Life through a lens

Life through a lens

We should've been just a few short weeks away from the sixth edition of the Tour de Yorkshire but with the race postponed, we thought it would be a brilliant time to look back on some of the truly remarkable images that have been captured by our race photographers at

We've asked four of the team, Simon Wilkinson, Alex Broadway, Alex Whitehead and Allan Mackenzie to pick out their favourite photo that they've taken in the 5 previous editions of the race. Read, in their words, why these pictures mean so much to them.

Ilkley finish on the Cow and Calf in 2018 by Simon Wilkinson

(click photo to enlarge)

The pictures I enjoy taking the most are the ones that I've seen or constructed in my "minds eye" - usually days or sometimes weeks before hand. So it is with this picture from the TDY Mountain Top finish on the Côte de Cow and Calf from 2018. I live in Ilkley and the only picture that mattered to me on the day was a general view of the finish. It had to show the rocks, The Cow and Calf, my home town and the Wharfe Valley in the back ground and the crowd watching the race. It's a very simple easy picture to take, but you just need two things to make the picture.

Number One: Elevation - which came in the form of the VIP viewing area. I stood on top of the viewing platform after blagging my way in.

Number Two: Light - It was a hazy/sunny day and what sun there was kept dipping in and out of the haze. In the haze there was very little light and in these conditions there was NO picture. I could hear and see the race approaching and the light was changing every few seconds - fortunately the sun won over the haze at the right moment as Magnus Cort Neilson made his final sprint to the line.

Boothferry Bridge in 2019 by Alex Broadway

(click photo to enlarge)

I was a couple of minutes ahead of the breakaway, on a moto, looking for anything interesting for a picture and trying to keep my equipment dry.

I saw the bridge and thought it would make for an interesting picture, so stopped the moto and positioned myself head-on and waited for the riders. By this point the rain had become torrential.

I shot the breakaway, but it didn’t make much of a picture, so waited for the peloton as I knew they would fill out the bridge a lot more. When the peloton came through, it was a bit of luck that Nic Dlamini was on the front, not wearing a waterproof and in a bright white kit, really making the picture.

Scarborough finish in 2019 by Alex Whitehead

(click photo to enlarge)

The picture is of Riwal-Readynez Cycling Team’s Alexander Kamp pipping Ineos’ Chris Lawless on the line in a reduced sprint finish on Scarborough’s seafront during stage 3 of the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire. This is one of my favourite TDY pictures as it combines peak action with large crowds, set in front of a picturesque Yorkshire coast.

Due to strong winds, high tide and large waves, the finish line was moved back 500m meaning that an opportunity presented itself for a shot from an elevated position looking straight down the finish line and encompassing the rough conditions of the North Sea as the backdrop.

We are a team of photographers working on the race so we’re lucky to be able to have the resources to shoot an alternative finish line picture while the rest of the team gets the ‘blood and thunder’ action pictures of the winner crossing the line from ground level.

Five minutes before and after the shot, the finish straight was bathed in sunlight but unfortunately went away as the riders arrived. While it would have been nice for the light in the image to be a bit more dynamic, it’s one of those things that sport photographers are used to putting up with, you can’t control the uncontrollable.

Filey in 2018 by Allan McKenzie

(click photo to enlarge)

Typically, these mass-participation pictures as I call them means arriving before anyone else does to finalise the right spot. What looked like a lively proposition during a  reconn can quite literally be dead on arrival - and if that happens, you have to think about an alternative, which is what happened here.

When you're finally in approximately the right spot, you just sit - and wait - and watch - watching for something that might change the picture you're about to take. I moved once to ensure the area in front of me was as full of spectators as possible to foreground the image but I did stand to take it at the last moment to minimise the risk of someone doing the same in front of me. The picture 'made' on the day - it seems the obvious spot but it only takes the bank to not fill with enough people and you've not really got a proper picture, by which point you're stuck and you're out of options.

See more of Simon and his team's brilliant work at and don't forget to follow them on Twitter and Instagram

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