So here we are. I haven’t photographed a bike race since Oostmalle and I was suitably excited before Sunday’s race. At the same time, I didn’t know how it was going to go, what it was going to be like to cover a race without almost no spectators. Because it wasn’t completely empty, there were a couple of dozen people, mostly family members of the riders – just like at any little local race around the world. Or like the races these riders did, early in the morning, as ‘nieuwelingens’. Or the women, 8-10 years ago, when their races were held before the juniors. But I digress.
It was ok. On the one hand, life was a lot, lot easier. There were no angry members of public, who hate you because you block their view. Crossing the course wasn’t a problem, because the marshals knew that we knew what we were doing and there was no danger of us setting a bad example to the average punter.
On the other hand, there were no crowds. There were no public displays of emotions, no cheering, no clapping, nothing. There were no impressive crowds to use as backdrops. It just felt lifeless. Also, this is not related to the crowds, but shooting in a mask is trickier than I had thought, the viewfinder fogs up in a second, just like my glasses do. I will need to find a solution for that for the rest of the season.
IF there is going do be a season, that is. At the moment, while the majority of the World Cup schedule has been cancelled and there are only five or six races are left in that series, it looks like the Superprestige and the Trofee races will go ahead, as the losses will be absorbed by the organisers, Flanders Classic and Golazo. In the coming days, the UCI and the Belgian sports minister will sit down to review the feasibility of Worlds in Oostende in January 2021.
If I’m entirely honest, I don’t think we’ll go that far, but I hope I will be proven wrong. In the meantime, I am going to make the most of this season, who know how long is it going to be? What do you think, how long do you think the season is going to be?