Le Tour en Cambridge!


The Tour de France had its Grand Depart this past week in the UK. The third stage left from Cambridge, my home city and luckily my place of work closed for the day! So I got into town early and pitched up outside the Fitzwilliam Museum. This is the photo story of the day, enjoy! [All images captured with a Nikon D90 and either a Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 or Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens]

People arrived early in Cambridge to grab the best vantage spots.

A few lucky cyclists were allowed to cycle part of the course a few hours before the race came through.

The caravan is a tour favourite - the cars of the sponsors speed through a couple of hours before the cyclists, chucking out freebies (sort of) towards the spectators.

The French sent over everything with the tour - their own police escort included!

The crowds slowly built up throughout the morning. Every cyclist that came through got a big cheer!



And was time for the tour to come by. So many photomotos accompanied the peloton.

Hours of waiting for around 30 seconds of seeing the tour. But completely worth it - the atmosphere was amazing. The cyclists looked like they were really enjoying seeing all of us by the road to send them on their way.

Team Sky in particular got the biggest cheers of the day, being our home team.

A huge fleet of support cars followed the peloton through. All of them trying to keep close to the cyclists led to a few close calls...

Some vehicles were lagging behind.

And then it was all over. Time for everyone to make their way home.

Le Tour is coming...


The official 'Grand Depart' trophy is held each year by the city hosting the start of the Tour de France. It's been quite a while since my last post, due to the terrible weather and an uninteresting work-life balance! But I'm back, and moving into spring I'm hoping to get out there and shoot some more (including some air shows this summer).

The trophy for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France was at work today, and we popped down to take a look (strictly no touching!).

Luckily it was quiet, but it wasn't the easiest object to photograph, primarily because the backdrop behind the trophy was less than desirable. As I wasn't one of the official bods, I wasn't able to move anything to improve things.

Unfortunately some of the backdrops to the shots were less than ideal... 1/160th sec @ f/2.8, ISO 640 (Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8)

However, the light wasn't too bad, and I got some nice contrast and shadows in the images (I did have to bump the ISO to get a workable shutter speed; this is where the D90 starts to show its age...).

Made of stainless steel and glass, the trophy is worth approximately €4000. 1/250th sec @ f/2.8, ISO 640 (Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8)

This year the Tour leaves from Parker's Piece in Cambridge on the 7th July. As the race is going directly past where I work, hopefully I'll be given the day off so I can go and capture some images of the riders and the general atmosphere on the day.

This is a relatively new trophy, designed by the French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. 1/250th sec @ f/2.8, ISO 640 (Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8)