Monday, May 19, 2008

Can-Am U19 Challenge

The Can-Am U19 Challenge (organized by Skylands Cycling) is consistently the best all-around  junior bicycling race on the East coast.  2008 marked NCVC Juniors' fourth consecutive year at Can-Am.  We brought seven young men to the three event omnium -- an uphill mountain time trial, a ballpark criterium, and a fairgrounds circuit race.  All very beautiful venues -- and, for once in quite a few races this season, the weather was perfect.  A little rain closed Sunday's circuit event, but that was good against lofty expectations.  The guys did great -- several podiums, and a team trophy.  My 17 year-old pushed to a mid-race tie for first place overall (GC -- general classification), but was marked, blocked and faded to a very respectable top-ten GC result.  His powerful teammate grabbed GC 2nd in the 17-18 year class.  Next year, when both boys will be racing age 18, is quite promising.  Same story for our 15 year-old hot shots.

The photography was pretty good.  950 images; posted 210+ to website.  (Satisfactory yield was pretty high -- near 40% -- but didn't post many shots with folks I didn't know.)

Stuck ISO at 800 except for in the best light where I shot 400.  This let me work at 1/1250 and F8 +/- ... The cycling photography sweet spot for the 70-200 F4L seems to be F8 -- sharp and reasonable depth for the action.  Bicycling seems to require about 1/1250 if you're not panning.  I adjusted ISO to be near this sweet spot for action ... crowd/candid stuff generally gets about 1/320 ... higher if I want more bokeh.  Got a couple nice race shots at about 1/320 while panning.

Lots of kids racing bikes, a number of good crowd (and friend) shots, and a couple odd dog and bug images.  Enjoy.

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