San Francisco T-Mobile Grand Prix
Sept. 14, 2003
UCI 1.3 race
Ken Papai 2003 photo -- Gord Fraser's triple front chainring setup Ken Papai 2003 photo -- Horner and McCormack finish 1st and 2nd
Ken Papai 2003 photo -- Chris Wherry's triple front chainring

I shot all of these photos with my Canon EOS 10D.
Also check for my press photos I uploaded to them; and, look for their Jeff Louder feature.
Ken Papai, updated 9/26/2003, 6/25/2004 (1/11/2005 some photos added, 9/09/2005 added link to 2005 race)
Lap 1 (outer loop, 10.3 mi. each)

ken papai 2003 photo. Fillmore Hill Lap One. Adam Livingston (Schroeder Iron) is the first one to summit Fillmore! He gets the first KOM points.

Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom) leads the pack, a few seconds behind Livingston. "Vino" came in 3rd place at the 2003 Tour de France and is one of the many big names here in San Francisco. The backdrop leads down to the Marina neighborhood (across Lombard St.), all the way to San Francisco Bay.

Scottie Weiss (West Virginia Cycling) is right there too. What a superb effort.

John Peters (Prime Alliance) at far right, with Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal) close behind, at the far left in this image. The most prominent WebCor racer is the ex-Postie Darren Baker. Darren completed the 1998 ('97?) Tour of Spain (la Vuelta). Where is Webcor's Steve Larsen?
Baker and Peters are neighbors up in Sonoma County. The Wednesday rides feature these guys pretty often. Mike Sayers and Levi Leipheimer have been known to join too.

Lance Armstrong racing, SEPT. 2003 photo by Ken Papai Lance Armstrong (USPS) summits Fillmore. Lance was still recovering from the flue or something he had the previous few days; like a flashback to this race's 2001 inaugural event where Lance was sick then and played the super-domestique role. Lance turned 32 years old this week (Sept. 18). Simoni turned 32 last month, while Vinokourov turned 30 this week.
From the SF Chronicle, Lance said, "I just didn't feel great today,'' said Armstrong, the five-time defending Tour de France champion. "I couldn't recover (from his illness), and I knew I was in bad form from the beginning. It just wasn't my day."

Jonas Carney (Prime Alliance) summits along with teammate Jonathan Vaughters. Vaughters is a skinny mountain goat and Jonas is a super swift sprinter who wins a dozen races every year. Jonas played an excellent domestique role today as well. What a guy! At the right are Health Net's Mike Sayers and Gord Fraser (sneaking in next to the fence), thinking abut next lap's attack already I am sure.

Giuseppe Guerini (Telokom) and "Slava" Ekimov (US Postal) at far left about to "mow me over" if I don't get out of the way of that Diesel. Guerini won the most famous Alpe d'Huez stage at the Tour de France in 2000 when a photographer mowed him down. Who can ever forget "Eric the Moron" (the photog) from that incident?! Chris Baldwin (Navigators) #41, is also most prominent in this picture.

Gabriele Colombo in the zebra-stribed uniforms of Domina Vacanze (Mario Cipollini's team). Isn't that Saturn's Ivan Dominguez in this frame too?

Sterling Magnell (Sierra Nevada brewing co.) is the youngest guy in the field. Sterling is 19 years old now?

Lap 2 - Fillmore Street Hill

ken papai 2003 photo. Gord Fraser, Chris Wherry and Cesar Grajales The day's first real attack and it's Cesar Grajales (Jittery Joe's Coffee), Chris Wherry (Navigators), and Gord Fraser (Health Net). Larger version of Fraser and Wherry. Two more will join them: Jason Lokkesmoe and the old guy, Rolf Aldag. Jason and Rolf bridged up to the leading three very quickly. Aldag turned 35 years old in August. Jason is 25.

Lap Time from previous lap took just 25 minutes!

ken papai 2003 photo. Rolf Aldag on Fillmore Rolf Aldag (Telekom) showing off his steep hill strength.

