Danielle Ward’s ability to capture the beauty of cycling is first rate, and we were delighted to see her at this year’s New Zealand Cycle Classic. Here Danielle from Concept78-Photography shares some of her personal favourites from the two days she got to spend in the Waipa region following the race and her reasons why they stand out to her.
Hayden McCormick pressing on
Aaron Gate in yellow
Cyrille Thiery leads the way
Fan fever on Maungakawa
I just like this one because the organizers did such a fantastic job of putting this event together. When you consider that to get to the finish line at Maungakawa Scenic Reserve, if you didn’t have a bike, everyone had to walk the last little bit after either parking off the course (which for some meant a long long walk) or they got the shuttle bus to the turn then walked the rest. Considering that, the crowds that came to support were awesome and numbers were large. Once there they were well catered for with plenty of refreshments on offer as well as the giant screen with a live feed of the race all set amongst the beauty of the reserve. A stunning end to a great day’s racing.
Beware flying bottles
Stage 5 circuit 1. A few were inclined to set up their teams’ feed zone on the crest of this hill. Feed zones are places of stress, panic, potential theft of other teams’ water bottles from desperately thirsty riders and chaos, in other words, they can be fun! I love this shot of water bottles flying through the air as they are discarded. What happens to all of these that are left roadside? Brad from Team Skoda Fruzio picked up each and every one of them and put them in the back of his car to be picked up later if they so wished.
Calm before the storm
I just like this one of the EvoPro Racing team relaxing pre-race in the morning sun while having breakfast before Aaron Gate heads off to finally clinch the win in the New Zealand Cycle Classic.
Count the cars in the convoy
The team procession that followed was pretty impressive and at times led all the way back to the horizon.
Early stage 4 breakaway action
The peloton starts to break up out on the first stage. I like this photo because it shows the breakaway digging in and the bunch with support vehicles are shown blurred into the background.
Team Skoda Fruzio in action
The passion of support was awesome to see as Brad hands off a water bottle as well as words of encouragement to Joel Yates who had attacked the bunch and was off the front for some time.
Zeno looking very photogenic
Well no one ever said it was easy, but at least he gets his own camera crew! Matt Zenovich was one of the great animators of the race and this photo sums up what he is about as a rider.
Supporting the cyclists
Along the way on the second circuit some locals hung over their fence to offer some reassurance. The more road cycling can gather support from locals the better off everyone will be as it may encourage even more supporters and more tolerance out there for when they are just out there training; as well as racing.
Feeling fabulous at the finish of stage 5
How can any event be covered and there not be at least one celebratory line cross?! Theodore Yates gave a thrilling push to win stage 5 and Jensen Plowright was just as euphoric to cross in second place beside him giving Drapac Cannondale Holistic Development Team a nice 1-2 for the finish. In images I really like to capture emotion in all its spectrums, and this is one of those shots.