We might all be back at VeloVoices Towers (with Panache ensconced in the Washington Peloton Pentagon), but two of our VeloEyes have kindly sent us pictures mainly from the last few stages which illustrate the advice Susi Goetze gave us in her VeloEye interview about where best to take photos at a race. Enjoy!
The morning sign-in is generally the easiest place to take photos of the riders. Unless you’re tall, get there early and be first in line against the barriers. The riders tend to file up in dribs and drabs. Although some will be clad ready for the day’s race, many are often helmetless, making identification so much easier and photos so much better. They’ll frequently stop to chat to the press, give autographs or have their pictures taken with many of the waiting youngsters, thereby enthusing the next generation of riders.
Valverde’s white wrist-watch has a Union Jack face. A memento of London 2012 perhaps?
Of course, nowhere’s out of bounds to Susi. Here she makes a quick visit to see the Argonauts on their bus. We have to say it’s not quite as plush as the Sky one.
You may recall that Alejandro Valverde fell on one of the early stages in the Vuelta while wearing the red leader’s jersey and no one waited. The guy that came off worst in the crash was teammate Imanol Erviti, who’s still bearing the effects several days later. What you can’t see from the photograph is his heavily bandaged left leg and right arm.
Once the riders have been called to the start, there’s still 10-15 minutes of hanging about – another great photo opportunity. The boys usually take the time to catch up with their compatriots on other teams. They look so serious. Do you think these three were discussing the overnight news about [Lance] Armstrong?
Photographers need to keep their eyes peeled at all times for photo opportunities. Susi’s particularly adept at finding humourous situations.
The food zone’s another good spot for taking photos as the riders are forced to slow down to pick up their lunch. It’s also a great place to collect souvenirs – bidons and musettes – but you need to be fleet of foot to beat the waiting hordes of kids.
Alternatively, find a spot on an incline where the crowds aren’t too thick and the riders are arriving in two, threes or even on their own.
Frankly without accreditation it’s difficult to get these types of shots at the finish line. But it’s still worth a go.
A better photo opportunity might be the podium or just past the finish line but again, unless you’re tall, you’ll need to get in situ early.
To conclude, don’t forget to take a few shots of your wonderful surroundings to remind you where you were. Bike races visit some beautiful parts of the world.