Matt DeCanio (Prime Alliance) has tattoos that resemble muscles. Behind him is Telekom's Stefan Schumacher and Navigator's Jeff Louder. These guys are forming the chase group. DeCanio is an animated racer -- maybe it's his tattoos that give him a slightly comic book appearance. You cannot doubt his determination because this guy shows up TO RACE.
DeCanio has his own new (Jan. 2004) website at -- check it out.
Also check out where Matt and company bust out all hell against cheaters/dopers.

Jeff Louder showing off excellent power climbing form with a little pained facial expression happening. If your smallest gear was a 39x25 then you're going to be in trouble on Fillmore -- maybe not on the first or 2nd lap but just wait for laps 3, 4, 5, ... !! Gord Fraser sported a triple even. Just like the Vuelta's cruel, mean, harsh, and steep Angliru where triples are on most pros' front chainring setups. What if it rained? What if the fog were so thick the road was wet and slippery? These guys are PAID to race so no complaining.

Jeff Louder wrote: (from, "This was my first year racing the San Francisco GP and I really had a hard time envisioning what it would be like. Iíve been over some steep hills in Europe but Iíve never been over hills that required such extreme gearing. About six weeks ago I got the choice of using a triple for the race and I really didnít believe I would need it. Iíve been over the Muur de Huy and the Koppenburg both in my 39x23 and been fine so why would I need anything more for a paved hill in the US? I had seen photos of the race though and so I knew it was steep and after 8 laps it would only be steeper. Now, I wish I had had the 30x23 some guys on my team used because the effort it took to get over Fillmore street on the last lap in my 39x26 was excruciating. I literally thought I was going to lose the use of my arms and collapse onto my bike."

David Clinger climbing Fillmore. Clinger is attempting to bridge to the main chase group and become part of that important chase, so early on in the race. At this point just 20 miles have been ridden and the race is 47 minutes old.

Tim Johnson climbing Fillmore -- this is how steep it really is, 22% pitch exactly, insane. Wider View of same shot showing more of the crowd.
It never snows in San Francisco, otherwise this would be illegal.

Greg Drake is back for more suffering. Just look at the effort his face shows. Drake has cycling in his genes. It's embedded in his DNA. Does he live near Palo Alto? Is there a cyclist gene factory near there? I bet Greg has a software job that allows him to train for 25 hrs./week in the two months leading up to this race. In a way I am envious and in awe.

Ekimov (US Postal) (170KB large file) climbing with Guerini (Telekom) and Damon Kluck (US Postal), and also a Schroeder Iron guy (Meza?) with a special white jersey on. (image 730)
Ekimov again (168KB large file) just a moment later, still with Guerini and an unidentified Webcor racer. (image 731)

Alexandre Vinokourov climbing Fillmore, in front of the peloton, just after Ekimov went by. (image 732)

Vinokourov climbing Fillmore with his typically expressionless, stoic (and pain-free) face. (image 734)

John Lieswyn (7Up) (far left) climbing and looking for room to avoid being squeezed out. (image 736) John wrote an excellent, detailed and inciteful article on this race and his experiences for
Check out the road rash on Ciaran Power's (Ireland, Navigators) leg! He must have crashed yesterday in the San Rafael crit. It's weird it's not covered up and bandaged. You do not want to let hard scabs form because scarring gets so much worse and longer lasting. Where is his team doctor? I call this the poorest move of the day.

Jon Vaughters showing the effects already on how tough this race is. Then again, this is mostly Vaughters concentrating and focusing to get up this climb OK and pick his way through the outside with as little effort as possible. (image 738)

Lap 3 - Fillmore Street Hill

ken papai 2003 photo. Fillmore Street Hill.

This lap took just 24 minutes.

743 - the 5 leaders -- Grajales, Fraser, Lokkesmoe, Aldag, and Wherry.

744 - Cesar Grajales (Columbia, Jittery Joe's) smooth as silk in the first 2/3's of the race. He won the King of the Mountains competition.

750 - the Chasers including Jeff Louder (Navigators).

