(Photos by Jonathan Maus)
The Portland Twilight Criterium wasted no time warming up to its new North Park Blocks location. The race — which has been held around the South Park Blocks for the past five years — thrilled a massive crowd on Friday night.
This event is what bike racing is all about.
A band played as racers whirred by; the infield was full of kids (the playground gave parents a chance to watch the action) and the beer garden was full of appreciative fans who craned their necks and stood on tiptoes for a glimpse at the racers.
There was the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and everything in between. And, for one racer, the night was an opportunity to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. Clad in lycra, he popped the Big Question, and she said, “yes!”. They hugged. It was sweet, in a bike-nerd sort of way.
Local lawyer, veteran racer, and former Alice B. Toeclips award winner Mark Ginsberg rolled to victory in the Category 3 race. He savored the victory, as his smile in this photo can attest.
In the pro race that followed, Doug Ollerenshaw was our best hope for another hometown win.
The race got off to a blistering pace. Kona-sponsored superstar Ryan Trebon and Gentle Lovers’ rider Kevin Hulick kept the pace high. The pros completed laps in what seemed like mere seconds.
In the end, Ollerenshaw came across the line in second and his Healthnet teammate John Murphy took the win, after soloing for the final 12 laps.
It was a great night of racing and all-around bike revelry.
For full results, click here. For more photos, check out my gallery, or view the slideshow below:
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
To say that John Murphy took the win is an understatement. He completely destroyed the competition here. Not only was he alone for the last 12 laps (at least), he was 1/2 a lap ahead of the rest of the pack for most of that. He never saw 2nd place behind him. John was in a league of his own that night, and it was a blast to watch.
I gotta say, the beer garden setup bugged me. A long narrow chain-link corral, with no food, and only a very small section where you could actually see the race. Last year they at least had some $4 hot dogs you could sop up the beer with…
Jonathan – killer photos. I was only there briefly but it was exhilarating to watch.
I concur with Dave; having a \”corner\” of the garden to watch the race was beyond annoying. They need to rethink this next season. And don\’t even get me started on the bike corral that was not labeled; saw many folks lost, looking for that.
And, thanks to Bike to Rwanda for providing secure bike parking!
yes…thank you Bikes to Rwanda.
As usual, I did not have my lock with me, so the secure bike parking was AWESOME.
Also, I appreciated the advice about my headset…got it taken care of, thanks!
Thanks to everyone who was out there cheering Friday. You made Murph feel like the King of Portland for the night, and you made me damn proud to be a part of the cycling community here. It was further proof that Portland\’s the best place in the US to be a bike rider.