SHOOT: I managed to arrive late twice for today's stage. Each stage has started at 10am so naturally I assumed this one would too. Due to internet hassles I spent a long time waiting for 'highlight' pics of yesterday's stage to load. I eventually gave up and left, assuming Bellville and Paarl are just over the hill from each other. Big mistake. They're about 35km apart. When I got there I thought something was amiss, far too much traffic on the road and people still connecting banners etc.
Someone there told me it was starting at 12:30, so I quickly snapped these pics [see below] and then went home to try to reload the 'Highlights' package from stage 6 [below this post].
Then Cell C starting tweeting that Supersport was already broadcasting live and the race was going to start any second. I quickly went to the website and it referred to a noon start! EEEEK. So I rerushed back to the start and, with one or two minutes to noon, parked my car and started walking along the barriers. It turned out to be a very long walk with nary a cyclist in sight [I was hoping to catch a few starting out].
Maybe it was meant to be because here I was walking when suddenly someone from a roadside cafe shouted my name and came running to me in a pair of crocs. I'd never met him before but he 'knew' me from Facebook. We shook hands [the 'Grey' shake] and he said I must come for a beer if I had time. I said I would definitely do that.
I then hiked several hundred kilometres to get to the start, which was 12:30 after all. With about 7 minutes to go I found the lead service vehicle and throwing caution to the wind, decided to hop in there again. I was armed this time with arm warmers [for sun protection] and plenty of sunblock.
I figured shooting on the side of the road would be the route many other guys would take [ie the 'easy' route] but you'd end up with 10 1 second sightings followed by 20 minutes of sitting around twiddling your thumbs. Suppose you could photograph hotties in the crowd or something.
Turned out the service vehicle was a good seat in the house, but a very hot and thirsty one...