My Favorite Photos from the 2015 MN Memorial Classic

My Favorite Photos from the 2015 MN Memorial Classic

2015 was my sixth year in a row of racing the MN Memorial Classic. I have had some amazing memories from this race over that period of time. It was my first race as a Cat 4 in 2010 when I raced in the Cat 3/4 Field and helped a teammate step onto the podium. I came back in 2011 as a Cat 3 and won the road race and overall omnium. In 2012 I nearly melted during the Cat 1/2 road race in some unseasonably warm weather. I had crashed hard the weekend before the 2013 Memorial Classic and raced a back-up bike. My results were less than stellar, but the team had a great time. Last year the circuit race of the Memorial Classic was my first race back after having surgery on my collar bone after crashing at training camp. I surprised a few and won a couple of the point laps. However, the rest of my race and the overall weekend was nothing to brag about.

I knew this year was going to be busy as I planned to race the Masters 40+ Field for the weekend and take photos on Saturday and Monday during the races I was not participating in. Things didn’t go quite as planned in terms of racing, but I was pretty happy with some of the shots I captured during the circuit race, time trial, and criterium. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the weekend.

MN Memorial Classic

These guys had a lot to smile about as Brian Welch (middle) just won the 40+ Circuit Race and ripped off an amazing time trial. (300mm, F/5.6, 1/800, ISO 800)

MN Memorial Classic

I love the composition of this shot. I just kick myself that it isn’t quite as sharp as I would like. I was using Aperture-priority and should have cranked the ISO or opened the aperture a bit more to make sure I was freezing the action. (300mm, F/5.6, 1/800, ISO 800)

MN Memorial Classic

The Cat 3 Field cresting the first of two hills approaching the finish. I’m pretty certain I was lying on the road for this one. (300mm, F/5.6, 1/640, ISO 800)

MN Memorial Classic

I typically take photos that are focused on the athlete’s expression, but I liked the story this photo is telling. This is the third lap for the Cat 1/2 Field and it’s just starting to rain. The field is stretched out a bit approaching the first hill. Jameson is tail-gunning? (300mm, F/5.0, 1/1600, ISO 800)

MN Memorial Classic

Powering up the first hill on lap three. The most difficult thing on this short rise is to make sure to quickly recover before the finishing hill. (300mm, F/4.5, 1/1000, ISO 800)

MN Memorial Classic

This is definitely one of my favorite shots from the weekend. The rain has been coming down for the last 30 minutes and Chris’s face tells the whole story. (300mm, F/5.6, 1/640, ISO 800) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

Two hard working guys. Loren and Mike (Endurance Promotions) making sure the timing strip wasn’t going to go anywhere. (300mm, F/5.6, 1/1250, ISO 800)

MN Memorial Classic

I was pretty happy with this finishing shot. I love all of the faces of the chasers. (300mm, F/5.6, 1/2000, ISO 640) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

There were plenty of minor crashes and mechanicals due to the rain and aggressive riding. Not sure how far this guy had to walk? (300mm, F/5.6, 1/2000, ISO 640) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

After participating in the time trial an hour earlier, I knew exactly where I wanted to take photos. Similar to this gentleman, my “pain face” was the most extreme at this point–50 meters from the finish. “Just make it end!” (300mm, F/5.0, 1/1000, ISO 320) Evaluative Metering, 3 Speed Lights at 1/2 Power at 70 mm on stands. Two in front and one behind.

MN Memorial Classic

This was not the angle that I planned on shooting, but wish I would have taken more here. It’s a busy background, but highlights the rain more than the overcast sky. (300mm, F/5.0, 1/1000, ISO 320) Evaluative Metering

MN Memorial Classic

Do you remember when you were this thin? I couldn’t suck-in that hard if I tried. . . (300mm, F/6.3, 1/800, ISO 320) Evaluative Metering, 3 Speed Lights at 1/2 Power at 70 mm on stands. Two in front and one behind.

MN Memorial Classic

Cat 4/5 Field sprinting for points. (300mm, F/5.0, 1/3200, ISO 1000) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

Austin Dirks trying to get a few points at the line. (300mm, F/6.3, 1/800, ISO 800) Spot Metering

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Some of us had a little too much fun at a team party after the road race on Sunday night. (42mm, F/3.5, 1/125, ISO 640) Bounce Flash off Ceiling

MN Memorial Classic

Is there anything that says “bike racing” more than pinning numbers? Everyone has a slightly different technique. (300mm, F/5.0, 1/320, ISO 500)

MN Memorial Classic

Jordan on his way to a sceond place crit finish and a first place omnium finish. (300mm, F/4.0, 1/1600, ISO 1250) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

Just in case you didn’t realize we were back at the MN State Fair Grounds. (300mm, F/5.6, 1/640, ISO 640) Evaluative Metering

MN Memorial Classic

I showed this photo to Nick after he won the Cat 4 Crit. He says “that’s what 4 days a week of cross fit will get ya. . .” Indeed. (300mm, F/5.0, 1/2000, ISO 1250) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

Love it when big powerful dudes are driving the front of the peloton. Jim Bell is one of the best. (300mm, F/5.6, 1/2500, ISO 1250) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

Matt pushes Matt back into the 40+ race after swapping out a rear wheel. (300mm, F/6.3, 1/1250, ISO 1250) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

With 10 laps to go I had no doubt who was going to win this race. Laszlo is still one of the smartest crit riders I know. You would think more of that would have rubbed off on me after 4 years of racing together? (300mm, F/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 1600) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

Mr. Donkey Label and DL Jr. (300mm, F/4.5, 1/640, ISO 250) Spot Metering

MN Memorial Classic

Erin Young taking Corner One a few laps before winning the Cat 3 Crit. (24mm, F/5.0, 1/4000, ISO 1000) Evaluative Metering +1 Compensation

MN Memorial Classic

Youngest guy in the Juniors Race. Jack is two months older than Koen and I kicked myself for not bringing him down to race. They would have had fun duking it out. (35mm, F/2.8, 1/1600, ISO 100) on-camera speedlite pointed up slightly

If you love any photos in the gallery, please purchase a reasonably priced download or print by clicking the “buy” button at the bottom right corner of any of the photos in the gallery and support what I do. Thanks!

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Brady Prenzlow owns Prenzlow Photography, rides for Erik’s Bike Shop, teaches at North Hennepin Community College, and loves everything about cycling from behind the lens and behind the bars.

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