After a rainy start to the Nature Valley Grand Prix for the morning time trial, things luckily dried out before the evening criterium. The course went through the heart of downtown Saint Paul, past the Landmark Center, James J Hill Library, and other historic and modern Saint Paul buildings.The women started out the night a little after 6:00pm. It was fortunate the race was only a short walk from The Current's offices, as I was definitely behind schedule getting tied up in Rock the Garden preparations. This year I was able to get an official media credential through the MPR news room, where a gallery of photos from throughout the race weekend will be posted. This year I decided to stick with shooting only photos after shooting the video piece last year (in my video portfolio here)]1
The weather and clouds varied dramatically through the night. At the start of the women's race the sky looked perfectly sunny, but then quickly clouds moved in. Right at the end of their race the sun poked back out, creating the amazing shadows and light along the home straightaway that I've loved in years past. In the half hour before the men's races that little bit of sun disappeared, and like a flip of the switch the light dropped and suddenly it was dusk. The dim, soft light just meant it was time to do more panning shots with the riders. On the far corner of the course there the buildings opened up to reveal more of the sky, and created beautiful highlights on the wheels components of the bikes as the riders careened around one of the fastest corners on the course. The riders took to the wide open roads south of Cannon Falls today, and will return to the metro on Friday. I look forward to heading over the uptown crit on Friday as it is always much more of a party atmosphere regardless of the weather.