When I arrived to the ‘new’ Hulst course this morning, it quickly transpired that this is the ‘old’ Hulst course, one that had been used many times in the past in the Brico Cross series. I’ve never shot this race, so for me, last year’s seaside venue was the ‘real’ Hulst course and today’s was the new.
Regardless whether it’s a new or an old course, I fell in love with it immediately. The course weaves around the moat of a fort and it was packed with fantastic visual features: a body of water, super-steep climbs, where even just walking up can be a challenge, a windmill or the intricate overpass combo that led to the top of the dyke/wall of the fort. So many things to shoot! I was really excited about it and while it can’t compete with Val di Sole’s pure natural beauty, this is hands down the second most exciting venue in this year’s calendar.
After being this excited, I’m even more disappointed how I couldn’t do justice to this fantastic course. It took me ages and Kristof Ramon’s help to be able to compose the riders and the windmill into a frame that I was happy with. There are very few shots I’m truly happy with. It didn’t help that it’s not the easiest course to move around, a bit like Zolder, where you kind of have to commit to one or the other end of the course, but in most cases, you can’t do both. Then there was that lap, when I just wasn’t paying attention and Pidcock sailed past me while I was deleting photos from one of my cameras (don’t do it when you can only see a 2-3 meter long section of the course and riders can appear out of the blue).
All in all, not a great day, but I still really enjoyed running around this amazing location. Christmas week is over, I’m nearly back home and will be enjoying next week my first weekend off since October. Then I just have to figure out how to get to Flamanville in two weeks’ time…