John Sandell photography
Emma Pooley Leading Stage 4

Emma Pooley Leading Stage 4. I was fortunate that the fourth stage of the first professional women's cycling tour – officially the Women's Tour – passed through my home town in East Hertfordshire on 10th May 2014. Sports photography is not really my thing, but this was an opportunity not to be missed. I spent some time the previous day checking the route through the town and trying to work out a good place to be for the few seconds it would take the cyclists to pass; somewhere with interesting cycling and a reasonable photographic background. I decided against being in the centre of the town, where the shop signs would be a distraction, despite a sharpish corner which might make for interesting cycling, and settled on this gentle bend with a slight incline on the way out of the town.

After a seemingly endless parade of police motorbikes operating the 'rolling road closure', and multiple official and support vehicles, the bikes appeared with Emma Pooley leading this small breakaway group. With the shutter release set to Continuous High I pressed the button and tracked them up the hill, hoping Continuous AF would hold focus all the way. They're quick! In the end I was quite pleased with the arrangement in this penultimate shot; it's about half the frame, so effectively a 200mm lens.

Technical: NIKON D800, f=105.0 mm, ISO200, 1/2500 sec @ f2.8

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