San Francisco Grand Prix
Sept. 15, 2002

9:06 AM

Fillmore Street hill Lap 1, kpapai photo Fillmore Street hill, lap 1. Team Acqua & Sapone (Italy) rider is the very first racer to make it to the top of Fillmore today. His name is Federico Giabbucci, #34.

My 2005 SFGP Barclay's race photos and race report is here.
My 2003 SFGP T-Mobile Intl race photos and race Report is here.

For some reason, the Mavic Wheel Car was in FRONT of the race (usually it's between the lead pack and the chasers, but this was the 1st lap).
Moto 3 (Jim Patton) explains: "We don't move the car into the gap until the gap is over a minute. A Mavic motor is the first to move back, then the official car, then the Mavic car. From my memory, on that first lap, the gap was still being established and was 40ish seconds." (Jim is right, at this point there really was no gap as riders in the pack were still pouring over the top, lap 2 started the separation.)

Race photos by Ken Papai

Page updated 9/23/02

9:28 AM

Fillmore Street hill Lap 2 P. Padrnos, kpapai photo Fillmore Street hill, lap 2. Pavel Padrnos (US Postal), Czech., is the first to the top follow by an oranged-kitted rider Cesar Grajales (Colombia) #118 from the Jittery Joe's pro team.

9:51 AM

Fillmore Street hill Lap 2 Lead Group, kpapai photo Fillmore Street hill, lap 3. The Lead Group of 15 riders.

Fillmore Street hill, kpapai photo Fillmore Street hill, lap 3. Each outer loop lap is 10.1 miles long. The main pack is now 1:50 behind the Lead Group.

Fillmore Street hill, lap 3, ten seconds later than previous photo. Each outer lap took about 22.5 minutes only.

Mavic rescues Acqua on Fillmore, (c) Ken Papai photo sequence 10:14 AM

Fillmore Street hill LAP FOUR, kpapai photo Fillmore Street hill 370KB image, lap 4. (large image) A Sea of Legible Numbers climbing the 20% grade.
USA/Webcor's Tracy Colwell #178 is bringing up the rear. He's noted local hill climber specialist.
One of the stars of the Giro d'Italia is #11 from Mexico, Julio Perez Cuapio in orange jersey, the Ceramiche-Panaria team.
USA/Webcor's Greg Drake #176 at left next to the fence, was just a Cat. 4 in February!
Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie are next to each smack in the middle of this pack. The 15-man breakaway was now just 46 seconds ahead at this point.

Mavic runs to the rescue of an unglued Acqua & Sapone rider in this 4-shot sequence.

10:43 AM

Taylor Street hill, kpapai photo Taylor Street Hill, lap 5. Fillmore and Taylor both awarded KOM points to the first 3 riders to the top each lap (5-3-1 points each). Hincapie won the KOM prize ($2,000) at the end of the day.
John Peters #48 (Prime Alliance) and Soren Petersen #69 (Saturn) are next to each other at the lower left. Just in front of them in Stars & Stripes jersey is Postal's #7, Chann McRae.

Taylor Street hill and Greg Drake, kpapai photo Greg Drake (Webcor/USA National) lap 6 (11:10 AM). Greg was a Category IV racer only at the beginning of the year! Cat. I's are top amateurs and then you proceed from there to a Pro category race license. Beginners all start at Cat. V. Quite a remarkable climb for Greg in 2002. He looks really happpy to be here and the 100,000+ fans that lined the course. Bravo! He's riding a rather remarkable "Bianchi" C-40. A B-40? (thanks to Dave Hansen and Dan Connelly for the good eyes)

11:31 AM - Lap 7

Taylor Street hill and Chann McRae, kpapai photo 9/15/02 Chann McRae (US Postal) (Texas) wears Stars and Stripes for winning (being first American) Philly USPRO Championships in June. There's #87 Jason McCartney (Jelly Belly) in front of Chann and an Acqua & Sapone behind (G. Colombo?) from Italy. Jason was 15th last year but DNF this time around---good show though for being in an early break!

