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...?

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