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ING Direct Capital Criterium - Now With More Photos!

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Toyota United's Hilton Clarke takes the field sprint, just ahead of Rock Racing's Freddie Rodriguez and teammate Dominique Rollin

Podium Cafe is a full service establishment - we bring you news of the race, we organize a social gathering around the race, we make sure that those of you who can't make it get a chance to chat as you watch it, and we get you same day photo coverage

And now we're bringing you a few more pictures from the ING Direct Capital Criterium (full results here)  Hit the fold for more.

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Pennsylvania Avenue awaits its first pro criterium

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A race ends early in the men's 35+ field . . . 

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Bet you've never seen a DC street this fresh and smooth

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The men's 35+ field rounds the u-turn

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Immediate Mortgage/Artemis' Ramon Benitez - that's him winning the 35+ race as a *warm up* for the 1/2/3 race he entered a few minutes after the first . . .

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Men's 1/2/3 field lines up

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NCVC - I'm not sure you can actually hold a race in the MABRA region without at least a half dozen of them showing up

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Ramon Benitez working the peloton. Again. 

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Cycling earns new fans

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Men's 35+ Podium. That's Immediate Mortgage/Artemis Elite's Ramon Benitez and Mark Warno in first and second, respectively.  In third is Trail's End's Nima Ebrahimnejad.  Sure, you can laugh his kit - but did you represent your country in the 1992 Olympic road races?  No, you did not.  He did.

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Men's 1/2/3 Podium. That's Battley Harley's Todd Hipp in first place.  Indiana Regional Medical Center's Jake Lifson is glad he made the trip, in second.  And DC fixture and Immediate Mortage/Artemis Elite rider "Super" Dave Osborne rounds out the podium

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Announcer Joe Jefferson Interviews Rock Racing's Freddie Rodriguez for the Crowd

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A couple of guys from Garmin-Chipotle show up 

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Hey, I know those sideburns! 

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Freddie Rodriguez decides that Pennsylvania Avenue is as good a place as any to change

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Toyota United's Dominique Rollin at the ING Direct Capital Criterium Start Line

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ING Direct Capital Criterium Pro Field

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The field hits the only climb of the course, in front of DC's Warner Theatre

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Fast corners are fast

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No shortage of fans.


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The riders feel out the chicane just before the finish 


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Not in the plan: a Kelly Benefits and Inferno Racing rider lose the field after crashing in the U-turn

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Rodriguez, without a team to work for him, stuck with the plan he announced at the start and sat in for most of the race


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Team Type 1's Dan Holt rounds the corner with Garmin-Chipotle's Danny Pate 

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Photographer in the field: note the helmet-mounted camera on the Battley Harley rider in front

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Sweeper -the field spreads out over Pennsylvania Avenue

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Keeping the race coming to your screens


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And the speed picks up

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Successful Living's Alessando Bazzana goes down on the last lap

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And he knows that it's the end of his race 

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Toyota United's Hilton Clarke takes the field sprint, just ahead of Rock Racing's Freddie Rodriguez and teammate Dominique Rollin

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ING Direct Capital Criterium winner Hilton Clarke takes a moment to recover 

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ING Direct Capital Criterium's first podium discuss the finish.  Freddie says he just needed a leeetle more space to come around Hilton . . .

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Toyota United's Hilton Clarke enjoying the moment

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. . . and enjoying the end-of-season payday.


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Inaugural ING Direct Capital Criterium winners

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Team Type 1's Emile Abraham had a good day, too, snagging fifth place in the sprint finish.

Finally, while Podium Cafe is a full service establishment, we are not too proud to sending you to another site with excellent info.  In this instance, we're sending you to GamJams ("Where Mid-Atlantic bike racers roll") which is collecting reports from local competitors.  It's a growing list, and includes this one from Haymarket rider Steve Gordon, who found himself riding with DLP Racing at the last minute. 

There are more photos, of course, but I wanted to get these out now.  Look for an update here (or in an open thread) tomorrow.

 

-Mark Blacknell for Podium Cafe/All Photos Copyright Mark Blacknell