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.