Dave Higgins Photography

Looking at life through nano-coated lenses

A day after driving a pace car in the pro-am version of the Tour of the Battenkill, I went back to Cambridge to watch and photograph Sunday’s UCI-sanctioned pro race. Having driven the course before, I had ideas about where there might be some good photo opportunities over the duration of the two-lap race.  Also, some of the dirt sections of Saturday’s races had been very dry and dusty; with minimal rain Saturday night, I expected more of the same on Sunday.

Here’s a sampling of my photos from the race.  Clicking on any photo will open a larger version. Click on the back button of your browser to return to this page.

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Start area in Cambridge NY, 22 minutes before the race began

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One racer was riding an unusual bamboo/carbon bike – made by Boo Bicycles

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Waiting for the start

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They’re off!

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After the start, I headed out to Juniper Swamp Rd, which features a steep climb on dirt.

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Peloton starts up Juniper Swamp Rd

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Leaders on the climb

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It’s a hard climb…

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A little after climbing Juniper Swamp Rd, the race looped back north and climbed through rolling farmland, then it plunged down a big sweeping turn towards Salem. I crossed over to meet them.

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The riders flew by us, descending at close to 50 miles per hour

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After that, I headed for the notorious Meeting House Road, an unpaved stretch with several ups and downs. After racing for miles over several stretches of dry and dusty roads, the riders showed the effects by this point.

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Riders descend Meeting House Rd in a cloud of dust

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Race leaders on the climb

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Riders strained to race up the hill

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Fans cheered the riders on

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One racer rides behind a team car while another signals for a replacement wheel

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At the back of the race, a rider looks for other stragglers

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From there I headed over to Eagleville, to watch the racers go through the covered bridge on their second lap.

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Having broken away from the peloton, the lead group comes through the Eagleville covered bridge

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From there I headed to Shushan, to catch the racers after they had climbed Juniper Swamp Rd for the second time.

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Even the “flat” roads are tough – lead group on Rich Rd in Shushan

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Peloton gives chase on Rich Rd.

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I next headed over to Joe Bean Rd, a tough climb only slightly eased by the fact it is paved. It was tricky driving to get there without getting caught in the rolling road block surrounding the race. Slowed by a very marginal backwoods road, I got there just as the lead break went by.

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Rider in “no man’s land” – between the lead break and the peloton – checks for the pack somewhere behind him

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The peloton closes in; they caught him a couple miles later.

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Having barely survived my recent encounter with John Sears Rd, I decided it was time to head for the finish line back in Cambridge.

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Former Tour de France racer Francisco Mancebo wins the Tour of the Battenkill!

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Fans check their photos of the finish

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Getting a shot of the post-race interview with the winner

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A rider looks momentarily lost in another world…

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Cyclingnews had a great article with the race results, as did Road Bike Action Magazine.  This was a tough race; while 150 riders started, only 59 finished.

All photographs are © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2012; all rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “Tour of the Battenkill 2012 – UCI Pro Race”

  1. Mike Maher

    Great pics Dave, captures the essence of the race. Lot’s of hills and lot’s of dirt.

    Reply
  2. Maria Hancock

    Great pics Dave- would have loved to be there in person! Great shot of the UnitedHealthGroup rider behind the car- my company’s corporate team! 🙂 They are a cool bunch of guys- got to meet some of them at the Tour of Utah last August…

    Reply

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