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HomeStoriesPhotographer Gary Main - "My Favourite Photographs"

Photographer Gary Main – “My Favourite Photographs”

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Here at VeloVeritas we’re pleased to inform you that we’ve hooked up with ace cycling snapper, Gary Main.

You may already have seen some of his images in our Mark Stewart and Dan Bigham interviews?

We thought it might be a good introduction to his work for our readers if he picked out some of his favourite shots for us – over to you, Mr. Main…

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“These photos are probably not always my best work but they all mean something special to me; I’ll do my best to explain.”

Alex Dowsett

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“This first one is Alex in action at the British TT champs at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire. I come from Grimsby and my dad use to take me there as a kid to watch the motorbike races. I wanted to get away from everyone else and saw this road that links the circuit to the main road. The light was good and I got down into a small hollow and took my first top pro rider picture. And Alex is a nice bloke. It was a half-decent camera but a good lens and I’m still really happy with this image.”

* * *

Wiggins and Stevie

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“Bradley Wiggins and Steve Cummings in the Tour of Britain near Liverpool. This is still one of my favourite shots. Wiggins is pointing to the Wirral and Stevo is having a laugh with him.”

* * *

Jon Dibben

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

Jon is the World Points Champion, London 2016. This was one of those points races where you have enough time to figure out in your own time what is going on. With 20 or so laps left I was bouncing – I realised that if he won the last sprint he would be world champion. If you watch the last 10 minutes, he just rode away from them. I was in tears. I was in the crowd for this one; it still brings back goosebumps.

“The two pictures show his coach – [the now sacked Heiko Salzwedel, ed.] – and the look of pride on his face; and Jon’s face is everything a photo to me should be about. I met Jon coming back from Doha and spoke to him about this and he talked me though that race. Again, a nice bloke with time for some middle aged snapper talking to him. Just watch the last ten or so minutes on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean – awesome.”

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Dan Fleeman

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“This is Dan at the Melton Classic and it was my first time working with a team. The ‘finger’ shot is not a technically good shot but Metaltek boss Andy Swain and his team were not going to be beaten by anyone that day. The amount of hard work and logistics they put in to this race was impressive. Dan is a friend of mine and the second shot shows how much the win meant to him. ‘Can you sprint?’ asked the Aussie, ‘no’ said Dan – priceless. A local team winning one of the hardest British races against the best opposition.”

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Sagan and Cavendish

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“Mark had just lost a sprint to Peter Sagan. He must have been so disappointed but his first thought was, ‘well done’ and a hand tap. Cav doesn’t always come across that well but this one shot show what a true sportsman he is. No one else got this shot, the other photographers were down the road.”

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Rainy Sprint

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“I was in Bath with Metaltek and this is Bertie Newry sprinting for third place. It felt to me like one of the old northern European sprint finishes. He has poor eyesight and with the rain said afterwards he had no idea where anyone was. Dirty faces and grubby conditions – a great finish.”

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David Bates

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“A local race on the Swynnerton circuit with local lad David Bates winning. This is his favourite photo of him in action on a bike – that’s the best praise I can ever have. Nothing more to add, racing at its best for me.”

* * *

Steve Cummings

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

Steven Cummings is great rider and real gentleman. My first big race with accreditation was the Nationals on the Isle of Man. I picked him out along with nearly every other rider. It was only later I saw him stare at my lens. Was he just looking my way? I’m not sure but he went on to win it that year. He made my job really easy in the winner’s enclosure later by posing for photos. I will be forever grateful for that.”

* * *

Rain

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“This one because everyone who has ever ridden a bike has been that way and has felt that cold. I love this shot so much.”

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Dan Bigham

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“This is at the CTT National 25. Conventional wisdom is that every shot should have the riders face in it to show their personality. Not this one though – Dan’s cooked and again, anyone can relate to this whatever their level.”

* * *

John and Katie Archibald

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“This one took over 500 shots to get. It was the National Track Champs at Manchester. I was looking to around to see what shot I could take. At Manchester there is a gantry entrance on the far side I like to use on the banking. I saw John cheering his sister on. So I focused on him and every lap tried to get Katie in the background. On the last lap I got it – I wanted him in sharp focus and Katie blurred.”

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Team KGF

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“Team KGF in Minsk. I had no baggage, it went AWOL, just my camera. The story of how they won the team pursuit competition in Minsk is well documented – and this podium shot is what they are all about. I did get my bags back the day I flew back home.”

* * *

Peter Sagan

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“Sagan at the Worlds in Bergen. No one saw him, everyone thought he wasn’t there. I got this shot and the only other ones I saw were the head one sprint shots. Those are the ‘money shots,’ but this is a shot I got which no one else did.”

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Geraint Thomas

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“Everyone likes Geraint Thomas and this is the reason why. This is at the Tour of Britain this year. I will leave that one there.”

* * *

Ian Stannard

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“And the same for Ian Stannard.”

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Chute!

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“This is at Leicester this year. First off, no one was seriously hurt. Again, I saw all the photographers up by the pits. I thought, ‘I’m not going there because everyone else is there.’ I was by the TV cameraman as it was a nice long shot. You can look at the shots of the day – all side on – but none telling the whole picture. I even got Gabz Cullaigh winning the race. Go where no one else is, if you can.”

* * *

Mark Stewart

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“The last picture is of Mark Stewart, the moment it sank in he was third in world points race champs. ‘I’m on the podium!’ He told me what he was going to do but I didn’t pay heed to it. I won’t be doing that again. I sold him a photo about four years ago in the Nationals and he remembered me – that meant a lot to me.”

* * *

Hangers-on

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“Well, it was almost the last, here’s one more… The back room staff watching the team pursuit squad winning gold in Apeldoorn. It’s not all about the riders – it’s teamwork. I stopped watching the race and looked inwards, saw this shot and grabbed it.”

* * *

Mountain Descent

Gary Main
Photo©Gary Main

“And finally – this is the photo I have waited all my life to take.”

We hope that like us you look forward to seeing more of Gary’s cracking images gracing the pages of VeloVeritas.

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