Posts

A bird’s eye view of the Tour de France 2014 in Yorkshire

Enthusiastic crowds welcome riders on Day 2 of Le Tour de France 2014 as they enter the village of Ripponden in West Yorkshire. Vincenzo Nibali, from Astana Pro Team, passes the camera at the centre of the peloton. He later took the lead on this dramatic day’s racing to win Stage 2 as it finished in Sheffield. Three weeks later he was crowned overall winner of the 2014 Tour de France after consolidating his early lead and finishing on the Champs Elysées with an eight minute overall lead.

Tour de France stage 2 winner in Ripponden, Yorkshire

An estimated 2.5 million people lined the route of this year’s Tour de France over two days of thrilling cycling across hill, dale and through historic towns and cities in the north of England. Le Tour Yorkshire has been a resounding success by any standard, showing off the enthusiasm of the folk of Yorkshire, and the beautiful landscape we have here. To view a sunset panorama of the view at the top of the gruelling gradient of Cragg Vale nearby, click here.

Tour de France stage 2 winner in Ripponden, YorkshirePhotographing this was a bit of a challenge; I shot fast and panned quickly to catch the peloton as it sped past. The camera was mounted on the top of a 3 metre high carbon fibre pole, which as usual caused plenty of mirth and curiousity in the crowd as we waited for the cyclists to pass.

In the end, the riders flew past us in around twelve seconds, slowing down only slightly to take the bend before climbing up to Ripponden Bank. It might’ve been over in a flash, but it was a fantastic experience never the less. If you ever get the chance to watch the Tour de France, do so… it’s well worth it.

Technical info: photographed using Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 8-15mm f4 fisheye zoom lens; RAW processed with Lightroom 5.4. Stitched with PTGui Pro 5.2.0, output using Pano2VR Pro 4.5
You can also view this panorama on 360cities_logo

Sunshine at the top of Cragg Vale; England’s longest continuous gradient

Perfect driving (or riding) conditions on the top of the Pennines…  magic light over the moors on a gorgeous warm evening. The heather caught the sun, the clouds added just enough contrast for drama, and bumblebees hummed around, enjoying the late start to springtime this year.

This is where Blackstone Edge Road becomes Turvin Road at the top of Cragg Vale on the boundaries of West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester: this stretch of road is England’s longest continuous gradient. I’ve yet to freewheel down it on my bike, but on an evening like this I’m sure it’d be glorious… and much more enjoyable than the long, slow slog it’d be to climb it!

OakleyView for iPad and iPhone

I chose this location to capture a commission for an iOS app by Oakley, OakleyView, showing off the high-end eyewear manufacturer’s products for different sports and conditions. As this is one of the best country roads around for cycling or motorbiking it was a perfect candidate for the job.

(Update 2014) It was serendipitous to choose this spot to represent a great cycling route; in July 2014 this was one of the climbs on the second stage of the Tour de France. You can see a panorama of all the action further down the road in Ripponden on the day by clicking here…