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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Mark Johnson, Revelle ’88


Off to the Races. Spain, Belgium, France—just some of the places San Diego resident Mark Johnson, Revelle ’88, traveled to when compiling Argyle Armada: Behind the Scenes of the Pro Cycling Life. The book’s moniker comes from the team’s affinity for argyle. The tradition, which has brought them a bit of luck, is incorporated into all their racing uniforms. Johnson was embedded with Garmin-Cervélo, America’s most celebrated pro cycling team throughout the 2011 cycling season. With Johnson capturing the action, they won Paris Rêve, a large one-day competition, and four stages of the Tour de France. “The size of the crowds and the difficulty of cruising around, even with press credentials was an enormous logistical challenge,” says Johnson.

Over the course of 13 months, Johnson shot over 60,000 photos, which he edited down (and combined with 55,000 words) to create the 224-page book, released in March.

While an undergrad, Johnson got his start taking photos for UC San Diego’s student-run newspaper, The Guardian, before moving on to Boston University to pursue a master’s and a Ph.D. in literature. Eventually, Johnson’s love of cycling, photography and writing merged itself into one career, and he began working for cycling magazines.

Though the country-hopping has cooled off since the book’s completion, Johnson hopes to continue traveling with the team (on a less regular basis) and photograph the athletes—but only after taking some time off to recover from jet lag.