Erik Saunders giving it his all! Can there be any doubt?
Looks like "E-Rok" Saunders has just a double front chainring setup -- someting like a 53-44? If so that makes him one power hill climbing stud.
Saunders' unique personality hilarious, insiteful home page. Go there and be schooled.

759 - Saturn #5 - Trent Klasna (Saturn). Trent is always a fasvorite to win any road race with hills or power climbs in it. Check out the poor Ofoto guy down below already zig-zagging his way to the top.

764 - - Larry Perera (image 764)

769 - The Peloton - SF Bay drop off with container ship cruising in. (image 769)

770 - Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola/Formaggi Pinzolo) leads here. Lance Armstrong is at the far left. Ekimov is obscured but is right in front of Lance as usual (you can be sure it's Eki because you can see the world champ rainbow on his sleeves). (image 770)

Ekimov & Armstrong and Guerini still in a group. (image 771)

Image 773 - Lance Armstrong (#11) & Ekimov (#12) powering up. (image 773) Here it is again, a little larger -- look at the spectators here. Look at the dude missing out on it all by looking at his camera's "preview/review" screen! ;-)

Image 775 - Mark McCormack (Saturn) the current US Pro National Champ. He won the big Philly race in June. (image 775)

Chris Baldwin (Navigators #41) and Gordon McCauley (Schroeder Iron #141) is from New Zealand. (image 779)

Image 779 - John Hunt (HealthNet). John is a local racer and his wife Lisa raced the women's race in the morning. Incidentally, this image is from the same image #779 above with McCauley -- I just cropped them to isolate these guys.

Lap 4

ken papai 2003 bike racing photo. Fillmore Street Hill lap 4. This lap took 25 minutes, very consistent.

Image 788 - the 5 leaders again, this time in a slightly differnt order than the previous lap but they all are still close together working as a unit.

Chris Horner and Lance Armstrong on the flat right before the final pitch up Fillmore. Horner does not wear gloves (same as Doug Ziewacz and John Peters)! You have got to have tough skin to cope with your handlebars sans gloves.

Lance Armstrong (a good one).

Lance Armstrong all alone. Here is a close-up view of Lance's new 10-speed Dura-Ace gruppo in action.

Lance again, with Vinokourov following and strong man, team domestique Pavel Padrnos (US Postal #15) leading the way. How's that for a group? -- two Saturns, two Postals and a Telekom.

Ekimov in the main pack. Simoni is here (SpiderMan helmet) and so is Health Net's John Hunt.

Pack climbing close together, still a very large intact peloton climbing en masse. Four of the guys are close together at the back. One of them is "Jazzy" Adam Myerson (obscured in this shot).

Lap 5

Lead Group of 5 - Aldag (Telekom), Grajales (Jittery Joe's), Lokkesmoe (Health Net), Fraser (Health Net), and Chris Wherry (Navigators) This is at the Chestnut St. Hot Spot prime sprint.

Mike Jones on Chestnut, at the back of the peloton, taking a (barely legal) handup from the West Virginia Cycling team car. Chestnut Street is a young and hip party spot every weekend for the Marina neighborhood and crowd (average age 32). A good place for many singles to get drunk and meet others. Chestnut parallels Union St. which caters to a slightly older crowd (average age 36) and for the same things and also costs more.

Lap 6

Jason Lokkesmoe right behind Grajales near the top of Taylor Street. Rolf Aldag is just barely out of the frame, at the back, in this shot. Pretty soon it'll be Lokkesmoe and Aldag all alone in front.

Lokkesmoe, Grajales and Aldag summit Taylor and prepare to turn the corner for the quick descent down Union to Columbus. That's where racers have to recover quickly from the hard efforts up these power/steep climbs.

Lap 7

Mark Walters (Navigators) with Scottie Weiss, John Lieswyn, and Chris Horner in tow on the Taylor climb.

ken papai 2003 photo. Chris Hroner and Ekimov on Taylor St. Hill. Image 857 - Horner and Ekimov climb Taylor Street. They are still in the main pack at this point.

