BMW-Bianchi team bikes are cleaned the 
afternoon prior to the women's Liberty Classic

06.04.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

BMW-Bianchi team bikes being cleaned and prepped the afternoon prior to the women's Liberty Classic. Note the glorious wrenching environment: the Hilton's access alley with a dumpster as a backdrop. One can't choose where the hoses are located.
BMW-Bianchi team bikes

06.04.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

A bevy of washed Bianchis air-drying, waiting for any pre-race servicing. The pink Bianchi, ridden by Katharine Carroll, sports a custom pink powdercoat.
Mike Jones and Peter Hymas prior 
to the start of the men's USPRO event

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Upstate New York in the house. Harpursville native Mike Jones (Health Net) and yours truly, a former resident of Cooperstown, have a meeting of the minds about 45 minutes before race time. The Cooperstown connection: back in his amateur days, prior to riding SoPro with Team West Virginia and then Health Net, Mike Jones tore up the Northeast sponsored by Cooperstown's (now defunct) Velosophy Bikes. The Leatherstocking region of upstate New York is still my favorite place to ride a bike.
Erik Saunders and Peter Hymas 
prior to the start of the men's USPRO event

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

I don't win anything, but cool people talk to me before I race. Erik Saunders (McGuire Pro Cycling) takes a few seconds from his pre-race coffee to chat before embarking on a strenuous six-hour day in the saddle. It's barely visible, but Saunders' bike sports a negative sloping track stem to get the handlebars low enough for his liking.
Bobby Julich 
prior to the start of the men's USPRO event

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Bobby Julich hanging out with his CSC teammates about 30 minutes before the start of the race.
Henk Vogels and Ernie Lechuga 
prior to the start of the men's USPRO event

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Aussie hard-man Henk Vogels (Davitamon-Lotto), fresh off of finishing the 2005 Giro, shoots the shit with former pro Ernie Lechuga (?).
Gord Fraser and Frankie Andreu 
prior to the start of the men's USPRO event

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Canadian champion Gord Fraser (Health Net) interviewed by OLN's Frankie Andreu about 30 minutes before the start of the race.
Eric Murphy prior to the start of 
the men's USPRO event

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Eric Murphy (Aerospace Engineering) basks in pre-race Philly sunshine. We coralled Eric and his teammate Hugh Moran at the post-race party in a nearby Irish pub and hopefully they won't run away in terror when they see us in the future.
Fred Rodriguez prior to the start 
of the men's USPRO event

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto) was not able to defend his USPRO title and will be sporting this jersey for the next 365 days.
Geoff Kabush and Tom Schuler 
prior to the start of the men's USPRO event

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Geoff Kabush (Jittery Joe's), sporting the biggest lambchops in professional cycling, converses with 1987 USPRO champion/former 7-Eleven pro Tom Schuler. I'm not sure why the Subway pro in the background is showing off his tan lines.
Alex Candelario

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly) has scaled back his Wolverine inspired chops.
Alessandro Ballan

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre), considered by Tony Cruz to be the revelation of the 2005 Spring Classics season, looking calm and collected prior to starting his first USPRO. About 6 hours later he crossed the finish line in 10th place.
Lampre threesome

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Marco Marzano, Andreas Matzbacher, and Dario Pieri (L-R). While most of the Euro-pros sported the physiques of 12 year old boys, Dario Pieri was very publicly battling his weight problem.
Roger Hammond

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Reigning British national road champion Roger Hammond (Discovery Channel) on his way to the start line. Earlier in the week at Trenton, John Lieswyn had a run in with Hammond and chronicled the encounter on cyclingnews.com.
Judith Arndt

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

The view many women see of reigning world champion Judith Arndt (Equipe Nurnberger).
Equipe Nurnberger pre-race 
gathering

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Judith Arndt and her Equipe Nurnberger teammates gather in the staging area.
Peloton tail-gunners heading out 
on Kelly Drive.

