Story: La Vuelta '18 Part 3 Presented by Stages
That's it, that's a wrap on La Vuelta 2018 and a wrap on the Grande Tour season. So lets looks at a few facts and figures on covering all three grande tours in one year, it equates to seventy days on the road, fifteen thousand kilometres of driving and in excess of one hundred and twenty thousand images to sort and edit.
So, what's it like being a photographer covering the World Tour? A typical day starts around mid-morning with rider sign on, teams normally arrive ninety minutes before the race start. A small huddle of photographers normally gathers around the sign on podium to discuss tactics for the day.
Using the Road Book, which is a publication given to everyone working on the race, it covers the route of each stage in minute detail. From this, we can plan a route allowing us to see the race as many times as possible, using back roads and short cuts to keep leap frogging the peloton, normally on a stage race two to three stops are possible and the finish some days more some days less.
Once the race is over its off to the press room to edit and send images. Press rooms are set up at the end of each stage where photographers and journalists can work. On an average stage I take around two thousand shots, which need to be edited and sent out to clients, this normally takes two to three hours, so with races finishing around 6pm you're not leaving the press room till 9pm.
Then it's another glance at the Road Book to find the start of the next days stage and normally an hours drive to your nights accommodation. Once at the hotel it's time to grab some food, if anywhere is still open, then book another hotel for the next day, then to bed before it all starts again.
Words & Images: Chris Auld