Tour de France 2020

Getting the shot: Sprint in Sisteron

I like the way the sunlight almost serves as a spotlight on the riders. It’s a finishing shot for sure, but at least today I felt like I managed to come up with a certain variation on a theme.

Shooting a field sprint is never easy, mostly because all photographers are positioned in very limited areas, essentially imposing very similar images by everyone on the ground. But today’s stage was rendered even more difficult by a number of factors.

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Firstly we had to make it to the finish. And after stopping in the early kilometers of stage three from Nice to Sisteron, we suddenly found ourselves stuck in the high hills of the Côte d’Azur with very few options for getting out. Every town we came to was lined with barricades, hence getting off the race route became impossible. And then the rains came! Finally, we managed to find an opening in the town of Grasse, and we made our way towards Aix-en-Provence, and finally Sisteron.

Fortunately, the peloton seemed to be in no hurry today, giving us added time. But once at the finish, complications continued, as the majority of photographers are not allowed to shoot on the line.

I found a spot next to a television camera. As I did some test frames, I was struck by the dramatic lighting as the sun broke through the trees on the final straightaway. And as the pack sprinted towards the line, I focused on an opening, about 50 meters from the line, just as Caleb Ewan was making his winning move.

I like the way the sunlight almost serves as a spotlight on the riders. It’s a finishing shot for sure, but at least today I felt like I managed to come up with a certain variation on a theme.