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Jingle Cross The Men's and Women's World Cup

The world cup races at Jingle Cross are sandwiched between two days of amateur and UCI cyclocross racing. I personally look forward to Friday nights racing under the lights to see pro’s scrap for points, and to get a chance to take some dramatic photographs that are only possible at night. The racing was exciting, and the thin crowds made me wonder if an enthusiastic crowd would turn out for the big show on Saturday.

I crawled out of my sleeping bag at 7 am Saturday, and woke to a cold, damp foggy morning that clearly had the feeling of a Belgium winter day.

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By noon, with the wind starting to pick up, the pro’s were out taking their last look at today’s course, and slowly the crowds were starting to grow.

Just east of the start line, where the pro’s set up camp for the weekend, the team mechanics were busy washing, lubing and polishing their stable of two wheeled machines. The excitement was starting to grow, and the atmosphere was charged with an electric feeling.

 The Telnet Fidea team makes the trip over the pond with a first class set up.

The Telnet Fidea team makes the trip over the pond with a first class set up.


Act I

There’s a lot of terrain to cover at the Johnson county fairgrounds, and if you want to get a shot of the start, you’ve got to really hustle to make it through the metal barricades to get to the top of Krumpit on the first lap. I elected to find a perch that looked down on the fly over instead, hoping that Toon would catch some huge air. Gambles don’t always pay off, and two minutes into the race, Van Aert the current World Champ comes over the flyover in sixth place.

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Everyone’s stretched out single file coming down the front side of Mt. Krumpit.

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Toon and Aerts start putting time on the rest of the field and don’t give anyone else a chance to fight for first place the rest of the day.

 Toon claws his way over the top of Krumpit with Van Aert in tow.

Toon claws his way over the top of Krumpit with Van Aert in tow.

And the view from the side.

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Adding in a few more off camber turns on the bottom half of Krumpit was popular with the crowd.

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Two laps to go, and thirty seconds down, Van Aert doesn’t show any sign of giving up.

 Van Aert on his B bike.

Van Aert on his B bike.

One lap to go, three minutes and 41 seconds behind Toon and the crowd is roaring!

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Act II, Save The Best for Last

 Just another ordinary day on the Johnson County Fairgrounds

Just another ordinary day on the Johnson County Fairgrounds

The women started their warm up rituals well over four hours ahead of their race time. While they were out inspecting the course and making last minute adjustments, the skies were steel grey and the traction out on course was improving with each lap the men made.

 World Champ Sanne Cant warming up.

World Champ Sanne Cant warming up.

 Katie Compton making a last minute pedal adjustment.

Katie Compton making a last minute pedal adjustment.

While the men’s podium ceremonies were finishing up, spectators started pulling out rain jackets and running for cover. In the half hour between races, enough rain fell to pull out the mud tires. Marianne Vos and Eva Lechner made a fast start and they looked like they might just run away from the rest of the field.

 7 time world champ Marianne Vos dismounts before the flyover.

7 time world champ Marianne Vos dismounts before the flyover.

 Evie Richards, Trek Factory Racing’s newest U23 rider.

Evie Richards, Trek Factory Racing’s newest U23 rider.

 Sophie de Boer heading up the fly over.

Sophie de Boer heading up the fly over.

The slip ‘n slide like conditions on course made it equally hard for spectators to walk up Mt. Krumpit. One mistake in these conditions and you would loose places, and possibly a podium spot.

When you couldn’t physically see the race in front of you, fans were glued to the big screens watching the thrilling action play out.

 Keeping an eye out on the big screen.

Keeping an eye out on the big screen.

Course conditions fell apart really fast. What appeared to be a one - two knock out punch by Voss and Lechner turned into a race of you can win if you’ve got guts, courage and you don’t make a mistake.

 Ellen Noble near the top of Mt. Krumpit.

Ellen Noble near the top of Mt. Krumpit.

The off camber turns on Mt. Krumpit were nearly impossible to ride. Here, Sanne Cant is glued to the back wheel of Katie Compton as she tries to navigate through ankle deep muck.

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Katerina Nash powers up Mt. Krumpet in the rain. The UCI has improved on pay equity at the top of the heap, and the women surely deserve it based on Saturdays stellar performance.

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What line?

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Kaitlin Keough, Wisconsin native wins her first world cup race!

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Tending to protocal, it’s a ritual for the UCI officials to cut off your race number as soon as you cross the line, completely spent or not.

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Epilogue

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World Cup Cyclocross Photography

Night

There are three days of racing at Jingle Cross, with two elite UCI races and the World Cup all on separate days. The Wold Cup has always been held in full sunlight and the UCI races in 2017 both were held long after the sun set, creating a wonderful nighttime canvas that provides the opportunity to paint some really exceptional photographs that are not possible when the sun is shining.

This first photograph is of the elite women charging hard down the starting straight away. In this shot, the MUSCO lights do a good job of lighting up the dust that's being kicked up by the women.

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For the start of the men, I was using almost the same vantage point as I used for the women's start, but moved off to the right, focused on an area that was not lit up by the stadium lights. Throw in one small speed light, camera left and Telenet Fideas Quinten Hermans and Michael Boros of Pauwels Sauzen take the hole shot. If you look really close, you'll see that Quinten's inboard foot is unclipped.