Christian VandeValde (US Postal) and Steve Zampieri (Vini Caldirola) (of Switzerland).

Damon Kluck (US Postal) and Paul Martin (WV).

Massimiliano Mori (Vini Caldirola, Italy) and Doug Ziewacz (7Up). Notice that Doug does not wear any gloves -- just like John Peters.

Three-shot sequence of the two leaders, Lokkesmore and Aldag: Image 1, Image 2, and Image 3 (large 280KB file). Apparently Aldag was a little upset that he was doing so much more of the pulling than Lokkesmoe. As the race wore on, Lokkesmoe made up for it by pulling more on the climbs. Often he was first up Taylor on laps 8-10.

Mike Sayers (Health Net) gutting it out up the final section of Taylor. (image 908) Mike was 2nd yesterday in San Rafael by half a bike length to the young and slightly jet-lagged Victor Rapinski.
Sayers and Andy Bajadali (Ofoto/Lombardi Sports). (image 909)

Chris Horner (Saturn) on Taylor.

Lap 8

Image 948 - Mark McCormack at top of Taylor.
Here's my prediction, Mark is a top favorite to win the World Championships road race next month in Hamilton, Ontario. So therefore, I am picking him to win.

Image 949 - Simoni crests Taylor Street. Chris Horner is right there! behind the other Saeco teammate of Simoni.

An excellent large shot of John Peters (Prime Alliance) (260KB). John's one of the rare racers who does not wear gloves!

Laps 9-12 (Taylor St. Hill inner loop, 5 mi. each)

Image 968 - Chris Horner all alone in front. Lap 10 complete. Chris is in time trial mode with his hands close together near the stem. There are just two, 12-minute laps to go!

Image 974 - Chris Horner crosses the finish line first. The WINNER -- But he keeps on going thinking there is more! Two more images: Horner 975, Horner 976.
Quote from the SF Chronicle, sports news article by Dan Giesen, Chris Horner said, "I was 100 percent certain there was one more lap,'' a chagrined Horner said after the conclusion of the 108-mile circuit race through the streets of San Francisco. "Everyone was yelling at me (coming down the final straight on the Embarcadero) that I had it (won), but no one told that this was the last lap.

"With all the noise (generated by the huge gathering of cow-bell clanging spectators) I couldn't hear the race radio and I couldn't hear the bell (signaling the last lap). And I didn't see the lap counter.

"When I was coming down the final straight I thought for sure there was one more lap. I was going so hard I just kept going. I wasn't going to take any chances. You don't mess up in a race like this."

Image 977 - Mark McCormack gets 2nd place, 50 seconds back. An excellent day for Saturn motor cars.

Image 978 - Ekimov gets 3rd. This guy is nails -- he's been majorly in the money (all in top 10) all three years!

Image 979 - Hondo wins the bunch sprint for 4th.

Horner and McCormack celebrate with their director Tom Schuler. pre-race report:
"The 2003 T-Mobile International (formerly the San Francisco GP) looks set to be the biggest edition yet of this hugely popular race that has filled the streets of San Fran with tens of thousands of fans for the last two years. US Postal's five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will be the main attraction, but he is unlikely to be going for the win himself. [Armstrong got sick the week leading up to this year's race]"

"In past years Armstrong has been content to pay back his team-mates for their support during the year ... Armstrong seems likely to ride in support of super-domestique Viatcheslav Ekimov."

"Tour de France runner-up Jan Ullrich won't be in San Francisco but the Tour podium's third man, Alexandre Vinokourov will. He'll be joined by Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni and runner-up Stefano Garzelli, making for far and away the highest quality field that has ever taken the start in San Francisco. "

"The visitors are unlikely to have everything their own way if the impressive line-up of top local talent has anything to say about it. Last year's winner Charles Dionne will be looking to defend his title [except he got hurt too many times this year], and he will have a strong Saturn line-up behind him. Also chasing the glory that comes with a win here will be Chris Baldwin's Navigators team, Jonathan Vaughters and Prime Alliance and Cyclingnews diarist John Lieswyn and his 7UP/Maxxis squad."

