A tough route for the riders today, with virtually zero sections of flat road up until the finish loop into Culoz. However, for a photographer, this was my easiest day of travel so far. From the start, the plan was easy – go to the Col du Berthiand, then to the Grand Colombier. Even with the rather Giro d’Italia styled loop back up the Lacets de Grand Colombier, I had reconned where I wanted to shoot, and already stitched together a route. But did the pictures work out?... we’ll see.
At the start, business as usual:
Once at the Col du Berthiand, I parked my car at the top and scouted for an angle.
Not really high enough.
Not really low enough.
Never got the framing quite right.
Far will do. I guess.
Ah well, can’t win them all. On the plus side, as I was sprinting back up the climb to the car, the broom wagon saw me and made the universal “#getinthevan!” gesture. I happily obliged, catching a lift up the last several hundred meters of the climb and getting to the Grand Colombier that much sooner.
And man, was the Grand Colombier nuts. So many fans, packed incredibly tight. After “running-gate” on Ventoux, I was a little concerned for the riders – these roads seemed tighter than Ventoux, with just as many fans.
Thankfully, the crowd cooperated today, and the atmosphere was fantastic!
Ok ok. The images were getting there.
Finally, once cleared by the commisaires, it was a quick jaunt down the mountain to the Lacets de Grand Colombier. Again, I parked near the summit, and began to wander down the climb to catch the leaders.
Meanwhile, soigneurs. Some of them chill.
Some of them definitely calm, but far more intense. Also, is that Hank Scorpio?
As riders continued to stream past, I got individual shots of them. One by one. In small groups. With a leafy green background. Maybe with errant fans. Nothing to write home about though. Given the tree cover, I had a little something in mind, but the conditions weren’t quite right. Yet.
I walked back up the climb, shooting intermittently, waiting for the right moment. As I reached the KOM, the planets aligned (well, planet. Earth.), and I was rewarded with a few moments of the sun in juuuuust the right spot.
I'd say it worked out.
Yep. Definitely worked out.