Luke Evans is a cycling journalist, author and former editor of Cycle Sport magazine. In his spare time, he pilots top cycling photographer Graham Watson at the races. Currently, he’s taking Graham around the Giro d’Italia.
We are Moto 4 at the Centoanni Giro d’Italia, that is motorcycle number four of 12 accredited stills photographers who have permission to roam freely throughout the race. My ‘capo’ is Graham Watson, the English photographer who has been present for at least a quarter of the 100 Giros.
GW has two Nikon D3 camera bodies, a 16mm fisheye lens and three others: a 24-70mm; 70-200mm; and the fantastic new 200-400mm. All are carried on the bike but the 200-400mm is so big it takes up the whole of the right hand pannier, angled at 45 degrees with not a mill to spare. He has invaded my left hand side pannier, normally reserved for the driver and that is now very full with wet weather gear.
The tankbag is the third ‘drawer’ in our little office. That is the driver’s store for essentials like phone, documents, sunglasses, camera, a gilet top and food. In the clear panel on the tankbag we have a set of profiles for each stage.
The bike is a 1992 BMW K1100LT. It’s the same machine as the white ones that the TV guys use, ours is dark green and not so heavily modified. It has a WP heavy duty shock absorber on the back and big footplates made from checkerplate that GW can stand up on. For the 3,456km Giro it has new tyres, fresh oil in the engine, gearbox and rear drive, and a heavy duty clutch cable.
I love it, it’s not as flickable as the 750cc version but it’s very stable, handles well and will trickle along through a crowd on tickover, which gives GW just enough time to say hi to someone without us having to stop.
We have a scanner and amplifier fitted in the glovebox in the fairing and can hear race radio using the integral speakers in the fairing.
It’s a very neat system, thanks to my mate Robert back home.
Our bags are being carried in a van with those of the Italian Watson, Roberto Bettini. He is here with his son Luca, moto driver Fabio and van driver Pizo. They are Moto 1.
That is our ‘squadra’ for three weeks and the motorbike is our cramped little office, from where we report the race as best we can while trying to remain civil to each other.
|Giro d’Italia 2009 links|
Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey
Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash
Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win
Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin
Cavendish looking for Giro revenge
Armstrong happy with stage four performance
Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead
Giro could be last race for Armstrong’s team
Vande Velde crashes out of Giro
Petacchi claims he didn’t know of Cavendish crash
Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey
Petacchi: I’ve been working out how to beat Cav
I’m wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish
Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial
Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up
Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial
Team time trial start times
Cycling Weekly’s Giro d’Italia top ten prediction
Brits in Venice for Giro presentation
Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation
Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana
Armstrong working to save Astana team
Wiggins in top form for Giro
Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener
Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up
Armstrong’s special Giro bikes unveiled
Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride
Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d’Italia
Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie
David Millar confirms he’s riding in 2009 Giro
Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints
2009 Giro d’Italia to start in Venice
Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride
Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro
Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d’Italia route
Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey
2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features
Find the pink jersey competition
Giro d’Italia 2009: The Big Preview
British riders to have led the grand tours
CW’s Giro top ten prediction
Brits in the Giro 2009
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d’Italia
2008 Giro d’Italia archive
Giro d’Italia 2008 coverage index – race reports, photos, results
From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Giro 2008: The final word on this year’s race
Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special
Five days to go, what’s in store?
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)
Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Giro d’Italia 2008 preview