Why is it that mostly women are featured on these pages as VeloEyes? We’ve featured work by Roz Jones, Danielle Haex, Roxanne King – and now Francesca Starbuck. Francesca went to stage five of the Tour of Britain earlier this month. (It was an eventful stage, starting and finishing in Stoke. Mark Cavendish started in the gold leader’s jersey and finished 12 minutes down with Bradley Wiggins, who subsequently abandoned overnight, while UnitedHealthcare’s Marc de Maar launched a successful solo break late on to take the stage victory.) She came back with some great pictures – especially of Ladies’ Favourite™ Bernie Eisel. Here is her gallery …
A wink and a smile
Lounging about at the start of the race, Bernie Eisel catches a glimpse of Francesca’s camera (Rob Hayles is lurking in the background…)
So Bernie began flirting. That’s why he’s called the Ladies’ Favourite …
…but now he has his race face on. ‘Whatever happens, Cav will *not* be carrying bidons around!’
“Bernie, Bernie, can you hear me? What is it that makes all the ladies go wild for you?” “Leave me alone Rob, I’m trying to look brooding for the camera.”
As with most races, fans can get up close to the buses and the riders before the race. Here, Fabio Sabatini almost blends in with his team bus!
Endura Racing’s Jonathan Tiernan-Locke – the Tour’s eventual winner
Rob Hayles and Ned Boulting shooting some segments for ITV
A photographer’s life is so glamorous …
Over the finish line
Stage winner Marc de Maar of UnitedHealthcare
It was a hard stage, as the hangdog look of Christopher Jones from UnitedHealthcare can attest
Samu Sanchez was feeling some pain in his knee by the end of the stage
The gruppetto coming in, including Sky’s Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, looking thrilled
The elegant Mr Basso was named the stage’s most combative rider and he goes to get his Rouleur prize of a big wheel of cheese. I believe it was something like ash-covered goat’s cheese for this stage …
The gold jersey went from Cavendish to Orica’s Leigh Howard on this stage. He didn’t get any cheese.
It took Ned Boulting two decades to graduate from commenting on potholes on Chiltern FM to reporting about the ‘yellow jumper’ at the Tour de France. He has come a long way since those early days as a drowning Tour ingénue, and now knows everything there is to know about French service stations, cheap hotels and which yogurt-based drinks to avoid.