Lance Armstrong on Taylor St. hill, kpapai photo Lance Armstrong powering up Taylor in the Big Ring.
#72 (7-Up) in green uniform is Charles Dionne -- the eventual winner -- in the small ring. Dionne is from Canada.
#27 next to Lance is Henk Vogels (Mercury) with his head down in the Big Ring looking like he's about to shift into the small ring (see his left hand?). Vogels lost to Dionne in the winning sprint. Vogels is an Aussie.
Right behind Lance is his teammate #4, Slava Ekimov, in the small ring, one of Lance's most trusted lieutenants. Eki's from Russia and finsihed 4th overall today.
A Feature on Dionne's bike from

Jackson Stewart, kpapai photo SFPD have Zach in car, kpapai photo Jackson Stewart (Ofoto). This picture was just seconds before Zach ran out and "pushed" Jackson and then the cops got all mad.

Right: Cops land Zach; girlfriend assists with his stuff. Zach was running alongside (complete story here) and encouraging his best friend Jackson Stewart (Ofoto). Both are having one of the most fun times of their lives. That lands you close to jail? Just a little bit too zealous if you ask me.

race fans & friends on Taylor St. hill, kpapai photo race fans on Taylor St. hill, kpapai photo A few knowledgeable race fans: Hopley, Drew, Johnson, Fred W., Jen, Synyard, Derdenger, Smith, et al. (snacking in between laps and wondering why Zach had to be taken away)

11:55 AM - Lap 8 (final outer loop lap)

George ... each inner lap (5 miles) took about just 12.5 minutes.

Lance Armstrong on Taylor St. hill, 9/15/02, kpapai photo Lance -- more than half way up Taylor and he's still pushing the big ring!
Next to him is Mercury's Henk Vogels (Australia), also big-ringing it.

Padrnos on Taylor St. hill, 9/15/02, kpapai photo Pavel Padrnos, a strong man (Czech.) and part of Lance's 2002 Tour team in France.

12:08 PM - Lap 9 - First Inner Loop lap

George ...

Armstrong on on Taylor St. hill, kpapai photo Lance with some top quality guys here -- Mark McCormack (Saturn) #68, Tom Leaper (Navigators) #55, Massimo Giunti (Acqua & Sapone) #33, and Danny Pate (Prime Alliance) - he's a little obscured. Also very obscured in the green helmet is Charles Dionne (Quebec). Help me on IDs with this photo or any other one? Thanks!

12:20 PM - Lap 10

George Hincapie on on Taylor St. hill, kpapai photo George still in the Big Ring half way up Taylor. Damn!

John Hunt from the Sierra Nevada pro racing team. John's from Marin County and also uses the Big Ring.
Jonas Carney (Prime Alliance) once was the final racer to climb Taylor and eventually withdrew after that ignomious end. Jonas was excellent the day before in the crit in San Rafael sprinting all-out for 3rd place. However San Rafael belonged to the nearly indomitable Gord Fraser (Mercury).

12:33 PM - Lap 11

George Hincapie, starting to tire a little. He's in the small ring on this Taylor climb. Only two more climbs to go.

USPS Casey on on Taylor St. hill, kpapai photo Dylan Casey (US Postal) hanging in there next to Chris Wherry (Mercury).

Mike Sayers - finding the right gear combo up Taylor.

Justin Spinelli on Taylor St. hill Lap 8, kpapai photo Justin Spinelli on Taylor St. hill Lap 11, kpapai photo Justin Spinelli on Taylor St. hill lap 12, kpapai photo Lap 8, Justin Spinelli (11:56 AM).

Lap 11, Justin Spinelli (12:36 PM).

Lap 12, Spinelli (Team Saeco) (12:51 PM) - he finished the race in 48th place. A fine effort.

12:59 PM - this is it! - lap 13 the FINAL Lap

Charles Dionne (7-Up/NutraFig). Chris Horner (Prime Alliance) is working hard right behind him on this ultimate atack, they are responding to a fierce Ekimov attack (unfortunately he's out of the frame). Strong man Henk Vogels is at the far left.

