IN PICTURES: TOUR OF BRITAIN
The UK’s biggest stage race is a fan favourite and increasingly attracts big riders. Procycling was there to see the action
The photographer’s bib. I’m photo bib averse and always have been. Sweaty, plasticy, horrible things, which are often a silly colour. I totally understand why we have to wear them, but I only whip mine out of my back pocket at the finish, when there are about 2km to go. On the other hand, the Tour of Britain’s race director, Mick Bennett, is very much bib aware.
Before the race, out of respect for Mick, I decided to be bib compliant. Bed, breakfast, race, dinner, bar, I wore my bloody bib for Mick. But Mick was missing; he’d been taken ill. (A sincere, speedy and full recovery, Mick.) Somebody actually took a picture of me wearing my bib and sent it to him to cheer him up. Thankfully, Mick showed up in London for the final stage with a smile on his face. I wanted to pass on my best wishes in person, but I’d run a mile. Yes, you guessed it - I wasn’t wearing my bib.
The Tour of Britain is a fantastic bike race that is always brilliantly organised. Our race photography is a team effort: Alex Whitehead is on the motorbike in the race, and I’m in a car, working around it.
As ever, the weather was a factor that was out of our control. I remember the sun shining brightly when the race went inside the South Molton Market in Devon – and it helped the picture because the sun shone nicely through the glass roof. Generally, the weather was consistently grey. We don’t ‘process’ our pictures, so I guess we could have done with a bit more light during the week – but then that’s photographers for you, always moaning about something. Did I tell you about my terrible vertigo in pursuit of the Cheddar Gorge picture...?