Stage 6 of the 1996 Tour DuPont finished in Blacksburg, Virginia while I was in graduate school at Virginia Tech. Having waited with the masses at the finish line in 1994, in 1996 I wanted to escape the crowds and headed out further on the route. I walked out a ways to position myself in the middle of a long hill, so that the riders would be moving slower and give me a better chance at some pictures.
Lance Armstrong was the first to come by in his race leader's yellow jersey, he would win not only the stage but the entire tour. Next was second place finisher Pascal Herve, who led the stage early before being caught by Armstrong in the mountains. The others filtered in over the next half hour or so.
At this point Lance was a rising star on the American cycling scene, but before he was diagnosed with cancer, only to come back and dominate in the Tour de France. These pictures are from old scans and I was still learning a lot about photography — I'll leave a couple of the pictures up as they provide a glimpse of the young rider before he came to dominate the cycling scene.
|Taken shortly after Lance crested a small hill and came into view. I had to rotate it a bit and then crop it, I was a little excited and didn't get the vertical shot entirely vertical. This was my first attempt at photographing a bike race, or any sports event for that matter, and I was still a relative novice in photography, so I had no idea if any of the pictures would even turn out decently. I wasn't even sure which lens to use, but eventually settled on my 75-300mm zoom lens, which I would use for the duration of the race.|
|Lance pushing up Harding Avenue and continuing on to victory. This is one of my favorite shots from the whole day, and I just got lucky that it was of Lance. There isn't a great sense of motion in this online version since there's not much motion blur, but on larger versions of the image you can see the blurred spokes a lot better.|