Men's peloton strung out single file 
between turn 2 and turn 3

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

The men's peloton strung out single file, negotiating the incline between turn 2 and turn 3.
Turn 2 action

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Colavita pro Jonathan Page, #22, blazes out of turn 2. Unfortunately for Page, he would hit the deck in turn 5 on the final lap. Turn 2 is home to Stool Pigeons, a bar with an outdoor patio right on the course. I took full advantage of $2 Newcastle pints, laying the foundation for an evening chock full of silliness and merriment. That's my wife's margarita glass at the bottom of the frame.
More turn 2 action

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

More turn 2 action. The Colavita rider, #21, is Aaron Olsen; the Outdoorlights.com rider (blue/green kit) may be Diego Garavito, who finished 57th.
Rich Harper in turn 2

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Eventual 40th place finisher Rich Harper (Cane Creek), #121, on his way out of turn 2.
Still more turn 2 action, with the Sun 
almost gone

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

The peloton successfully negotiates turn 2, about an hour into the race, amidst diminishing sunlight. If I had scored a rider roster I could ID some of these guys, but I didn't so I can't...
Jason Darden

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Pundit ("This race ain't hard, it's just motorpacing. Sitting in is no different than following a truck.") ... heckler ... raconteur ... cycling lore savant ... rapscallion ... the one and only Jason Darden.
Ivan Dominguez distracted by heckling?

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

HealthNet pro Ivan Dominguez, Bank of America Criterium defending champion, second from the right, appears distracted by the exhortations of the aforementioned Jason Darden. To Ivan's right is Adam Hodges Myerson (Team Nerac.com).
Chad Gibson

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Chad Gibson Uncensored was not supposed to stop for a chat at Stool Pigeons until after the race, but unfortunately Chad DNFed. His team (Outdoorlighting.com), which brought in Zoran Klemencic for last year's event, secured the services of legendary British sprinter Malcolm Elliott for this year's edition. Elliott's race ended in the same last lap crash that took out Jonathan Page, Erik Saunders, Alex Candelario, and several others.
Chad Gibson's Ridley

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Chad Gibson's sweet Ridley, post-race.
Darby Harris, tailgunner

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

This photo is pretty crappy, but the guy riding tailgunner, Darby Harris (Cane Creek), is a friend of mine who fought long and hard before finally getting shelled about 2/3 of the way through.
Mark McCormack

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Mark McCormack (Colavita) chats with the media post-race. McCormack delivered Argentinian speedster JJ Haedo to victory and rolled exultantly across the line in 6th place. I had yet to assume my faux VeloNews persona, so he wasn't talking to me.
Frankie Andreu

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

The side of Frankie Andreu's head, showing off his MP3/Oakley combo eyeware. Frankie shared MC duties with the engaging Dave Towle. Since quite a few riders, both men and women, hit the asphalt that night, Towle was quizzing Frankie about the calamities which befell him throughout his Grand Tour years. Darden and I wanted to hear the Tour de France boil incident, but Frankie was keeping silent about that one.
Phil Wickoff

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

North Carolina strongman Phil Wikoff (Cane Creek, in case you couldn't guess), scarred but smarter after hitting the deck early on, finished in 35th place.
Steve Hegg

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Post-race blowout at Rock Bottom, one block off the race course. Ok, this is when the night got real fuzzy. We were putting away the booze with Steve Hegg (pictured) and the Team Seasilver guys, and a steady stream of pros, journalists, and cycling industry members kept joining the scrum.
Steve Hegg and Ronnie Hinson

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

A pair of cycling legends: Olympic gold medalist, USPRO champion, and current Team Seasilver director Steve Hegg alongside Ronnie "The Rocket" Hinson.
Steve Hegg and Jason Darden

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Jason Darden lays one on Steve Hegg. Evidently, I told Hegg that I was a photographer for BigGayCyclist.com and that this photo would be featured prominently next month. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Gord Fraser and Steve Hegg

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Gord Fraser and the omnipresent Steve Hegg.
Ivan Dominguez

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

I think at this point in the evening I was claiming to be a VeloNews photographer, and Ivan Dominguez obliged with a fine profile pose.
Gord Fraser's shoe

08.06.05 : Bank of America Criterium-Charlotte, NC

Shoes of the stars. I have the faintest of memories about this photo. This is Gord Fraser, showing off his prototype Formula 1 footwear, for a faux VeloNews photographer (yours truly).