Over the past couple of years I’ve taken an interest in cycling. As with a lot of people my interest in cycling began by watching the Tour De France on TV. From there I started following other world tour races on TV.
My first attempt at photographing cycling came at the 2011 Tour of Britain with a stage running from Welshpool to Caerphilly. A friend and I drove up to the nearest place the race was coming to us. We didn’t pick the best spot and as the peloton flew past I didn’t get many good photos.
In 2012 I decided to take a trip to Caerphilly as they were making two trips up Caerphilly Mountain Road and I figured this would be a good place to take some photos. You can see those photos HERE .
More recently I went to watch the Pearl Izumi Tour Series race in Aberystwyth and took some photos which you can view HERE.
So that brings me to last week when I flew from Cardiff to Glasgow (as did another Mike Evans which caused a bit of confusion at the flybe bag drop desk) for the British National Time Trial and Road Race.
After arriving in Glasgow I caught the train out to Stewarton where the time trials where starting from. After checking out the start/finish area I took a walk following the course backwards to a spot about 1.5km from the finish.
First up was the Men’s under 23 race. For this race and the women’s race the riders would be doing two laps of a 17.6km course.
Sam Harrison from Newport in South Wales was the winner in a time of 44:47.965 defending the title he also won last year.
2nd was Joseph Perrett 23 seconds back of Harrison’s time.
In 3rd was George Atkins
Next was the women’s race which featured a stellar field of track cycling Olympic and World Championship medal winners.
1st was Wiggle Honda rider Joanna Rowsell who was part of Team GB’s Gold medal winning Team Pursuit squad at the London 2012 Olympic games. Her winning time was 49:25.67
2nd was Olympic Road Race silver medallist Lizzie Armistead who rides for the Boels Dolmans cycling team.
3rd was 2012 British under 23 Road Race champ Katie Colclough who rides for the Specialized – Lululemon cycling team.
Next up was the men’s race which would be two laps of a longer 24.6km course.
1st was Alex Dowsett of Movistar, who despite a crash and bike change on lap 1 won in a time of 1:02:30.85 which was 21 seconds faster that 2nd place. This was Dowsett’s third successive British Time Trial title.
2nd was Matthew Bottrill of the drag2zero.co.uk team.
3rd was Team Sky’s Ben Swift who was just 0.1 of a second away from 2nd place after being 23 seconds down on Bottrill at the end of lap one.
On to Sunday and the Women’s and Men’s Road Races. The route was a 14.2km course that the Women would do 8 laps of and the men 13. This course was being used as a test for next year’s Commonwealth Games which take part in Glasgow. The start/finish like was located in Glasgow Green before heading through the city centre including the pedestrianised area of Argyle street and Buchanan street then onto Kelvingrove Park and looping around the University of Glasgow before heading back into the city taking in the short steep climb of Montrose street then heading along Cathedral street dropping down on to High street for a fast run down hill before turning left onto London Road and then back around Glasgow Green to the Finish line.
I was at the start/finish line for the start of the Women’s race and saw a few of the riders signing on.
From there I made my way anti clockwise around the course stopping first at the corner where the riders turned onto High Street. At this point on lap 1 Adna-Jay Burgess of the Sandy Wallace cycles team was clear of the peloton.
From there my next stop was at the top of Montrose Street. From there I would make my way to Kelvingrove Park.
Amy Roberts of Wiggle Honda had attempted to go clear and was joined by Emma Trott of Boels Dolmans.
They were quickly caught by a chase group made up of Laura Trott and Dani King of Wiggle Honda and Lizzie Armistead of Boels Dolmans.
The lead group was eventually just three as first Roberts and then Emma Trott were distanced.
On the last lap Armistead was able to break away from Trott and King on the short drag up Great George street and was able to pull away on the remainder of the lap to take the win and her second elite British National Road Race Championship.
Trott won the sprint for 2nd getting the better of team mate King. Trott was the winner in the under 23 category with Emma Grant of Matrix Fitness Racing Academy taking 2nd and Elinor Barker of Wiggle Honda took 3rd.
You can see more photos from the Women’s Road Race HERE.
For the start of the men’s race I stayed in Kelvingrove Park.
Early on defending champion Ian Stannard of Team Sky had got clear of the field with Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Andy Fenn.
A chase group quickly formed behind consisting of Omega Pharma – Quick Step’s Mark Cavendish, Team Garmin-Sharp’s David Millar and Team Sky’s Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh.
It took a few laps but eventually the four chasers caught the leading two.
With a few laps to go Fenn and Swift were dropped as the pace was increased on the Great George street climb.
The four leaders continued on but with less than two laps to go Ian Stannard punctured. Not wishing to capitalise on the defending champs misfortune his three break away companions sat up and waited for him to bridge across to them after his wheel change.
On the last lap Kennaugh lost contact as each rider took a turn in going on the attack. The most promising attack coming as Millar tried to break away on the decent from High Street to London Road but as they entered Glasgow Green for the last time they were all together and it was poised to come down to a bunch sprint.
Not surprisingly the rider they call the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish, took the win with Stannard in 2nd and Millar in 3rd.
In the under 23 category team 100% Me riders Simon Yates and Owain Doull were 1st and 2nd with Team Raleigh riders Thomas Moses was 3rd.
You can view more photos of the Men’s Road Race HERE.
After the race I hung around for a bit and managed to get some of my time trial photos signed by Luke Rowe, Ben Swift, Dani King and Alex Dowsett so a big thank you to them for taking the time.
I’d also like to thank lensfettish.com for the Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM lens which I used on this trip. If you need to hire a lens I can highly recommend lensfettish who offer a good range of lenses at an affordable price and with excellent customer service.
I worked out that in walking from my hotel to the start line and then covering the race at various spots around the course before returning to the finish line then back to the hotel I walked 15miles. So I hope you like this blog and the accompanying photos 🙂