It was a big relief on Friday, when the French government lifted the ban on entering the country from the UK. It allowed me to get to Flamanville without much hassle, except for the 14 hour trip to get there.
The course reminded me slightly to Hulst, in a sense that it had one big feature (the castle) and the course was clustered around that. It was a fetching castle and I enjoyed trying to compose it into my shots as much as possible. In the one hand, the course was quite spread out, which didn’t make life easy, on the other hand, there were plenty of points where one could catch the riders twice in the same lap. As per usual, the French spectators, even though their numbers were maximised at 3,000, created a great atmosphere, so it was a fun day all around.
Two minor niggles. One was getting there. I came from Paris with fellow photographers Yefri Tiercelin and Ethan Glading. While I’m sure eventually I would have find gotten in, it felt like quite tricky to enter the venue even with him being a native speaker and being someone with some local knowledge. Other thing was the lack of food. Gone are the days of a three-course meal, a’la Pont-chateau, where lovely ladies served us a lovely meal. No, as per the press people, no arrangement have been made to provide food for the members of press. As I said many times before, it’s not about the money, it’s not that deserve free food, it’s just these days are really hectic and we simply don’t have time to queue to buy coupons first and then queue again to get food. Luckily, Dennis Jansen helped me out and surprised me with some crepes – I owe you one, Dennis!
One more weekend to go before the big weekend in Arkansas and with the travel ban lifted, I’ll be able to be come to Hamme and Hoogerheide on the bike!