May 2nd dawned gray and misty in the quiet, affluent backstreets of Los Gatos. The Cat's Hill Classic Criterium was back in town for the 36th time, bringing racers of all ages out to test themselves on the 23% "wall" that gives this race it's punch. I loaded up the car with a small arsenal of camera gear and memory cards in anticipation of nine solid hours of racing.
Beyond the signature hill, the circuit is remarkable for some terrible pavement. If heaving concrete seams, and crumbling asphalt weren't enough to worry the competitors, the showers added a slippery film that threatened to produce a slew of crashes. Ironically, it wasn't until the course dried up late in the day that the race recorded the only serious accident.
The seventy-five minute men's Pro-1-2 was neutralized and then halted while paramedics attended to injured riders. When it finally resumed five fast laps saw BMC's Jackson Stewart take his second podium.
The real cycling fans were out in force... and happily there were fewer clueless pedestrians giving the marshals fits this year.
Postscript: 2500 images edited down to 350 then a selection of 60 for this gallery. I close my eyes and I see riders flashing by me.The intermediate gallery of 350 roughs is now posted.