Saturday, for Chris, was a two-fer - he had a race early on Saturday morning and then another late Saturday afternoon. The 2nd was the downtown criterium, which would be followed a few hours later by the main weekend event (at least as far as spectators are concerned), the pro crit.
Chris got back from his morning race right about the time I was getting up, so we went to a late breakfast together on the front patio of the hotel, and then did some shopping. I bought two pairs of shoes at King of Sole, which is a great little shoe store right around the corner from the hotel, and Chris bought a couple shirts at a shop called Urban Minx. I swear, I love that name so much, it's just priceless.
The sign hanging outside Urban Minx.
Chris' race was largely during the hottest part of the day (and don't talk to me about a dry heat, hot is hot in my book, and none of it is pleasant). I took a bunch of pictures of all the races that afternoon with my SLR, but hadn't had time to buy faster film before we left home, so I got a whole bunch of blurry pictures one can assume are cyclists, but not because they actually look like cyclists. Thankfully, the little digie managed to capture a few riders, so you can see that Chris actually did do some riding, and we did actually see some racing.
(L) This was Chris' group, and he's in the picture - which I think was more luck than anything on my part - 2.5 riders from the right, on the bright green bike. (R) Race organizers had placed hay bales at certain points along the course, mostly up against immovable objects like light posts, just in case anyone crashed into one. Others, like this one, were just bases for the "Caution" tape keeping people from crowding riders.
After Chris' race were a couple others, and then the pros did the "Twilight Crit" - the streets around the course were packed with people, which was really fun. We walked to the top of a completely empty parking garage so as to see the pack coming around an S-curve a bit better, and it was fun - watching them snake around those turns, like a liquid thing.
The big boys going through the curves on the backside of the course.
One highlight, for me anyway, was seeing local boy Aaron Olson, who rides for European pro team Saunier Duval-Prodir and was in town for the race. He was there on his own, with no teammates to help him out, just for the training and to support a great Oregon race. He was, understandably, the focus of much attention.
Olson being interviewed after the race - you can see the wide berth he's being given, and also the attention he's getting.
The winner of the crit turned out to be a familiar name - JJ Haedo. Haedo won a couple stages at the inaugural Tour of California this year, and I won't be surprised if he gets scooped up by a European team in the very near future.
Haedo getting interviewed post-win.
(L) 1st, 2nd & 3rd place on the stage, the Twilight Crit, with Toyota-United's JJ Haedo standing on top. (R) The jersey leaders at that point in the competition... I can't remember who they were at that point, and I think they changed by the time the race ended for good on Sunday, but if I find out who they were I'll update this.