Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dana Point Grand Prix

I was back at the races this past weekend -- the Dana Point Grand Prix, an exciting and scenic crit in the city streets of Dana Point, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This was the third year the city held the race, but its first year on the National Racing Calendar, so VeloNews sent me down to report the action. As always, I didn't get a lot of snaps, but there was some major action, with a big crash in the women's race and heavy hitters like Floyd Landis (who lives just a few miles away in Murietta) in the men's race.

If you want to read all the details AND see professional snaps, you can go to my article here.

As for my amateur snaps, here's a few. This is the women's podium. Webcor Builders took the top two spots, with Australian Nikki Butterfield in the top spot and Canadian teammate, Gina Grain, in second. No Americans on the podium, as the third spot went to Kiwi Cath Cheatley. The gentleman in the picture is handing a construction helmet to Nikki with title sponsor Webcor Builders logo on it. She wore it for a few interviews -- "good-on" Cath for promoting those sponsors!
Winners received champagne, and Nikki immediately opened hers, inadvertantly (or not?!) aiming the cork at photogs. I got out of the way before the bubbles flew -- I forgot that my camera is water(champagne)proof.
There was a little left...
One of the photogs there for VeloNews was Mark Johnson, and he sent me this snap that he got of Gina Grain whenI interviewed her after the podium presentation. His pics aren't up yet on the VeloNews site, but will be added to the gallery soon, but check his business out -- IronString Writing and Photography.
The men's race was a few hours later, and this is their podium. Current national crit champ, Rahsaan Bahati from Rock Racing took the sprint win, followed by Southern California Velo's Jeremiah Wiscovitch. Jeremiah was on Rock Racing the last two years with Rahsaan, and told me after the race that it is exciting to get to race against him now instead of leading Bahati out. In third here is Colavita-Sutter Home's Sebastian Haedo who, like his big brother J.J. Haedo, is from Argentina.
It was a quick weekend, with just the one day of racing on Sunday. I went down Saturday night and met good high school friend, Sherry, and we had dinner with her sis-in-law, Lisa Lowe (formerly Johnson), who went to school with my big brothers. Had a ball telling 'ole high school stories and filling each other in on all we knew about former classmates. I stayed with Sherry and her husband, Tim, on their beautiful 2.5 acre property in Temecula that night. Though the race was fun, it was hard leaving the next morning, so I can't wait to get down there at a time when we can hang out more. And maybe even ride Sherry's horse a bit!

Definitely good times.

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