Reflecting on the UCI experience

To start out on the honest foot, I will admit as the bike race came closer and I wanted to run and get out of the city. Looking back I am so grateful I signed up for this class which forced me to stay in the city. I found the race to be amazing and I am so happy I stayed to witness something that may very well be a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.

I just transferred to VCU from JMU so at the time of the race and really now, I’m still in a huge transition period coming from a school so vastly different. With that being said the idea of adding 4,500 extra people to a city I was still getting used to was a scary thought to me.

This class really opened my eyes to what the bike race had to offer in regards to opportunity and life experience. Just the simple task of having to tweet for this class got me more involved than I had planned on being. However the greatest benefit from the bike race came in the form of being published.

We all got the email from Rob Crocker asking for help, which would in turn have to possibility to benefit us as well. So I followed up with him and he simply told me to cover the Elite Women’s Time Trial race. With no direction or indication as to what they were looking for, I just went into it trying to find some angle between sports and human interest. When I sent my final article to Crocker I figured I’d get an email back saying good work, here’s some pointers for next time or see an edit of my article that looked nothing like mine.

As I was scrolling through tweets to find some fellow classmates tweets to retweet (I hate how many times tweet is in this sentence), I saw a picture I submitted as the cover photo for a channel 8 story. My initial reaction was “Wow they used my photo, that’s awesome.” I started to read the article and was astonished that I was reading my own words, hardly changed from what I had originally submitted, with my name in the byline section.

I was and still am on cloud nine about it all, mainly because as an aspiring journalist getting published is a huge reassurement that I’m in the right field. Also that transferring to VCU was the right decision which I question a lot because I left so much behind.

Overall I’m thrilled I got involved and embraced the bike race not just for assignments but outside of class work. It was an amazing event that I’m happy I can say I was apart of.

 

Capturing the World in Richmond

Kristin Armstrong at the start of the Women’s Elite Time Trial, with a time that held first place through 38 riders– ended up 5th overall.

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Men competing in the Elite Men’s Road Race, round the corner onto Main st. after the climb up Libby Hill park.

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Hermann Pruisken and Martine ole Wit traveled from the Netherlands to support two riders– Anna Van Der Breggan and Ellen Van Dijk both from the Netherlands– in the Elite Women’s Time Trial.
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Crowd at Libby Hill Park was incredible for the Elite Men’s Road Race– the final race of the UCI World Championships 2015.

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The cobbles stone parts of the course proved to be very challenging for the riders all week as they fought to climb the steep cobble lined hills of Richmond.

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During the Elite Men’s Road Race, country team members held out food and water for the riders to grab as they completed their 160 mile ride to the finish.

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The women riders from the Elite Women’s Road Race fought up the cobble stone hill 8 times throughout the race.

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Team BMC members racing down Main st. during the Elite Men’s Team Time Trial.

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Governor Terry McAuliffe was out supporting the Elite Men’s Road Race– shaking hands and taking pictures with everyone who approached him.

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USA’s Kristin Armstrong after crossing the finish line with a time to finish fifth overall in the Elite Women’s Time Trial.
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A beautiful way to advertise the host of the 2015 UCI World Championships– Virginia is for lovers “LOVE” sign beneath all of the competing countries flags.

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Published Article by WRIC

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — At roughly 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, USA’s Kristin Armstrong hit the Women’s Elite Time Trial course second following German’s Corinna Lechner.

The crowd surrounding the start ramp was roaring as the count down for Armstrong begun.

Armstrong would go on to finish with a time that proved to be the best against 37 other riders until the last wave of women came in and absolutely demolished it.

Linda Villumsen of New Zealand has been on the podium five times in time trial races, but until today has never taken home the gold.

From the start ramp to the finish line; people yelling, cow bells ringing, and fencing lines being pounded on is all you can hear while every rider passes by.

“When a rider comes by everyone’s cheering but then it goes quiet when they pass.” said Chuck Wandling of Hanover, Virginia. “It’s like surfing and waiting for the next big wave to come.”

From the locals of Richmond to those who have traveled the globe to come watch, there was a constant crowd of people waiting to cheer on the women as they accomplished this grueling course.

For many people this was their first professional bike race, and to see what goes into getting these riders on course was foreign to a lot of people.

“It was very exciting, I was amazed at the speed and the entourage of vehicles with the riders.” said Nalini Premkumar of Henrico.

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Hermann Pruisken and Martine ole Wit traveled from the Netherlands to support Anna Van Der Breggan. (PHOTO CREDIT: Peyton Hannon)

At the finish line of the Women’s Elite Time Trial stood Hermann Pruisken and Martine ole Wit of Rotterdam, catching the eyes of many, dressed head-to-toe in orange holding a huge flag of the Netherlands.

Pruisken said they were there supporting Anna Van Der Breggan, who finished second, and Ellen Van Dijk, who finished seventh. Both riders were representing the Netherlands in the individual time trial.

Pruisken and Wit travel the world supporting these two women.

“We’ve been to I don’t know at least 50 races this year,” said Prusiken.

As the last wave of riders entered the course commentators were already calling the race, saying that Armstrong would stay in the lead and take home gold.

That all went downhill as four of the six riders in the last group demolished Armstrong’s time  – something which no one had come close to throughout the race.

Linda Villumsen beat Armstrong at every time check of the race. She stayed at a steady pace and beat Armstrong’s time by 20.58 seconds to win her first gold in Women’s Elite Time Trials.

After her confirmed win, Villumsen was still very clearly in shock.

“I just can’t believe it,” she said.

Finishing in third place was Lisa Brennauer who was the defending national champion coming out of Germany. She was the last rider to go of the 44 riders.

Bike racing may not be the most coveted sport here in the U.S, however bringing a world championship race to the City of Richmond has sparked some interest.

“I’ll definitely be back to watch more of the races,” Premkumar said.

Wandling added, “I’ve never been to a biking event but it was quite fascinating. I’ll be back.”

The action for Tuesday finished up around 4:50 p.m., but the races start up again at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday with the Men’s Elite Individual Time Trial starting in Doswell, Virginia.

After work stroll through the park.

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Shaun finishes his long day of work at the park alone, relaxing.

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Some of Church Hill shining as the sun sets on the city.

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Jennifer and Nellie relax on a bench to end a stressful day.

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Zeus and owner Otis took a break from an intense game of tug-a-war.

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Jennifer soaking up the sun, reading a book.

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Nellie posed in the dog park as the sun set on the city.

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Zeus and Otis’s intense game of tug-a-war.. who is winning?

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Nellie trying to navigate the grated steps.

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Enjoying the aerial view of Church Hill from Jefferson Park.

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Looking up at downtown RVA.