Breakaway group ahead of the peloton near Shobrooke, Crediton, Devon


Peloton of the Tour of Britain 2011 near Shobrooke, Crediton, Devon


The Tour of Britain cycling hell-for-leather through the leafy Devon lanes near Crediton on September the 15th 2011. On the right of the two Vacansoleil riders, in the Rapha Condor Sharp black jersey, is local boy Jonathon Tiernan Locke who took the King of the Mountains jersey for his amazing climbing skills in this stage.

Despite a breakaway group of riders (including Locke) having a clear lead of over six minutes at one point, the peloton fought back and brought them into the pack. The stage which ran in its entirety in Devon, from Exeter via Dartmoor to Exmouth seafront, was won by Mark Renshaw of HTC-Highroad just ahead of his team-mate, the speed-sprint favourite, Mark Cavendish.

On a photographic note, cycling races at this high level are very difficult to shoot due in no small part to the speed of the riders. At longer range you can get away with 1/200th shutter but closer-up you’re looking at 1/500th plus. Flash to freeze the image helps, but there aren’t many flash/camera units that will sync at anything over 1/250th and you don’t, frankly, have much time to experiment. Flash panning works but it’s very hit and miss. No surprise then that most of the tour photographers sit on the back of motorbikes in front of the riders where those issues aren’t so much of a problem.

Tour of Britain website