Jesus Zarate on Taylor St. hill, kpapai photo Jesus Zarate (Mercury) on the final lap on the final Taylor Hill climb. He shows a great suffer face. At this point his lead was Two Minutes over the chase group -- he barely held off the fast-closing Livingston/Saturn/Postal group and nailed down 10th place. Bravo!

Kevin Livingston with Postal's Floyd Landis and two Saturn riders...

John Lieswyn on Taylor St. hill, kpapai photo John Lieswyn (7Up) also on the final lap on the final Taylor Hill climb. John doesn't look too happy here but he had a great race. Look for his race report soon (on ?) I can guess though he's happy this is it -- the final climb of the day after 110 grueling, sometimes miserable miles racing through San Francisco.
"You can ride the big ring at the bottom of Fillmore but run the risk of dropping your chain if you leave it until too late to shift to the little ring. Fillmore is 3 blocks long, the first block is relatively easy. The 2nd and 3rd block even Armstrong could not ride the big ring. 39x23 maybe. My teammate Dionne rode a 25 and managed pretty well. I don't know how he did it. I felt overgeared in a 27." - John Lieswyn (see the bottom of the page for a long quote by John on 7Up's team tactics for today)

Image 515 - my final shot of the day, 1:03 PM. The main peloton is 4 minutes and change back. Dylan Casey (US Postal) leads them up. Also easily identifiable amd smiling is Sierra Nevada's John Hunt, John Peters (P.A.), Kevin Monahan (7Up) and Chann McRae (US Postal stars & stripes).

Self-portrait on Taylor, kpapai photo All Race photos by Ken Papai, 9/15/02

SF Grand Prix 2001, my photos from last year.
I use a Nikon 990 I bought over two years ago. Most of the time I shoot in 1024x768 mode. The full 3Mp mode is often too slow to recycle and setup for the next shot. I want a Nikon D100!

SF Grand Prix 2003, my photos from 2003 race. I now have a digital SLR, a Canon EOS 10D.

More 2002 photos:
Mark VandenBerghe's photos (Official RBR press pass coverage)
Mike Jacoubowsky's photos (he runs the Chain Reaction bike shops in Silicon Valley) coverage - race report, results and more pictures.'s coverage of the race. (I plan on covering photos for them in 2003)
George McNamara's Denison Design 2002 race photos coverage.
Drew Saunders (Stanford U.) excellent B&W photos from the race.'s excellent 2002 coverage by Jim Edgar.
VeloNews article by Bryan Jew and Casey Gibson photos.

Visitors since 9/16/02: FastCounter by bCentral

Weekly SFGP 2002 visitor stats:
9/22: 4724,  9/29: 1199,  10/06: 212. 

RESULTS - UCI 1.3 ranking 1 Charles Dionne (Can) 7Up / Nutra Fig 4.18.49 (40.80 km/h) 2 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury Cycling Team 3 Massimo Giunti (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo 4 Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service 5 Tom Leaper (Aus) Navigators Cycling Team 6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 7 William Frischkorn (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 8 Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn Cycling Team 0.03 9 Chris Horner (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team 0.05 10 Jesus Zarate (Mex) Mercury Cycling Team 1.17 11 Kevin Livingston (USA) Mixed Team 1 (pink Telekom Jersey) 12 Soren Petersen (Den) Saturn Cycling Team 13 Tim Johnson (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 14 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal Service 15 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal Service 16 John Lieswyn (USA) 7Up / Nutra Fig 4.27 17 Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale 4.34 18 Plamen Stoyanov (Bul) Mercury Cycling Team 4.39 19 Ted Huang (USA) USA 20 Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators Cycling Team 4.41 21 Gordon Fraser (Can) Mercury Cycling Team 22 Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Cycling Team 23 Lorenzo Cardellini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo 24 Danny Pate (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team 25 Guiseppe Ribolzi (Swi) Jura Suisse-Nippon Hoddo 26 Tim Larkin (USA) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports 27 Damon Kluck (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 28 John Peters (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team 29 Russell Stephenson (USA) Prime Alliance Cycling Team 30 Kevin Monahan (USA) 7Up / Nutra Fig 31 Ryan Barrett (USA) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling 32 Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 33 Dylan Casey (USA) US Postal Service 34 Chann McRae (USA) US Postal Service 35 Jacob Erker (Can) Schroeder Iron Pro Cycling 36 Mariano Friedick (USA) Mixed Team 1 37 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Saturn Cycling Team 38 Greg Sieniewicz (Can) Ofoto-Lombardi Sports 39 John Hunt (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cycling Team 40 Svein Tuft (Can) Prime Alliance Cycling Team 41 Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Cycling Team 42 Chris Wherry (USA) Mercury Cycling Team 4.51 43 Christopher Baldwin (USA) Navigators Cycling Team 44 Mark Mccormack (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 4.57 45 Ivan Dominguez CUB Saturn Cycling Team 7.23 46 Chris Fisher (USA) Saturn Cycling Team 7.48 47 Gerardo Castillo (Mex) (Mex) 48 Justin Spinelli (USA) Saeco-Longoni Sport 8.04 49 Mike Sayers (USA) Mercury Cycling Team 9.57 50 Justin Morgan (USA) Sierra Nevada - Cannondale Cyclin 11.34 51 Cesar Grajales (Col) Jittery Joes-Choco-Andean Eco Coffee