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

The tail end of the peloton passing the boathouses on Kelly Drive. It must be early in the day since Roberto "2x4"-ioli (Team Monex, 2nd from the right) is still racing.
KOM line atop the Manayunk Wall

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

We lucked into some VIP passes and were able to take a shuttle bus from the start/finish area to the top of the Manayunk Wall. This is the KOM line at the top of the climb where the road levels out into a false flat.
Adam Livingston takes another KOM 
sprint

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Adam Livingston (Team Seasilver), flanked by a tv motorbike, takes another KOM sprint on his way to earning the title "Master of the Mountain". At this point of the race, the riders have completed about 100 miles.
Front of the break on Manayunk

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Francisco Ventoso (Saunier Duval), 2004 winner of USPRO, passes through the KOM line a few seconds after Livingson with the rest of the leading group stretched out behind him.
Jesse Lawler off the back

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Jesse Lawler (Jittery Joe's) is off the back of the peloton atop the Manayunk Wall and can watch the race leave him behind on the Jumbo-tron in front of him.
The Race flier

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Hmmmm....
The Race flier inside a 
porto-john

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

....I hope this isn't the booth in question. Maybe the author subscribes to the Fonzie school of booth locations. I wonder if Dave Shields knew ads for his award winning cycling novel The Race were taped up inside porto-johns at the race venue. I guess it makes sense since racing cyclists, his target market, probably are the most likely candidates to brave a porto-john on a hot day. 24 years of racing have rendered me immune to any potential sensory horrors lurking within.
A pair of fixies on Lemon Hill

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

A sweet Vanilla and a well-worn Pinarello fixed gear on the grass of Lemon Hill. There were hundreds of bikes, with a sizeable amount of track bikes, stacked up all over Lemon Hill as their owners barbecued and drank copious amounts of beer while taking in the racing action.
Crunch time on Lemon Hill

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

All American finale: the winning break of Danny Pate (Jelly Belly), Chris Horner (Saunier Duval), and Chris Wherry (Health Net) ascend Lemon Hill on the last of the big laps.
Chase group on Lemon Hill

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

The 33 man chase group (which finished 44 seconds behind Wherry, Pate, and Horner) ascends Lemon Hill on the last of their big laps. The rider with the distinctive blue cross on his chest is Finnish national champion Kjell Carlstrom (Liquigas-Bianchi).
Chase group on Lemon Hill

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Chad Hartley (TIAA-CREF), Greg Henderson (Health Net), and Allesandro Ballan (Lampre) ascend Lemon Hill in the 33 man chase group.
Group 6 minutes off the pace 
ascend Lemon Hill

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Geoff Kabush (Jittery Joe's), Daniele Colli (Liquigas-Bianchi), Tony Cruz (Discovery Channel), and Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly) ascend Lemon Hill on the last of their big laps. Members of this chase group finished 6 minutes off the pace, 39th-50th place.
Pair of stragglers on Lemon Hill

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Tim Johnson (Jittery Joe's) and Luciano Pagliarini (Liquigas-Bianchi) ascend Lemon Hill.
Horner attacks

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Chris Horner, blazing up Lemon Hill on the first of the short laps, is too speedy for my camera. Horner, Pate, and Wherry treat Philadelphia to a riveting endgame playing out over the next 15 minutes.
USPRO podium in the distance

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Chris Wherry, Danny Pate, and Chris Horner on the podium off in the distance.
USPRO podium, a little closer

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

A closer view of the all-American podium, a rarity at USPRO.
Wherry dons his championship 
jersey

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Chris Wherry adjusts the Health Net logo on his race-provided national championship jersey.
Exultant Wherry on the podium

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

An absolutely exultant Chris Wherry sporting stars and stripes. About 1 minute after Wherry donned his race-provided jersey, a sublimated Health Net national championship jersey (which Wherry is now wearing) appeared from behind the curtains. I believe the Health Net squad had a jersey already prepared in case one of their American riders won the pro title.
Wherry talks to Aisner

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Chris Wherry ponders a question from race announcer Michael Aisner.
Wherry answers Aisner

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Chris Wherry answers a question.
King and queen of Philadelphia

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

The King and Queen of Philadelphia: men's winner Chris Wherry and women's winner Ina Teutenberg share the top spot of the podium.
Start/finish line

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

With the podium ceremony concluded, the throngs of spectators have left the start/finish area. Time to dismantle the race infrastructure. Time for me to find some Guinness...
Nico Mattan

06.05.05 : USPRO-Philadelphia, PA

Nico Mattan (Davitamon-Lotto) spied at the race hotel after the race. Photos do not do his hairdo justice, chock full of gel and a few Vanilla Ice-esque razor lines shaved behind his other ear.