Also had to endure trying to get shots of an ever changing race whilst being pushed on by the commissaries as the race sped down narrow roads, twisting and turning round sharp bends and over stone bridges, riders catching up with us, and my pilot having to deal with gravel on the road as well as wet patches. To get the photos, the camera is set up with fast shutter speeds (1,000 of a second) and the shots at speed are as much about luck than skill.
Turn round on the motorbike, ass right over the side of the bike to get maximum turn of the body, lock the left foot on the bike’s crash bar to avoid sliding off, point the longish lens (200mm) at the riders from a distance, try and hold the focus point the size of a box a mm square on anything resembling a rider, shoot a burst of frames and cross fingers there is something useful to add to the story of the race. Add to that the sound of the bike stand scrapping on the ground as the bike bounces on the uneven road and the sound of car horns and the sight of the headlights of a lead car bearing down on us, and that is something like the scene for getting some of the pictures!
Not having to leave the race early was great though. After seeing the peloton charging at 4k to go, we waited at the 1 k to banner and I was thinking, the only time I ever see this action is from a helicopter on TV and today, I was able to watch and shoot a few bits in the final k's which was good and then just cruise in to the finish no pressure as Gerry McManus was doing the finish for me. And a good job he did too!
Day over, now stage 4 to look ahead to and my fifth visit to Blackpool this year for a bike race!