It's been a long time coming but it's great to finally get a gallery of my favourite images up from the 2016 edition of Paris Roubaix.
This was my 1st ever visit to what i've always considered the greatest race in the professional Calendar. My heart has always been with the Northern Classic, i like the summer racing but there's something gritty and raw about the classics and PR is no exception.
I'd spent lots of time planning for the race but without any experience of shooting a race like this i was almost going into this blind. I spent lots of time watching previous editions and using google maps to determine where I'd go..... this went out the window when i got there! :-)
I'm the type of photographer who wants to shoot everything in the race (which is never possible) so a last minute decision added in another sector to the plan:
1. Start - Compiegne
2. Saint -Python (sector 24)
3. Trouee d'Arenberg (sector 18)
4. Finish - Roubaix Velodrome
Miraculously plans worked and i managed to hit everything i wanted to. Arenberg proved difficult to access due to popularity but other than that all went to plan.
Intense......fast....gritty...... unreal ...... As a fan and photographer PR really spoils you, crashes, cobbles, dust, fans, velodrome, it's fantastic. There was some much to capture and hopefully the images give a feel for all of this. The biggest thing I took from the race is just how hardcore it is. The sectors are tough, not just difficult but TOUGH, if you don't hit them hard and fast then you've no chance. For me, what really brought it home was the crash in the Arenberg trench, not Viviani and the Moto but the one just before involving Etix and Orica, with Mitch Docker coming off in a bad way, probably the worst injuries i've seen 1st hand at a race. It's really good to hear Mitch is on the recovery journey and I really hope to see this guy on the bike again in future (heal fast Mitch)!
I hope you enjoy looking at the race through my lens..... if you ever get the chance to see it 1st hand do it, you wont be sorry. I'm already planning for the 2017 PR!
The cream of the photography crop will be featured in the awesome Conquista (issue 11)... coming soon
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