The last sporting event for me, Drenthe 200 2019. A few years ago I photographed this tour and this year I have the opportunity to sit by the side again. Not too far down the route, but also not in the beginning. In the beginning it is too dark, the sun is not expected above the horizon until around 09:00 and the start is alr
eady at 06:00 At the end the field of participants is so scattered that the sun has left long before the broom wagon has passed me. The latter can cross the finish line until 0:00.
Based on the expected passage times, I choose a place where the first riders are expected after 10:00; Westerbork. Just about half. The plotted route through Drenthe (and a part of Friesland) is 200 kilometres long and more than 1,000 participants participate. The distance must be travelled on a mountain bike, fatbike (MTB with very thick tires) or cyclocrosser (cross between MTB and road bike).
My preparations for the day
According to the weather forecasts, it should be a good day. No precipitation expected, but despite the sun the feeling temperature will be around zero degrees. That gets myself dressed well, because I'm less active than all cyclists. Thermoclothing, two pairs of socks, ski suit, gloves, scarf and just to be sure a hat in the bag. I add the food and drink in the next morning.
The camera bag is the turn after charging a battery and formatting the memory cards. I partially cleaned up the computer by moving the previous events to the external hard drive. During the Drenthe200 2019 edition I expect to take a lot of pictures, so I desperately need the space. In the camera I put a 128GB card so I don't have to switch. With so many participants, I estimate that there is not much time left for that. Because I don't know the environment, I bring an extra lens. I'll see what I need on the spot.
The next day I look at the leading group at 9:45 p.m. on the Drenthe200 app. It indicates the adjusted passage time; for Westerbork I then by 9:30. After a few editions of this marathon, I honestly expected a better estimate of the expected times. Now I'm not going to make it to the first one to take a picture. Well, pack up as soon as possible and get out.
Quarter to ten I arrive and i walk towards the trail. The heather is completely white and on the horizon I see the sun trying to get above the clouds. What a beautiful environment it is. A pair of helmets in the far range let me know why I'm here. When I get to a split, I look both ways. Turn right to the location I picked out via Google Maps, but on the left I see a path coming out of the forest with clear visibility and plenty of space next to it. With the advantage that it is closer, so I can shoot almost immediately. That's not a difficult choice.
Drenthe200 2019, the first pictures
And so begins my cold morning. Fortunately, the participants in the Drenthe 200 2019 follow themselves smoothly in succession and I keep moving. Thanks, thumbs and other positivity follow, the atmosphere is fine even though they have half to go. Several times I hear them telling each other that they should remember the name on my billboard in the roadside. A few call Verkoeijen after seeing it. One arrives in a group with a "Heejj Dennis!"
Look, that makes me instantly curious, because I don't recognize him. Sportswear, helmet on and scarf high on the chin. Plus I pay more attention to the camera image as the person himself. After passing the group, I look back at the photo to confirm my suspicion. yes, that might have been Peter, an ex-colleague, nice.
Progress Drenthe200 2019
The first hour yields nearly 700 photos. The second hour 900. Slowly, the wintry landscape has disappeared under the cautious rays of sunshine. And after that, things get quieter and quieter. The next hour yields 400 images. The sun disappears behind clouds and it gets colder. The distance between the participants is increasing and the waiting despite the music is longer. By two o'clock, I'll keep it for a while. I pack the stuff, but keep the camera around my neck. I'm going to walk one way the other way and see the location I originally had in mind.
Once back at the car, I haven't seen a single participant. I can get back into the heat, the first ones have already crossed the finish line. Time to drive back to Assen and the 2,000 photos so.s.m. online.
Processing the photos
At home I turn on the stove and the PC. In the evening I post a message with quickly chosen photos for an impression of the day. After everything has been edited in Lightroom, converting the RAW file to a JPG can. This will take a few hours, so the next morning I can't move on. On the Facebook and Twitter of Drenthe 200 I post to the album. Which will later be deleted by Facebook. And thank you. Then post a link to my website.
Thank all participants for all the nice words, pointing finger(s), waving hand, a smile, head nod or tongue to me today. I have heard several times a "thank you", "good morning" and later "good afternoon". After a "success further" addressed to you, I sometimes heard behind me just "you also success". Despite the fact that there was still 100 kilometers to cycle on the well-organized trail through the rolling Drentsche landscape.
Film Drenthe200 2019 edition
While shooting, I mounted the smartphone on top of the camera and on a mini tripod to take short shots of various participants. Maybe you saw something in the middle of the dirt path on the ground. These recordings are combined into this four-minute video as an impression of the event:
Result of the day, photos
It was a very spectacular day for me as a photographer to be able to capture everything. I left 2,000 photos to the sporting event. I will choose a few photos and post online (website, Facebook, Instagram) as a short impression of the day.
The photos of the Drenthe200 2019 edition can be viewed below. The further financial settlement runs through Oypo, so that possible combination with other events / photographers can be combined. Read my short explanation about Oypo and the possibilities for ordering a print, digital file, garment or other gift with the photo taken. Enjoy this day, have fun and watch until next time.