Dave Higgins Photography

Looking at life through nano-coated lenses

Posts tagged ‘Tour of the Battenkill’

A photo of mine from the 2012 UCI Tour of the Battenkill will be appearing in “Game Day,” an international sports photography exhibit in Minneapolis. Apparently this show is designed to tie in with the Super Bowl, which will be played next month in Minneapolis. I guess the judge liked an image of bike racers suffering on Meeting House Road… 🙂

Battenkill – Meeting House Road

♦ ♦

Photograph is © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2012; all rights reserved.

Advertisements
Leave a comment

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.

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

Waiting for the start

♦ ♦

They’re off!

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

Peloton starts up Juniper Swamp Rd

♦ ♦

Leaders on the climb

♦ ♦

It’s a hard climb…

♦ ♦

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.

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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.

♦ ♦

Riders descend Meeting House Rd in a cloud of dust

♦ ♦

Race leaders on the climb

♦ ♦

Riders strained to race up the hill

♦ ♦

Fans cheered the riders on

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

Peloton gives chase on Rich Rd.

♦ ♦

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.

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

Fans check their photos of the finish

♦ ♦

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

♦ ♦

A rider looks momentarily lost in another world…

♦ ♦

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.

2 Comments

A week after driving a pace car in the pro-am version of the Tour of the Battenkill, I went back to Cambridge with some friends to watch and photograph the 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. Here’s a sampling of my photos from the race.

Start of the race in Cambridge

After the start, we headed out to Juniper Swamp Rd, which features a relatively short but steep climb on dirt.

Photographing the leader on the climb

Front group on the climb

The climb took both a physical and mechanical toll

Nearing the top of the climb

This guy got some grief from spectators...

A little after Juniper Swamp Rd, the race looped back north through rolling farmland just west of Juniper Swamp. We crossed over to meet them.

Peloton coming up County Route 64

Continuing on up CR 64

After that, we headed for the notorious Meeting House Road, an unpaved stretch with several ups and downs. It had been raining off and on by then, and the riders looked very different compared to the last time we had seen them…

Down and up on Meeting House Road

Caleb Fairly & Floyd Landis, eventual 1-2 finishers, 1st lap on Meeting House Rd.

The conditions were a real test for the riders

Group on the climb

Back with the cars

Off the back

From there we headed over to Eagleville, to catch the racers coming through the covered bridge on their second lap.

The covered bridge is a popular photo spot on the course

Back of the pack in Eagleville

After that we headed to the top of one of the biggest climbs on the course: Joe Bean Road, a few kilometers outside of Salem.

Rider on solo break away

The leader of this group seems to be smiling and he's the only one climbing in the big ring.

After the racers had passed we headed back to Cambridge to watch the finish.

At the finish line, waiting for the race winner

Caleb Fairly wins the 2010 Tour of the Battenkill!

One of the racers, Steve Tilford, has a great recap of his experience in the race. Velonews had a feature article and posted the race results.

All photographs are © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2010; all rights reserved.

Leave a comment

I drove a pace car in this year’s pro-am day of the Tour of the Battenkill, a really big – and really tough – bike race in New York’s Washington County. Part of what makes this race “special” is that it includes eight stretches of dirt roads over the very hilly 62-mile course.

With over 2,300 racers in many different classes, I had lots of time to kill before and after the race in which I was driving. So I took some pictures, trying to capture some of the feeling of the event.

Gathering at the start

Pre-race chat

One last stop...

Last minute instructions

Friends and fans

Waiting to start

Recording the moment

They're off!

A picture and a cheer

Sprint to the line

In the finish area

Finish area festivities

After it's over

Heading back to the cars

All photographs are © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2010; all rights reserved.

1 Comment