Rain, Sweat and Enthusiasm: Le Tour in London

I had absolutely no idea I would have any time free today at all. My diary was packed with meetings which I was cursing because today was the day the world’s biggest cycling race rolled into town.

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One technical failure of a 3 hour video conference later and I set off with a couple of colleagues to find a good place to watch the race and hopefully take some photos.

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The biggest challenge was presented by the fact I still had the lenses I had last week to shoot live music with me, which meant I had the 70-200 F4 (great) but also my 18-35, 35 and 58mm lenses (not so practical). Well, possibly the second biggest challenge since the rain bucketed down as soon as we reached lower Thames St.

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Luckily a few people in front of me gave up because of the rain and I was able to get near the front. Despite the rain, though, most people stayed, and the crowd was very good natured and excited. Eventually, the convoy of cars and motorbikes began to arrive to cheers. Before long, the Peloton was upon us in a blur.

Peloton

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Unfortunately given the tightish conditions only the 35mm lens made sense. Further, and more difficult, I realised I wasn’t well practiced in the art of sports photography, so had to guesstimate (particularly given the camera needed to wait in my bag in the build up).

Looking Back

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As it happened, if I had blinked I would missed the Peloton. This group whizzed past very, very quickly and I was making full use of the continuous shooting capabilities of my Nikon Df. After 5-10 seconds the buffer filled up and shooting slowed down. Worryingly the camera was soaked, but so far (touch wood) it seems fine.

Sprint

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All in all, I did end up wishing that I was shooting with a D4S with a 24-70 mounted. Leaving that to one side, I don’t think these are terrible, and I did have a lot of fun.

Catching up

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Before long, it was all over bar the stragglers, followed by the support cars and the Met’s finest motorcycle police waving to the crowds as they passed 😀

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A Cheery Wave

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