The funny thing about working as a staff photojournalist for a newspaper like the Vail Daily is that any time there is a really good sporting event you very rarely get to use your best shots. Being obliged to always use your photos of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place means more often than not your best sports shots go unseen by the general public unless you can sneak them randomly into the paper somewhere.
Moreover, because the newspaper owns the rights to all your images, you can’t even sell your unused images to other media outlets which often leaves you searching for somewhere viable to show your best work.
Such was the case last Sunday when I shot the Tour of Vail Criterium bike race. While I was slightly happy about having to work on my one day off, it turned out to be a pretty exciting event that was really fun to shoot.
Over 100 of the best professional cyclists from around the world, men and women, converged on the Vail Valley to take part in a 1 km flat race course through Vail Village. Men had 75 minutes and women 60 minutes to do as many laps as possible around the course.
The fall colors were in full bloom and the early evening light made sure the colors popped. With the riders lapping the course every few minutes there was ample opportunity to walk around the course shooting from different angles and locations and trying a variety of shots. Different from a lot of other races situations where you get one shot to get the right shot like at the Birds of Prey World Cup Ski Races.
I was happy with the stuff I came back with and even more excited that I captured the winner, being that he was never in the front of the pack until the very end.
Here are a few shots from the day that didn’t make the paper.