As the antipodean cycling season gets into full swing with the men and women of the pro peloton take on the heat, the crits and Wilunga hill those of us stuck in the middle of the European winter turn our thoughts to the Spring classics.
It’s the piece of cycling I probably enjoy the most as both a spectator and a photographer. The dynamic of a one day races means the action could kick off at any time. With multiple chances to catch the action tempting you to combine beauty and action. When compared to a grand tour stage where you might only have one chance to stop and the pressure can be palpable … second guessing what might be round the next corner.
It could just be the familiarity with the courses, like a playbook to start from knowing that it might all go to hell on the first stop and you need to work through the audible options until you winging it all.
That is probably why Roubaix is one of my favourites to work. You start with a plan knowing that you’ll rip it up before the riders exit the first cobbled section but with that the excitement building to think on the move to predict the ebb and flow of the race. The ultimate goal to catch that key moment of the race but knowing you can capture the essence of the race…1st and second place can tell as much as those not even making it to the finish.
The Legend that is Tom Boonen on his great Roubaix win…the solo attack from over 40km out
Compared to Geraint Thomas battered, cut and bruised before the the first few sections of Pave had even been covered
Lets hope this years edition is as full of as much drama…and if i dare to say it some rain and mud…but sadly before that i have to comprehend a different kind of challenge.
Not intending to open a political debate as its not about the options just getting on with a decision as anything post March 29th is a mystery to me, the ability and the right to travel, the right to work even the ability to drive aboard is uncertain.
At this point in time i have not planed past Strada Bianchi, the rest of the northern France and Belgian spring classics are going to be some real last minute scrambling to organise will my normal travel plans of the last decade work or will i have to think again..should i just hope for the best and plan away….the cobbles are tempting me…