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Standing on a corner watching all the cyclists go by

We wait. There are bikes leant against road signs and telegraph poles. The sun is low and shadows long. On the inside of the corner I’m fiddling with ISO and aperture settings. Across the corner a huddle of men in club jerseys and hi-vis clutch red flags and chat. There’s a handful of spectators, probably family and club mates. Maybe someone has gone for an evening stroll and is curious. The growl of an accelerating motorcycle rumbles in the distance. The chatting stops and the club riders step into the road with flags unfurled. I crouch on the verge and guess my focusing distance. A motorcycle outrider speeds around the corner and down the road, then a second appears, and a third. One blocks traffic whilst the other rides through. The lead car, orange lights flashing on the roof, takes the corner faster than I’d dare. I hear the faint thrum of tyres and whirr of drivechains. It gets louder. A rider appears, leant over at an impossible angle. Then another, then a whole load, two or three riders abreast, bright flashing colours and grimacing faces. The motorcycle outrider shouts “Keep tight!”, a rider shouts “Keep your line!” There are knees and elbows close to my head. I feel a breeze and hear spokes cutting the warm evening air. The shutter clicks and clunks, the sounds mixed with the creaks and clunks of carbon frames and deep section wheels on rough tarmac. The final riders corner wider, more upright than the others. Standing out of the saddle they chase back on. Another car with orange flashing lights brings up the rear. Red flags are lowered, passing motorists are waved a thank you. Conversations are resumed. I go back to pressing buttons on the camera. We wait.

IMG_0058_croppedLewes Crits, 5th June 2014

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Tour of Sussex, 6th July 2014

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