A Dirty Dozen
Geoff Waugh selects 12 images from his cross archive. Expect toeclips and straps to carbon frames and disc brakes…
“These aren’t necessarily my best pictures or even my favourites, although one or two may come close. I wanted to display a mix of images from back in the day to modern times that go some way to catching the elements that make ‘cross so endearing and enduring. Only one World Cup, I also wanted to depict the grass roots events, the regions, and the one offs where most of us started and many remain!”
1. Age Before Beauty
I have better Three Peaks picture than this, pictures that are technically superior in light and composition. But this image, captured on the climb up Pen y Ghent, sums up the unique flavour of this race for me. I don’t know this man but some of you no doubt will. To be competing in such a race at his age is a testament to his grit and imagination. And probably lots and lots of stretching! Sir, I salute you.
2. What Happens in Vegas..
Where else are you going to see a beauty queen, a fake Elvis and three bronze Adonis on a podium? And dare I mention the heat during this night time race around a large grass playing field? Well, you’d hard pushed to beat it in any UK event despite Global Warming.
3. The ruts with a small r
I love ruts, which means I like the mud that forms them. They make steering difficult and cause target fixation. A good rut rider is a pleasure to watch. This is a saturated Hoghill in Essex at a London League race. There was snow on parts of the track but where it was thawing it was a muddy, brake blocked ‘nightmare’.
4. Mr Marigolds
Mr Marigolds himself David Baker racing in a Smirnoff International event at Harlow in the early 90s. Baker was taken from the off sport game way too early no thanks to a heart problem, but when he was in his pomp he was Mr Smooth personified and a joy to watch and photograph.
5. Under Simon’s watchful eye
Aah, the heady days of ACE RT and a certain Simon Burney, seen here handing up a bike at a National Trophy race in Sutton Coldfield circa 1992/3. Shot on Fuji Velvia with a fisheye lens and a pop of on-camera flash; a technique I shelved many years ago.
6. 90s Gold
It’s 1992. I’m in Roundhay Park in Leeds and the world’s best riders are only racing in the World CX Champs! I was like a pig in poo. Here’s Belgian legend Danny de Bie romping up one of the steep hills. Look at his style. Look at that bar tape, look at those gloves and toe straps. And those bar end shifters. Look at them! Very glad I made the drive to this seminal event. I’d love to see the Worlds on our shores again.
7. Mike the bike
Talking of Roundhay worlds – here’s the man winning the main event, Mike ‘the bike’ Kluge of the Focus team and riding for Germany. Like many around the early 90s, Kluge mixed CX with MTB and is still competing today.
8. Riders of the Apocalypse.
This was taken on a FujiFilm XPro-1 camera which I carried with me at an Eastern Region race along the banks of Grafham Reservoir in Cambridgeshire. I shot it with a 35mm lens and intentionally underexposed to add to the mood – one of those winter days when it never really gets light.
9. Lances… ATTACK
In the trenches at the World Cup round in Milton Keynes a few years ago. A stupendous event that really deserves to be repeated. I noticed the fans in silhouette on top of the highpoint and thought they looked a bit like an army defending the high ground. While the mechanics do all the attacking with their lances.
10. To the brink
Another from MK. This was the first drop after the start finish straight and it fell away into an off camber that was tricky to ride and the scene of many a spill. From a photographers’ pen below I watched as the riders broke the light burst from a low winter sun. It was a no-brainer for someone who loves to shoot directly into the light.
11. Muddy Hell
Halloween racing at Herne Hill in south London. Another race that needs to return to the calendar. I dragged the shutter here (used a slow speed) and zoomed the lens at the same time with a pop of flash for good measure. I think it added to this guy’s vampire effect.
12. Log out
Your friend and mine Mr Roger Hammond bunny hopping a log (remember them?!) in his Evans Cycles days. This could be Shirley Hills in Surrey or it could be somewhere in Birmingham; my mind just won’t retrieve the data! As we know, Hammond went on to much bigger things.