"The T-Mobile International also features a women's race for the first time this year and riders to watch there include ... [Nicole Cooke], three-time USCF Elite National Champion Dede Demet-Barry (T-Mobile), and 2003 Housatonic Classic winner Tina Mayolo-Pic (Diet Rite)."

Course description
"The men's 109 mile road race starts and finishes on the Embarcadero at the end of Market Street, near the city's famous Ferry Building in San Francisco. The women's field will race 49 miles. From The Start/Finish, the course winds through North Beach, along Fisherman's Wharf and the Marina. Halfway through the 10 mile circuit, the flatlands along the beautiful bay give way to the gut-busting climb up Fillmore Street. Once the riders reach the top of the steep 3-block climb; they will race through Russian Hill, back through North Beach, and to the Embarcadero."

Lap Length: 16.65 km/10.3 miles
Climbing per Lap: 215.25 meters / 706.25 feet
Maximum Elevation: 73.40 meters / 241.80 feet (from

Really Cool Links:
Ken Papai, 9/14/03 on top of the hill taking a break The Women's Race - first time the women did this course (4 big laps-worth)

Mark VandenBerghe's excellent SF 2003 race photos and report web site. He took over a thousand shots!!

[2003 Event website - official site] [My 2002 SFGP race photos] [My 2005 SFGP race photos]

CONTACT INFO: Please email me ( with any corrrections, additions, questions, speculations or whatever. Most of these photos I have in 3 or 6 megapixel mode so they make great 8x10's or 11x14's. I also make available for download the image original for a small fee. I am located in Marin County, California and am more than reasonable.
Keep cheering! Ken.

visitors since page was born (Sept. 15, 2003). FastCounter by bCentral
FINAL OFFICAL Results as posted from the Official Site
Place  Rider    Team         Time 
 1 HORNER Chris SAT       4h24'33" 
 2 MCCORMACK Mark  SAT       @ 49" 
 3 EKIMOV Viatcheslav  USP @ 1'02" 
 4 HONDO Danilo TEL        @ 1'04" 
 5 MURN Uros  MX1            m.t. 
 6 DAVIDENKO Vassili  NAV    m.t. 
 7 GIUNTI Massimo  DOM       m.t. 
 8 MORI Massimiliano  MX1    m.t.  
 9 CARDELLINI Lorenzo  DOM   m.t. 
10 WOHLBERG Eric  SAT        m.t. 
11 SAYERS Mike  HEA          m.t. 
12 HUANG Ted  WEB            m.t. 
13 YAKOVLEV Serguei  TEL     m.t. 
14 BAJADALI Andy  OFO        m.t. 
15 CANDELARIO Alex  PRI      m.t. 
16 WALTERS Mark  NAV         m.t. 
17 MCCAULEY Gordon  SCH      m.t. 
18 KLUCK Damon  USP          m.t.
19 BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo SAE  m.t. 
20 HUGHES Cameron  LEM       m.t. 
21 MATTIS James  WEB         m.t. 
22 JOHNSON Tim SAT           m.t. 
23 LOBATO ELVIRA Ruben DOM @ 1'14" 
24 HUNDERTMARCK Kai  TEL   @ 1'17" 
25 LIESWYN John  7UP       @ 1'19" 
26 BARRETT Ryan  SCH         m.t. 
27 RUSSELL Nathan  COL       m.t. 
28 KOZLOV Alexandr HEA       m.t. 
29 CUNEGO Damiano *  SAE     m.t. 
30 RAPINSKI Viktor * SAT     m.t. 
31 HAGENLOCHER Marc  WEB     m.t. 
32 VANDEVELDE Christian  USP m.t. 
33 POWER Ciaran  NAV         m.t. 
34 HUNT John  HEA            m.t. 
35 DOMINGUEZ Ivan  SAT       m.t. 
36 SIMONI Gilberto SAE       m.t 
37 MEZA FLORES Miguel SCH  @ 1'26" 
38 WEISS Scottie  WVC      @ 1'31" 
39 LARKIN Tim  OFO         @ 1'41" 
40 JACQUES-MAYNES Andy SIE @ 1'46" 
41 MARTIN Paul  WVC        @ 2'00" 
42 ALDAG Rolf  TEL           m.t. 
43 PETERS John  PRI        @ 2'29" 
44 JONES Brice  7UP        @ 2'42" 
45 CLINGER David  PRI      @ 2'47" 
46 BERGMAN Adam  JEL       @ 2'52" 
47 BROOKS Benjamin  JEL      m.t. 
48 LOKKESMOE Jason  HEA    @ 3'45" ken papai 2003, standing on Taylor
49 MONAHAN Kevin  7UP      @ 4'28" 
50 ZAMPIERI Steve  MX1       m.t. 
51 RAMIREZ TORRES Jesus MX1  m.t. 
52 SWINDLEHURST Burke  NAV   m.t. 
53 OLLERENSHAW Doug  HEA   @ 8'58" 
54 GRAJALES Cesar  JIT     @ 9'21" (KOM winner)

