The Tour Series 2017
In May 2017 I was commissioned to cover three stages of this years’ Tour Series sponsored by Brother. I had covered a couple of stages last year so knew I was in for a fun few days of high quality circuit racing.
As expected it was a fun, action packed set of shoots, however if you’d have asked me in the immediate aftermath of the last stage which word would sum up my time on the tour most it would simply have been “wet”. By the end of the Bath stage I was beginning to think I was cursed. I have had a few really wet shoots before but nothing like those on this years Tour Series.
My first stop was Wembley Stadium for stage 4 of the series. It was the first time the Tour Series had used Wembley as a venue and it certainly provided a dramatic backdrop for the evening’s racing. By the time the men set off on their first lap dusk had rolled in and by the last few laps it was more like a nocturnal ride. Coupled with the biting rain, capturing high speed cycling provided an interesting challenge. Fortunately there was a degree of street/stadium lighting that provided dramatic colours and shadows as the riders completed stage 4. Steele Von Hoff of ONE Pro Cycling took the win and it was straight onto the next stage in Croydon.
Upon arriving at the course in East Croydon the heavens opened and sent organisers, security and spectators rushing under bridges and bus stops for cover. The rain didn’t relent throughout the evening, effectively sorting the casual cycling fan from those happy to be drenched in order to watch the likes of Ed Clancy power around the street circuit. It was a great spectacle; JLT Condor attacked the race from the off hammering round at the front of the peloton and eventually leading out Tour Series veteran Graham Briggs to take the sprint finish from George Harper of ONE Pro Cycling.
After drying out, it was onto Bath for the next stage of the Tour Series. Bath is always a great city to shoot in; sprawling out in the valley of the river Avon it is drenched with history, which is reflected in the stunning architecture and layout of the once Roman spa town.
Known for being a city filled with a large population of cycling fans it was therefore unsurprising that fans turned out in force to watch the events of the day. Despite the odd torrential downpour fans manned the hoardings cheering the riders on. The slick track condition certainly added to what was a challenging circuit brimming with tight turns and fast straights. The race certainly didn’t disappoint. An early break away by James Lowsley-Williams was eventually reeled in by the chasing pack with about ten laps to go. Within the chasing group was Madision Genesis rider, Connor Swift who broke away himself with about five laps to go and made it stick, taking the win in the city of his birth.
The high quality racing, stunning backdrop and less frequent rain showers all helped make the Bath stage a very memorable and fun race to cover. I am already looking forward to next year come rain or shine.