Enduro mountain bike racing is one of the most rewarding sports I've photographed. It's also probably one of the hardest to capture, an intimate knowledge of the trails and mountain bike expertise is required to keep ahead of the racers throughout the weekend. Riding ahead with camera gear, food, water and a bike repair kit to find locations in time to photograph each unique stage is exhausting but ultimately worth all the effort to capture the most popular form of mountain bike racing.
I've captured and written about 2 National Enduro events which featured at Pinkbike and at [R]evolution MTB and in issue 47 of [R]evolution Magazine. I also captured images for a very unique stand alone Enduro race called Mckayos which was published at Flow Mountain Bike. I'm currently the lead photographer for the Victorian Enduro Tour.
In 2015 and 2016 I competed in The Yak Attack; the worlds highest (and one of the toughest) mountain bike races in Nepal. The event is a stage race that climbs up to 5416m (17770ft) and follows trails into some of the most remote places of Nepal. As a competitor I was able to capture some amazing photographs along the 500km race route through the Himalaya.
I was fortunate enough to be able to photograph the 2017 Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns, Australia. It was a week long event and proved to be one of the more memorable World Champs of the past few years.
The pressure on Cairns locals Tracey and Mik Hannah was insane. Family, friends and thousands of fans gathered trackside to see their hometown heroes potentially take the win in both Elite Women and Elite Men. Years of hopes and dreams coming down to 3.5 minutes of downhill precision on the dry and dusty jungle course.
After the dust had settled it would be bittersweet for the Aussie contingent; Tracey would slide off the track on a loose off-camber section, hitting her head in the process. She was 8 seconds down after halfway but would gain 6 seconds back to take the bronze medal. The eventual winner was Miranda Miller from Canada, possibly the funnest racer on circuit to be around is now the worlds fastest. Stoked!
Mik Hannah put down an amazing run that would only be beaten by another Specialized Gravity racer; Loic Bruni! He has won in Cairns before and knew where he could make up time on Mik's home track advantage. It was an amazing performance by the Frenchman and the crowd knew it was the best they would see! Emotional moments of joy, heartbreak, elation and frustration all balled up in to one afternoon of Downhill delight. Thanks for the show! I hope to see you all trackside next World Cup season.
A massive thanks to Downhill247 for the support during the week. You can check out their 5 day report here: Downhill247
Elephant In The Room was my first solo exhibition in 2011, Hobart, Tasmania. The idea behind the exhibition was to fundraise to relocate an Asian Elephant from a life of cruelty to an Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand. The exhibition was a huge success and went on to feature positively in National media.
It was also the springboard for my solo bike ride from Melbourne to Cairns (Ride Bikes, Not Elephants) to continue fundraising and complete the project. A detailed website about the 2 year project can be found at www.ridebikesnotelephants.net
Being passionate about racing, I have a keen interest in how elite athletes have come to be the fastest. I’ve interviewed many elite mountain bikers for various magazines and enjoy uncovering some unique insight into the world of Elite Mountain Bike racing.
An interview with Ben Mcilroy can be found at Gravity Down Under.
Travelling to photograph sporting events takes me to some beautiful places that stand out all by themselves. A selection of these images will be for sale as canvas prints in the near future.
The Buffalo Stampede is an Trail Running Ultra Marathon held every year in Bright, Victoria.
The run is 75km with over 4654m in climbing it is one of Australia's toughest races. Beginning before sunrise to maximise the amount of daylight for the athletes, they must run in the pitch dark through the tricky terrain around Mystic forest before heading up the epic Big Walking trail to Mount Buffalo. After the 42km Marathon distance the athletes are up an altitude of around 1500m and the terrain becomes even trickier with tight tunnels and rock formations to scramble through, under and over. But this is only Halfway!
Fatigue begins to settle in and after hours and hours of physical effort, each trail runner now faces the tough mental challenge to descend the mountain and make the crucial cut off times at each checkpoint. Another 2 monster hill climbs up and over Clearspot and Mystic Hill are required before the finish in Bright.
Sam McCutcheon lead from start to finish in a time of 8hrs 22 minutes, while Christie Hopkins overtook Katherine Mckean to win in a time of 11hrs 29 min.
It was one of the more inspiring events I've photographed, a long day out shooting in the dark, rain and cold before relaxing in the sun at the finish.
On March 29, 2017 Kristoff Allegaert, Mike Hall and Sarah Hammond rode from Omeo up and over Falls Creek. They were the leaders of the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel Race (IPWR), a road time trial race from Perth to Sydney. The 5500km race took the racers through the Nullarbor Plains Desert, the Great Ocean Road and up over the Australian Alps, it truly is an epic race!
All 70 of the competitors left as a group only 12 days ago and dramatically the lead changed for the first time today. Mike caught Kristoff at the top of one the toughest climbs in Australia at Falls Creek.
What promised to be a great battle to Sydney ended in tragedy as only a couple of days later Mike Hall would be hit by a car and killed just south of Canberra. It was a huge shock to everyone who had been following the race and for those who know of Mike. He was a legendary cyclist but more than that he embodied true spirit, the courage to follow dreams and inspire others to do so as well.
These images of these 3 amazing athletes will always inspire me. Be sure to follow next years race over at: IPWR
I’ve captured a few cyclocross events over the last couple of Winters, its a pretty fun day out and unique to photograph.
If you have an event you'd like to capture, I'd love to be apart of it!