Last Friday night, downtown Portland got a taste of big time bike racing at the Portland Twilight Criterium.
Thousands of spectators jammed the sidewalks around the South Park Blocks to gawk at the high-speed action. It was hard not to feel the adrenaline as the racers swooshed by just inches away.
This year’s fifth annual event was definitely the biggest and best yet and the organizers really pulled out all the stops to make this Portland’s marquee racing event.
Porter Childs—head honcho at Good Sport Promotion—smiled as he told me about the aerial advertising banner he hired to promote the event. He said it was the first aerial ad banner Portland has seen in a decade.
For many, it was their first exposure to the fast and furious nature of professional criterium racing, and I’m sure they won’t soon forget it.
The race was also a family affair for some racers. This might be the fastest father I’ve ever seen. And check out this beautiful scene of a boy looking up to his dad like he’s a superhero.
Team Health Net dominated the results, but some local riders raced strong on a very tough course against some of the fastest riders in the region. There was Bike Gallery’s Shannon Skerritt (sporting the new Bike Gallery team duds and his signature wristbands), and of course Molly Cameron, who’s always glutton for punishment.
I also finally met Steven Beardsley, a super nice kid (check out his website) who has quickly become a racer to watch, especially on the velodrome.
My hat goes off to the organizers and to the racers for a thrilling night. I’m already looking forward to next year.
Check out the rest of my photos in the Twilight Criterium gallery.