Over the last few years I’ve shot quite a few front covers, from Richie Porte in Australia to, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome in Monaco.
So when the request came in to photograph this years Giro D’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin, at the Tour de Suisse, for Pro Cycling, I was expecting the usual format.
Turn up early to the riders hotel with journalist, scope out an area to shoot, set up equipment, photograph interview and squeeze the cover shot into the last ten minutes of a thirty minute slot.
Unfortunately like all best laid plans this didn’t quite pan out as expected and the decision was made to shoot him at the start of the following days stage.
If you have ever been to the start of a bike race you will know what busy, chaotic affairs they are, so setting up a location studio and getting access to one of the hottest cycling properties is a pretty tall ord
er, not to mention the added pressure of the shot being neededfor the next issue of the magazine, which went to press the following week, the odds were truly stacked against me.
Arriving at the start line early I scoured the area for a suitable location, preferably quiet and away from the crowds, with the added complication of a power supply.
After a fruitless search I stumbled across a small media tent next to rider sign on, it had electricity, it was near the start line, but was open fronted, facing directly onto the main square where thousands of fans would be gathering over the next few hours, two outof three ain’t bad.
With location found and lighting set up my next problem was to get Sunwebs DS to agree to loan me Tom before the start of the race. I hot footed itover to the team bus and set up camp outside, anxiously waiting for the rider briefing to be completed, so I could speak with the Director Sportif, success, he agreed to ask Tom to head to the start fifteen minutes early so we could do the shots, game on.
With the start time looming I headed to the agreed rendezvous point, where good to his word, Tom was waiting. All the pieces were falling into place, what could possibly go wrong, I ushered Tom to my makeshift studio only to find Peter Sagan had set up an impromptu coffee morning with the creme de la creme of the World Tour peloton, with the World Champ politely moved on, the shoot could begin, and I could breath a sigh of relief.