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The second image in my best of 2020 series also comes from the Vuelta San Juan — which just announced that it plans to have a 2021 edition despite the coronavirus crisis. And that is music to my ears, as I really love this race.
As I said before, while I adore classic European racing, I love any opportunity to cover the sport in other parts of the world. And for the past ten years, I have often started my season in Argentina, first at the Tour of San Luis and more recently San Juan, which has replaced it on an international level.
It’s an amazing race really, as the province of San Juan is in a remote part of the country, due west of Buenos Aires, in the shadows of the Andes Mountains.
Sometimes I drive out ahead of the race without seeing any sign of life for miles on end. And then sometimes, something unexpected jumps out, for what is commonplace here, can be quite exotic really.
And this scene is a prime example. I don’t know if these guys on their horses really qualify as gauchos or not, but you don’t see fans like this along the roadside in Europe!
I wasn’t far ahead of the race, I remember, but I instantly had my moto stop as I searched for the best perspective to capture this scene. Running across the road I opted to work with a slow shutter speed and let the peloton be blurred so that the eye remained focused on this trio on horseback. After all, these local fans were the primary subject at hand.