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Here Quinten Herman easily clears the barriers. The big Musco stadium lights are doing a really good job of lighting up the barries from the left. To stop motion like this requires a really fast shutter speed. By throwing in a speed light camera right, I can use a low ISO setting and use the really short flash duration to freeze the action.

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Here Gianni Vermeersch powers up the top of the climb in his big ring. Up on the top of Mt. Krumpit, its really really dark even with the lone stadium light. Press your shutter with the ambient light, and with a super high iso you might luck out and be able to make out the text on the barricades. Throw in your own light just uphill of Giannia and viola!

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Here is another Krumpit picture where you can pick out Caroline Mani's trademark grimace.

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Near the end, Laurens Sweeck has a huge time gap on everyone else and floats over the barricades. I'm 40 meters away using a long lens, and if you take a careful look, you'll spot my speed light clamped to the fence.

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Daylight

I think it's harder to get really unique and interesting photo's during the daylight. That may just be me. I'm not certain who the Flyers guy is, but this really captures what it's like to make turn from the top of Krumpit into the hair pin turn that if you follow the fall line, just drops straight down. 

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Sanne Cant dominated the Women's World Cup event. Ellen Nobles wearing the Rapha kit is even shouldering her bike here.

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My World cup photo's were shot for a European publication called GritCX. They had the rights to publish for the first 90 days, so this is the first time I've show these anywhere else. In this image, Stephen Hyde, Americas hope to make it big crests Krumpit.

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Near the top of Krumpit is a roped off area for the press. There's a guy shooting the live video feed, and two others with still cameras. The guy at the front wearing the world championship stripes is Wout Van Aert. This is early on in the race where no one else can match his tempo.

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A few laps later and VanAert continues to push the pace, and forces everyone else to try to keep from being gapped.

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CIRREM 2018 - Race Photographs

February 24th was the scheduled start date for the 10th edition of CIRREM. The week leading up to race day, meteorological forecasts of driving rain turning into snow and ice falling from the skies had the social media feeds lit up with pictures of mud encrusted drive trains and ice covered bodies fanning fear among newbies and veterans alike. You could hear a big collective sigh when the race was postponed a week.

There's this trend that's starting to appear. For the first seven years of CIRREM, the mercury had a hard time climbing into the 30's, and usually hung out in the 20's, half the time with wet sloppy gravel being dished up. Including this year makes three years where it's been almost shorts weather. 

Here's the story I saw unfold out on the gravel roads of Madison county.


Cumming Tap

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Near Badger Creek

Clear blue skies in early March in Iowa usually means wind, blustery and relentless wind. Fourteen miles into the race, Brenden Hardy, Jonathon Wait, Mark Savory, Randy Reichardt, Adam Ventling, Brian West and Bryan Wenzel had a gap of a minute up on the chase group. While the winds were favorable in the first westward leg of the race, your early season fitness and a high tempo starts to shred the field.

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The sign on the side of the old weather beaten Ford pickup truck that TJ Fort and Keven Betters ride past says "Lloyd McDonald Winterset", Iowa". A little searching shows that presumably Lloyd McDonald and his wife Wilma lived on this farmstead up until 1986 when Lloyd died and was buried up the road in the North McDonald cemetery. Bruce Reese rides past the abandoned farm house, which might just be a remnant of Iowa's 1980 farm crisis.

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North McDonald Cemetery

Mark Child makes a right onto Old Portland on this near 40 mph descent. 

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North River Trail

Twenty five miles the same group of nine continues to put time on the chasers.

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Near the Checkpoint

Forty miles into the race and it's long slog, much of it straight into the wind. 

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Turning east onto 220th Trail right after the check point is an old dilapidated house. I'm not a betting person, but I'm guessing at least one person today thought the writing on the old truck body describes todays last 20k home.

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Windwood Trail

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Lisa Vetterlein almost packed it in a the check point. Lisa and
Dee Mable finish one and two for the women.

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Headshot Photography, making first impressions

When it comes to your profile picture, you only have seconds to make a first impression.

What does your headshot photograph say about you?

Make sure your headshot matches your brand.  Whether used on your company's web site or for a social profile, the quality and style of your headshot conveys a lot about you as a person, and how you conduct business. The type of photograph you select is a personal branding decision, however a blurred or poorly cropped images will convey a lack of attention to detail that will carry over to your reputation.

The image you select for your headshot needs to convey something about your personality, show confidence and show that your are approachable. When you are in front of the camera, a good photographer will direct and guide you to move your body, head and facial expressions into positions that bring out the best of you.

 Professional Portraits with Personality

Other things to consider for your headshot are clothing and location. Suits and ties may be appropriate if you want to convey a professional can get it done attitude, and something more casual is appropriate if that's how you meet and work with your prospective clients and customers on a daily basis. The bottom line is your clothing should reflect the real you, and be reflective of the personal brand you want to portray. 

Headshot portraits can be made using studio setting using a plain background, or may use an environmental location. Either way, gone are the days of headshots being boring or stuffy. If you're more comfortable in your daily environment and if that location ties in something that's a part your brand, then by all means use of it. 

Lastly, we all go through physical changes over time, so if it's been more than two years since your last headshot, chances are you're in need of a new one. 

Call, email or text and let's talk about what you want your headshots to look like.