Contributed by: Christine Wilkins
The Tour of California is a professional bike race from May 14th thru May 21st. The individual time trial is to be held on May 19th at Big Bear. In the time trial each rider competes against the clock as an individual. On the other days of the race they race together. The time trial is a great opportunity for photographers as one has the chance to photograph each rider on the course. The course at Big Bear doubles back on itself, so with a well chosen location one can photograph each rider twice.
The course will be closed sometime before the race starts and remain closed until the last rider is through. The start is around 1 P.M., but the course can be closed as early at 9 A.M. Plan on arriving early and staying all day. Bring chairs, sunscreen, food and water. We plan on scouting the course and picking a spot to set up. One can also access the start and finish lines, rather than midcourse, and not be restricted about leaving.
We like to pan with each rider to convey the sense of motion. With nearly 150 riders coming by twice there will plenty of opportunities to practice and perfect panning.
The start order of the riders will be the opposite of the GC standing list the day before. The highest standing riders in the general classification (GC) will start last. The interval between each rider will be one minute until the last 15 or so when it increases to 2 minutes. There will be riders passing on the course, so the order at start will not necessarily be the order they arrive. Each rider will have a number on his back. I photograph each rider from the back to capture the number for identification. Some rider’s bicycles have their number on them, but not all.
The Tour of California website is http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com where one can download maps of the route, results each day and general information.
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