Ugh. Not sure I want another weekend like this. It’s always a warning sign when the sleep-driving ratio is 1:2 (8 hours of sleep vs 16 hours of driving). But it’s over now and it was a fun weekend.
While I needed all my willpower to get up this morning after a little more than three hours of sleep, it was worth it to see the first-ever junior women’s World Cup race! Not sure about the remaining races in the calendar, as far as I know, all non-elite races have been cancelled. Nonetheless, it was good to see progress.
The only tricky thing about five races a day is that once I find a good spot, I have a tendency to go back there – which can make the rest of the image set sometimes a bit samey. Also, the Tabor course have these looooong, seductive stretches on the course with some nice backdrops and I’m always tempted to use the long lenses too much here.
There were many highlights for me this weekend: Zoe Backstedt’s win, Thomas Mein’s win, seeing how well my compatriot, Blanka Kata Vas did in the elite race while she barely missed the elite podium, she won the U23 race or Michael Vanthourenhout’s first World Cup win, which was well-deserved after yesterday’s misfortune.
What annoyed me a bit was the laxness of the local organisation. There are so many new rules in order to keep the sport Covid-free, the compulsory tests for riders, staff and most members of the media, the ban on photographers in the team areas, the mask use, etc. And this is all good, we should do everything we can to stay healthy and to try to have a semblance of normalcy. And yet there were about 100-150 people wandering around the course, without any kind of accreditation – and many of them wasn’t wearing masks either. What’s the point of all this hoo-ha then? I’d be mightily pissed if I had to pay a small fortune to get tested regularly, only for organisers to ignore the most basic premise of the rules – no spectators. The cherry on the cake was that we were warned that there would be no press room at Tabor. Ok, it’s not ideal, but sure, let’s all stay safe. So the foreign idiots, like myself and the Belgians were editing in their cars, while a few Czech photographers were huddled around one small table in the accreditation centre, without masks, of course. But the chap, who gave me back my press card was behind a screen, so it’s all safe, right? Ok, rant is over.
The first double weekend it looks like this season might just go on until its conclusion. All my fingers are crossed.