving detailed instructions from race creator Tim Healion; note the laser-like focus

The pack, early on in the hourlong race

This race has always been timed around twilight, which means the lighting conditions change drastically from the start to the finish. As such, a lot of the racers opt for no sunglasses so they can still see things when it gets dark. And by "things," I'm referring to the other racers they're shoulder-to-shoulder with through corners at thirty miles an hour.

Giving chase

Two riders on a breakaway

The pack is a living, breathing beast, silently deciding when to pull back breakaways and when to change the pace. The riders have to stay aware of their surroundings as they suffer endlessly, as crashes in crits can be pretty ugly.

The pack motors along

Some familiar faces get spied on from 6 stories up

Riley acts all professional and stuff

The racing was fun to watch, with a group of 6 or so going off the front and staying away for quite some time. As the sunset turned to dusk, the pace picked up.

The chase pack

A modest lead for the break

As the race ended, Reno's hooligans planned the rest of their activities for the night, downtown cleanup began, and the riders headed off to recover as best they could before the road race at Northstar the next day.

One such hooligan, scheming

Good times.

Past Detritus