This is the second time that the end of the year finds me in Belgium, in the middle of the cyclocross season. Albeit a bit arbitrarily, but New Year’s Eve is the start of something new for most people. Looking back on the previous year, hatching plans, new beginnings and the compulsory new year resolutions. For me, and I believe for most of us in the cyclocross bubble, it’s not really a watershed moment.
New Year’s Eve is just another night and one goes to bed reasonably early, as the New Year has to start early in order to get to the GP Sven Nys in Baal on time…
That being said, it’s good to look back the past calendar year as it’s been a busy one. So here are twelve little stories for 2012 – the post with the 10 best photos will go live on the 31st.
The new year brought a new bike sponsor for Zdenek Stybar – Omega Pharma – Quickstep switched from Eddy Merckx bikes to Specialized. While a few other cross teams also switched to new bikes, Specialized managed to steal the show with Styby’s new pink Specialized Crux which commemorated the first off-road Specialized bike that had had the same colours, almost 30 years ago. The icing on the cake was the pink fedora Styby was parading in before the race – it was a refreshingly unusual sight.
When Belgian cyclocross legend, Paul Herygers won the World Championships in 1994, my fellow Hungarian, Gabor Schneider was also in the race. He, however, was on the other end of the field, he was dead last when he was about to be lapped by Herygers. This happened in the finish straight and out of courtesy, Schneider provided cover from the wind for Herygers for the duration of the long and windy straight. Herygers never looked back and won the Worlds and Schneider was called out. Cue to the 2012 Krawatencross: the organisers had invited Schneider to the Oldies race in the morning and that was when I saw this guy in Hungarian national kit. It was quite a surprise and it definitely made my day.
One of the biggest events in 2012 was when I finished the Cyclocross 2011/2012 book in March. It was the fruit of hard work for three months and I had Kriszta, my lovely designer and Caroline, my lovely content contributor to help me to pull it all together. Plus there were a lot of other people who helped me to make it happen. Thank you very much.
A small step in the cycling business but a big leap for me when this double page spread of my photo of Stybar winning in Lievin was used in a Specialized ad in Procycling.
In May, I started using Instagram. It’s a fun little app and in the last few months I started to use it quite regularly and I started to enjoy it – it’s a shame that I’ll probably leave it in January, once the new T&C kicks in.
Also in May, my book’s launch was held in London, a nice little evening, dedicated to cyclocross and I had invited a special guest: Zdenek Stybar himself came for the launch to London. Thanks for everybody who was there that night.
During one of my trips back to home, I stumbled upon a big stack of old photos. There were about 10 rolls of films of my early attempts at cycling photography. Well, those were the only days and the use of film meant it was a totally different game. You can see the photos here, here and here.
August was dominated by the Olympics. I was lucky enough to see bits of all disciplines, except for the BMX.
One of the most fun adventures of the year was the Tour de Eurobike. Six colleagues of mine decided to ride from Gatwick to Eurobike (in Friedrichshaven, Germany). The distance was more than a thousand kilometers and they covered it in five days. I shot and edited a short film for every day of the ride, which was very demanding and tiring but immensely fun, even though I had spent my birthday with a bunch of lyrca-clad guys.
I was back in my beloved Belgium in October. Last year, I was complaining a lot about the too good weather – that hasn’t been a problem this year, most of the races have been pretty muddy, so all is well on that front. And shooting cross is still the best thing ever. Seriously.
One of the most exciting project at work by the end of the year has been the launch of Hoy Bikes, the bike range of Sir Chris Hoy. It allowed me to work with Sir Chris numerous times, shooting photos and videos. These materials are to be kept under wraps for now, but they will be out in 2013, so keep an eye out for them.