Tour of Britain 2013 stage 8 London

Tour of Britain 2013 cycle race – Stage 8

Well as I was up in London on Sunday anyway to shoot the catwalk shows at London Fashion Weekend, I thought I’d make it a real busman’s holiday and go and take some pictures of the final stage of this year’s Tour of Britain professional cycle race.

I’ve already posted some images from Stage 7 of the race, which ran from Epsom to Guildford in Surrey and passed quite near my home. The London finale was a very different affair – no hills, and instead of a continuous cross-country route it comprised ten laps of a course marked out along the Embankment between Whitehall and the Tower of London.

The useful thing about this format from my point of view was that I could park myself at a chosen spot on the route and have the cyclists come around in front of my camera ten times – or roughly every 12 minutes! This made it much easier to get a variety of interesting shots, as I could use different lenses, focal lengths and shutter speeds. On the normal road stages you get just one chance to take your pictures (lasting about 10 seconds) and that’s it, unless you can relocate to a different part of the course, which isn’t always easy when many of the roads are closed.

So I positioned myself at the Embankment end of Whitehall Place, less than a kilometer from the start line, which gave me a good clear view down the straight and also let me get shots of the racers as they came around the corner and slowed down (relatively!) before turning left to shoot off eastwards along the Embankment.

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (1)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (2)
These three gents (average age about 70) had come from Southend in Essex to watch the race. Well done lads!
Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (3)
Abbey Road? No, Whitehall Place. 😉
Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (4)
Spectators line the route and the Race Controller’s car does a final tour of inspection, as a Cannondale rider does a quick warm-up before the race starts.

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (5)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (6)
Eventual third-placed rider Cannondale’s Elia Viviani (no 166) on his warm-up lap.
Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (7)
Sir Bradley Wiggins in his gold leader’s jersey heads the peloton as they progress down Whitehall Place at the beginning of the race.

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (8)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (9)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (10)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (11)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (12)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (13)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (14)
A rider from Team UK Youth heads the peloton as they chase after the riders who have broken away at the head of the field.
Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (15)
The Sky Pro Cycling team have dominated the Tour of Britain on behalf of their leader Bradley Wiggins by coordinated riding strategy, just as they did in the 2012 and 2013 Tour de France.

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (16)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (17)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (18)
Sir Bradley Wiggins flashes past in his gold Tour leader’s jersey.

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (19)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (20)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (21)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (22)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (23)
Leaving nothing to chance, the Sky team stay grouped around Wiggins to ensure that he completes the stage safely and takes the overall Tour victory.

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (24)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (25)
Manxman Mark Cavendish in the white jersey with red white and blue stripes that denotes his status as British Road Race Champion, follows his Omega Pharma QuickStep teammates, who were able to bring him to the end of the race and victory in the final sprint to the line to take the Stage 8 win.

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (26)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (27)
Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins riding together as the race nears its halfway point.
Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (28)
Colombian sensation Nairo Quintana of the Movistar team (blue jersey and green helmet, front left) rounds the corner at Whitehall Place. Quintana finished third in this year’s Tour de France at his first attempt.

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (29)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (30)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (31)

Tour of Britain cycle race 2013 Stage 8 (32)

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