UCI World Points Ranking, as of Aug. 31, 2003, the top 22:

Rank     Born     Name                Team    Age   Points
 1  1 ITA19740401 BETTINI Paolo        QSD ITA 29 2,353.75 
 2  2 GER19700707 ZABEL Erik           TEL GER 33 1,973.75 
 3  3 ITA19710825 SIMONI Gilberto      SAE ITA 32 1,955.00 
 4  4 ITA19710809 REBELLIN Davide      GST ITA 32 1,771.00 
 5  6 ITA19740103 PETACCHI Alessandro  FAS ITA 29 1,764.00 
 6  5 ESP19770819 MAYO DIEZ Iban       EUS ESP 26 1,735.00 
 7  7 KAZ19730916 VINOKOUROV Alexandre TEL KAZ 30 1,728.50 
 8  8 USA19710918 ARMSTRONG Lance      USP USA 32 1,542.00 
 9  9 ITA19700914 CASAGRANDE Francesco LAM ITA 33 1,476.00 
10 11 AUS19720624 MCEWEN Robbie        LOT AUS 31 1,394.00 
11 10 USA19710301 HAMILTON Tyler       CSC USA 32 1,363.20 
12 12 GER19731202 ULLRICH Jan          TBI GER 30 1,258.00 
13 13 ITA19760102 DI LUCA Danilo       SAE ITA 27 1,224.00 
14 14 ESP19750227 GONZALEZ Aitor       FAS ESP 28 1,199.00 
15 15 NED19720528 BOOGERD Michael      RAB NED 31 1,160.00 
16 16 ITA19730918 FRIGO Dario          FAS ITA 30 1,145.00 
17 20 ITA19700527 BARTOLI Michele      FAS ITA 33 1,109.50 
18 18 ITA19670322 CIPOLLINI Mario      DVE ITA 36 1,103.20 
19 19 ESP19740221 HERAS Roberto        USP ESP 29 1,085.00
20 21 FRA19680326 BROCHARD Laurent     A2R FRA 35 1,049.40 
21 17 AUS19781012 COOKE Baden          FDJ AUS 25 1,039.00 
22 22 ITA19730716 GARZELLI Stefano     VIN ITA 30 1,011.00 

Race Start -  11:12 AM.
Lap 1 - 682 - 11:36:28 AM exactly.
Lap 2 - 708 - 12:01:06 PM exactly
Lap 3 - 744 - 12:25:54 PM
Lap 4 - 791 - 12:51:00 PM exactly
Lap 5 - 817 - 13:16 aprox.  (13:10 PM on Chestnut)
Lap 6 - 838 - 13:42 aprox.  13:50:02 Exact on Taylor
Lap 7 - 891 -               14:15:30 Exact on Taylor
Lap 8 - 936 -               14:43:06 Taylor exact (FINAL big lap)

FINAL:  974 - 15:37:24 exactly, Horner wins.
              15:38:14 - McCormack crosses in 2nd.