Massimo Giunti Comments -- From
Asked what it was like to race here against a field he had no experience with, Guinti replied "I know the riders from Postal from racing against them in Europe, but I didn't know a lot of the other riders. I'm really in great condition now, but I really had to dig deep because the competition was so tough."

"San Francisco ROCKS!" - Charles Dionne (SF Chronicle news).

(from As for Charles Dionne, he has something different on his mind for the season. Like a good Quebecois, Dionne responded, “to have some poutine is my only motivation for the end of the season…for people who don’t know, poutine is French Fries with gravy and cheese. It’s the best stuff…in the winter it gets so cold in Eastern Quebec you need a little bit of fat to keep you going. I can’t wait to go home to have some.” Dionne may have to wait for his fries, gravy and cheese; although the young Canadian isn’t slated to ride the U23 Worlds in Zolder in 4 weeks time, if he can maintain his form and Cycling Canada selects him, Dionne could be a favourite for the rainbow title in Belgium.

From newsgroup by 7Up's Sleepy JL:
"Postal's tactics were right on, they just got outmatched on the day. You can't expect them to show up with a depleted team (some of their best guys are at the vuelta) at this stage of the season and stomp on us.

"Read my diary on if you doubt that there were team tactics on the day. We had Kevin in the first break, me in the longest break of the day, Doug in the 3rd break, Charles and I both in the 4th split. Charles did have to fend for himself for the last 17 miles but for the first 91 miles of the race it was a superb team effort. My job was to stop the early move from gaining too much time since it contained far too many heavy hitters (McCormack, Swindlehurst, Klasna, Pavel & Floyd, etc.) and we were outnumbered up there. I did this by attacking on the climbs to shed guys who were sitting on and getting a free ride. All 3 Navs and both Mercurys were sitting on most of the time. It worked, but perhaps too well because initially I had it down to Pavel, Klasna, Swindlehurst, Cesar, Sayers. Then Floyd took Pavel's place and we lost Klasna, and Saturn helped bring us back at that point. Klasna was not having a great day, I heard him saying on his radio he needed help up here.

"The last 5 small laps were very dramatic (by all reports, since I was in the 2nd group for the last 3 1/2 laps), but the middle of the race was quite exciting too. I had the most fun I've had all year attacking and counterattacking, especially on the first lap that Hincapie was away and I was trying to get something going to bring him back. I wasn't about to just sit on the front and pull him back myself (an impossibility anyway) but attacking helped keep the pace on. It was pretty cool to be tagged by Armstrong on a few attacks too." - John Lieswyn.

Ted Huang's excellent first-hand report. Ted finished 19th.

Frankie Andreu writes about the "impossibility" of Dionne winning. ;-)

Page updated 10/06/2002