Top cycling photographer Andy Jones takes us on a tour of his favourite images from 2011 and lets us in on the secret of how he captured the atmosphere and froze moments in time.
Far from the crowds
I’m always on the lookout for something different. Here a well turned out gent sits and relaxes in the late afternoon sunshine that catches the seating at Manchester Velodrome during the National Track Championships.
Lars Boom and Geraint Thomas head to the summit of Caerphilly Mountain on stage four of the Tour of Britain. I picked the final corner to the climb to try and capture some of the large crowd that had built to cheer the riders home – including a little Welsh Devil.
Done and dusted
Capturing reactions to situations is always a challenge. Here Gregory Bauge shows his relief after taking another world sprint title in Apeldoorn.
Mark Cavendish signs on as Alex Dowsett looks on at the start of the London Surrey Classic. Cav would finally announce he had signed to ride for Team Sky in 2012 after his HTC-Highroad team folded.
In on the action
Belgium’s Kenny De Ketele and Iljo Keisse on their way to the European Madison title in Apeldoorn. I like to use a 300mm from the outside of the track. Patience and a little bit of luck capture the hand sling changes in amongst the frantic action.
Remains of the day
It was a cold and wet stage in to Moffat during The Tour DoonHame. Here Pete Williams’s face tells us what the day has been like.
The spectacular scenery of Dalveen Pass is the backdrop to the Tour DoonHame peloton.
Star in the making
Lucy Garner, seen here in Peterborough during the Johnson Health Tech GP, would go to Copenhagen in September to take the junior road world title.
It’s a good walk up the Simon Fell to capture the riders in the Three Peaks cyclo-cross. National champion Paul Oldham headed the riders in to the mist and rain on the ascent towards Ingleborough.
Capturing the crowds on the Ryals climb as they cheer on their favourites during the National Road Race Championships.
The Lincoln GP finish is always tricky to shoot; backlit and you only have a moment’s notice to pick up the action as the riders appear around the final corner on to the cobbled market square finish. Here Scott Thwaites just pips Ian Bibby to the line.
All photographers like to capture the medal ‘celly’ shot. Here the GB women’s pursuit team makes for a colourful spectacle after taking the world title in Apeldoorn.
The mist and drizzle had cleared as the race came to the final kilometre of the stage finish up the Mûr de Bretagne on stage four of the Tour. I got to a position just below the flamme rouge to capture Cadel Evans on the front with Alberto Contador and Philippe Gilbert on his wheel. Evans took his only stage win of the race here on his way to yellow in Paris.
Facing a challenge
I found I could shoot some Tour de France TTT warm-up pictures and then walk a kilometre to a point in the final kilometres of the stage to get some action shots. Here Wiggins stares into his visor in final preparations before heading out to the start.
The Tour of Britain Kendal to Blackpool stage was eventually cancelled due to high winds and rain, but I managed to capture this amusing shot of Mark McNally as he waited in the team bus in Kendal.
Light and shade
Using the 300mm lens from the home straight stands, I got a rear shot of the GB team in their winning ride during the Manchester World Cup event. I had a bit of luck with another photographer’s flash from up above the bend, which created the effect here.
On the clock
Paul Manning shouts the timings to his riders during the World Track Championships in Apeldoorn.
Tour de force
I went down to the 300m to go point to try and get a different finish shot. Here Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert powers up the Tour stage one finish in Les Herbiers, leaving Fabian Cancellara looking to see why his legs have deserted him.
Michael Hutchinson gives it everything to take the Brompton World Championship at Blenheim Palace in August.
Eventual race winner Zak Dempster heads the field along the rough ‘Paris-Roubaix’ style tracks in this year’s Dengie Marshes Tour.
A view from the pontoon
I arrived at the Passage du Gois early just as the tide had exposed the causeway, got parked up on the far side, walked back along the causeway and climbed up one of the pontoons to get some aerial shots as the race came through.
See more photos by Andy Jones in our gallery section>>