Gent-Wevelgem and the Belgian holy week

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Hello from Oudenaarde and welcome to Belgian holy week! On Thursday I flew to Belgium ahead of Gent-Wevelgem. As a cycling fan I’ve followed these races for years, but have never been here to experience them in person.

My discovery started soon after getting to our house for the week. I learned that the Koppenberg is just 2km up the road from here. I threw my camera over my shoulder, grabbed a bike and headed down the road. Pedalling into the wind, I followed the paved bike path that used to be railroad tracks. On my left I saw the hill of the Koppenberg looming. At a small intersection I turned left onto the cobbles. After passing a few houses, the road went steep quickly.

Carrying a camera on my back and wearing jeans and running shoes, I managed to get about 1/4 way up until I surrendered and started to walk.
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Mallorca, broken van, and Trofeo Binda

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Binda

Last week is a blur of travel. Air, land, and over water, we had it all. From Drenthe the team went right to Mallorca for media camp, then directly to Italy for Trofeo Binda. Let me break the blur down for you.

Mallorca

Media camp is an annual event put on by team sponsor Wiggle. It’s their chance to meet the team, do interviews, and get photos and video footage that they can use throughout the year. For the staff, we had our own brief photo session and attended a few interesting presentations, but mostly for us it was a chance to share a poolside lunch in the sun and have long chats over all-inclusive beers.

We followed the team out on training rides, but I wasn’t allowed to film much. Wiggle had their own photography director and film crew. We were not to ruin their shots by hanging out of car windows with our cameras.
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Ronde van Drenthe

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Ronde van Drenthe

Ronde van Drenthe was the start of a two week road trip. I flew to Belgium then rode in the team camper to Holland. The schedule for the team was the same as last week, two days of course recon before the Saturday race.

On Thursday the team was scouting the last 100km of the race route, including the VAMberg and some of the longer narrow cobble sections. The weather was the typical Dutch fare with cold rain and lots of strong winds. I was finally able to get some good filming done from the car. Filming from a stationary spot on the road is usually all I am able to do, but this doesn’t give the best imagery. I was super happy to get some long continuous shots of the team riding together.

Over the next two days, I made a recon video with rainy gritty slow motion shots and some nice interviews.
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Strade Bianche.. what an amazing day

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Strade Bianche is a fascinating race. Glorious countryside, allure of the white roads, brutal steep gravel climbs and nasty spring weather assure plenty of drama. The finish line in Siena is always electric with anticipation. The very first Women’s World Tour race of the season didn’t disappoint.

My days on site with Wiggle High5 started last Wednesday. I picked up one of the riders at the airport, then drove down to Siena in the evening. Thursday morning began the team’s official course recon. I followed the team by car, filming where possible. The narrow roads made it challenging to stay ahead of the riders. After stopping to film the team riding past, it was another long while before I could safely get back in front of them again.

Not coming away with the best ride footage, I tried to focus on filming sponsor material. Muc-Off seemed like an appropriate sponsor to focus on.
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