Monday, December 22, 2008
Mavic Team ~ AMGEN TOUR 2008
With the 2009 AMGEN TOUR bike race about to kick off (February 14 through 22 with Modesto being the finish line for the San Jose to Modesto leg of the race – Tuesday February 17, 2009… finish line between 3:30 and 4:55 P.M. (depending on weather and road conditions), memories of the 2008 AMGEN TOUR came to mind.
Digging back to the February 20, 2008 photos of the tour, I came across several that I wanted to post. This one I liked so I thought I’d pop it in here. I took this at 9:58 A.M. while the riders and their teams were lining up and getting ready to start the Modesto leg of the race in front of the Gallo Center on I Street (just east of the “Water Wealth Contentment Health” arch). It had been raining earlier in the morning; there were clouds in the sky that said “more rain”... However, during this period between the rains, Modesto was amazingly dry. I lined up with the thousands of others who wanted to see and photograph the start. I was testing what ISO to use (as the clouds were playing trick with the light). I ended up setting it at 400. I know the racers would be flashing by in front of me and that I’d need a little faster speed. While waiting for some of the racers to arrive, I looked across “I” Street and saw one of the ride-along support teams (the one’s that can ride with the racers to repair the bikes if something should happen). This one was carrying extra wheels and other parts. As they went by, about 35 feet away, I set my focal length at 63mm (focal length in 35mm film equaled 94mm). I had adjusted the contrast setting to “+2” to get a richer color. I followed them for about 50 feet taking pictures as they passed. This shot enabled me to capture both riders and the extra tires on the back of their motorcycle. It helped that they were wearing bright yellow as it made the photo pop just a little.
This year, if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to go to San Jose and catch them at the start line again, or I may just go over to Del Puerto Canyon just west of Patterson, California and catch them as the round some of the hair-pin turns of this narrow canyon road from San Jose to Modesto. That should be somewhere around 2:30 P.M. Either way, I should have enough time to get back to Modesto to catch the racers crossing the finish line.