Bike (USA) - - Dust - FORT WIL­LIAM, SCOT­LAND | MAY 30, 2018 | 9:02 A.M.

Land­ing a World Cup podium takes fo­cus, skill, speed and de­ter­mi­na­tion—this is known. But rac­ing suc­cess­fully at the sport’s high­est level of­ten comes down to many small mo­ments that are over­shad­owed by big ones. This im­age doc­u­ments a mi­cro-mo­ment build­ing to a win­ning re­sult. It was the Wed­nes­day be­fore track walk at Fort Wil­liam’s World Cup, and Loïc Bruni still didn’t know if he’d be able to race with­out the sup­port of a hard brace. Bruni, the cur­rent world cham­pion, had dis­lo­cated his el­bow dur­ing prac­tice at the Loŝinj, Croa­tia, World Cup, forc­ing him to the side­lines for the sea­son opener.

Pho­tog­ra­pher Sven Martin had ar­rived at Fort Wil­liam a day early, find­ing Bruni in Spe­cial­ized’s race truck with the team physio. The two were dis­cussing a tap­ing strat­egy for Bruni to as­sess whether it af­forded him a bet­ter bal­ance of mo­bil­ity and sta­bil­ity than the bulky brace.

Bruni ended up us­ing the tape in the fi­nals later that week, and raced his way back on the podium, land­ing in 5th place.

This mo­ment may not be as flashy as the high-ac­tion of Bruni’s run or the Cham­pagne spray later on, but it helps tell the true story of prepa­ra­tion be­hind a podium. While shots of Bruni cel­e­brat­ing his re­sult at Fort Wil­liam are aplenty, those de­tail­ing the tiny steps it took to get there are not.

Martin’s abil­ity to cap­ture the hu­man side of rac­ing stems from trust he’s built with ath­letes over years of shoot­ing World Cups.

“In­juries and ath­letes, the in­ter­per­sonal, pri­vate mo­ments like that … the rap­port with the riders over the years al­lows you in for those mo­ments,” Martin says.

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