Richard Robotham's Best of 2009

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Photos: Richard Robotham's Best of 2009

Story posted January 7, 2009

A 'Caught On Camera in 2009' photo album -- Richard Robotham's reflections on his 2009 season behind the camera at British Cycling events around the country.

The Full Photo Album Slideshow on Flickr

Despite being constantly reminded by the British Press and TV of the financial difficulties being experienced around the globe throughout 2009, this didn’t diminish the enthusiasm shown by British Cycling’s members taking part in events during the season. It appeared to me that the events I was asked to cover for BC during 2009 were well supported by riders, supporters and officials. Following are just a few of the thousands of images I captured in 2009:

Helpers & Officials

We all agree that Marshals are a vital part of the Road Race Safety. However during those gaps in the racing action it’s important to soak up the sun’s rays but don’t forget the factor 40.


Left: During circuit races it is important that the Organiser arranges refreshments in-between each event. The Solihull CC has a specialist runner who does the job perfectly and not a drop was spilt. Right: It’s also important for the Officials and Helpers, especially those close to the action, to keep a close eye out for the 'Drinks Runner' otherwise they could miss out. Oh yes the bike racing is also important.

At the early season Royal Leamington Spa circuit race events in Victoria Park, the valuable service provided by St John Ambulance was enhanced by Eco-Friendly & Low-Carbon emergency transport which was in keeping with the sport.

British Cycling can provide specialist services for Organisers such as Photo-Finish. A valuable service carried out by well trained operatives including John Pearce of the West Midlands Region pictured here up the ladder whilst setting up the light levels etc.


When special guests or VIP’s attend events it’s important to look after them. Here is one of British Cycling most experienced Commissaires Rod Scott picture chatting with Olympic Medallist Denise Lewis.


Special Moments
During the racing I feel it’s important to “Capture Those Moments” that make a report more interesting for the reader. Below are some of my favourite moments.

UCI LC2 500m TT World Champion Sarah Storey prepares for her event during the National Masters Championships held at Newport. Sarah looks straight down the lens whilst chalking her palms and preparing her thoughts for the race ahead.

Photo 9: Dean and Russell Downing’s good natured Head-to-Head at the 2009 Warwick Circuit Races.

One important thing about BMX is getting the timing of the start gate just right for obvious reasons. Also removing myself and my camera at just the right moment is equally as important – luckily I did.

In Cycle Speedway it’s just as important to also get the start just right. I captured Joe Black pulling the best wheelie I’ve captured to date. However the energy expended on the wheelie didn’t give Joe the result he wanted.

Left: In BMX, there is one rider who defies all known laws of physics when landing his machine after flying high well ahead of his Rivals. 'Bomber Baldwin' is pictured here in his normal landing approach whilst the on-lookers gasp in amazement at his entertaining antics. Right: BMX’er Ady Warden demonstrates an alternative use of the crash helmet peak and auditions for a part as a Power Ranger. Ady was unfortunate enough to get a landing “slightly” wrong but laughs it off as is his normal way.

In BMX, when being airborne is a necessity to gain an advantage over your fellow competitors, getting the landing correctly is even more crucial. This image clearly shows what was about to happen and it did.


One of a photographer's worries is getting Champagne all over the lens and camera – it’s a nightmare to clean off and so hard on the tongue! So timing is everything when taking the shot and avoiding being drenched.


“Rider Supporters”
Fans and Family sometime get caught by my camera by pure accident (honestly). Here are just a few images from the vast collection.

This lady actually ran around the whole course so she could watch her partner racing and keep fit at the same time. Whilst approaching the finish line she did a strange flying manoeuvre. I’m assuming she was listening to R Kelly on her iPod.

I’m sure the dog was thinking “Touch These Wheels If You Dare”.

Olympian and former British Cycling National Sprint Champion Mark Barry gives the thumps up in his new role as Coach and Mentor to riders at the UK Schools Games.

Cyclo Cross must be the only cycling discipline where someone else cleans the bikes in the nearest muddy puddle. Oh and watch out, your wire brush may go rusty!

Racing Snaps
These were among some of my favourites taken during the season.

This Rider was heard shouting “Get out of my way” or words to that effect. Or even “My braces are stuck in the tailgate”?

“King of the Mountain”. Alex 'Sandy' King demonstrates his early season form by winning the first round of the Junior RR Series in Wales.

Decisions – Hmmmm”. The early break inevitably comes to an abrupt end as indecision creeps in.

The Sign Says It All – If only all races where as well behaved. One day the British Public will do as they do in Europe – pull over to watch rather than stick their finger up and hurl abuse.

Red Bull does indeed give you wings as World Champion Dale Holmes and company demonstrates.

Skiing around the banking. Former Olympic Skier Alain Baxter tries his hand at sprinting during the December Revolution meeting at Manchester Velodrome.

Related Links

Best of Joolze Dymond in 2009

Best of Andy Whitehouse in 2009