Story of the cover: RIDE #62

The 62nd edition of RIDE Cycling Review will be on sale nationally (in Australia) as of 6 December 2013. We feature two professional cyclists and their bikes: Caleb Ewan and Cadel Evans – a rider with potential together with a true pioneer of the sport. Here is a quick overview of how the cover came together.


Getting the right shot for the season


– By Rob Arnold


Usually the image on the front of RIDE Cycling Review reflects a moment in racing. It’s not always an action shot but the larger percentage of covers since the first issue in 1998 feature a rider on their bike in the midst of competition. In November 2013, we conducted our third staged cover photo session: planned and with one purpose in mind, to find an image for the front of RIDE. The planning began late on Tuesday 5 November with a quick note to the manager of both riders, Jason Bakker.

“Okay, here’s the thing: I’d like to have Cadel and Caleb on the cover of the next issue…”

“Can it be in Sydney? We may have time on Saturday?”

“Saturday could work.”

And so it would be. Within a day, it was all agreed.



RIDE Cycling Review issue #62. Coming soon…

Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith

* * * * *

Even before the final accord with Bakker, Cadel Evans and Caleb Ewan was struck, two quick texts to Tim Bardsley-Smith yielded the final component for the moment: a photographer. “Are you in Sydney?” “Yes.” “Wanna shoot the next cover?” “Yes.”

Bardsley-Smith had contributed to a beautiful bout of coverage of the track nationals at Sydney’s Dunc Grey Velodrome earlier this year. We used his photos in a gallery in RIDE #59 (as well as our Facebook page). He usually shoots MTB. But his track photos are glorious: ‘The beauty of cycling’ the title came naturally. For a week we shared images: he shot them, we published them – online, in social media, and in our magazine. Tim was to be at the world road championships in Florence but he broke his leg while on location at a race in Austria. He recovered. And by the time we met in our office early in November for a quick briefing on the Friday before the Saturday of the shoot, he was walking just fine. And so it was: he would shoot the next cover.

It’s the first time Caleb has been on the cover.

Cadel has been featured six times, starting with an inset in 2002 (RIDE #17 when he was the first Australian to lead the Giro d’Italia) and again for RIDE #35, RIDE #38, RIDE #42, RIDE #46, and RIDE #53 (click the gallery below – ‘A Cycling Renaissance‘ for a glimpse of the Evans collection).

  • RIDE Cycling Review

    RIDE #35

  • RIDE Cycling Review

    RIDE #17

  • RIDE Cycling Review

    RIDE #38

  • RIDE Cycling Review

    RIDE #42

  • RIDE Cycling Review

    RIDE #46

  • RIDE Cycling Review

    RIDE #53

* * * * *

Cadel Evans had been in Sydney for a few engagements: on the Saturday morning, 9 November, he was riding in Centennial Park early in the morning with a group of cycling enthusiasts. Knowing we were to meet at the cafe, I got there early and watched the cyclists pass by in their usual manner.

It’s an interesting mix on a Saturday morning. Lots of beginners, plenty of regulars, many who had been lured there recently because of antics in racing even if they’ve never gotten to see any of the action that actually attracts them. Rather, they get to see it from afar. Often it’s the beauty of cycling as it’s shown from distant shores that brings the attention. That’s how it was in 2013 when the Giro d’Italia got a greater showing than ever before in Australia.

Amidst the regular groups passing by came a red-and-black clad leader with his cluster of cyclists. It was a group but not a typical peloton, per se. It was Cadel Evans at the front and others wanting to be near but also wary. What if they knocked him off? It seemed too much to even consider as I saw the procession pass by the first time. At ease and in the middle of a front pack of three was the 2011 Tour de France champion. (That’s his second title, really. Or third, as it’s always also possible to say: ’2009 world champion’… and many other nods to his achievements as a cyclist.) But really, it was just Cadel being Cadel. Riding a bike. He does it here, he does it there, he does it often… and he does it well.

In Centennial Park a few hours before the actual photo shoot for the cover, he was happy enough about being surrounded by guys who admired him. As the procession passed, there seemed to be an acknowledgement that this – perhaps – was a different rider. And then people would double-take: it’s Cadel. Oh. Okay. Yep. Seen him before, know what he looks like… and there he is. There. On his bike. In our park. Riding around. Okay. Onward… to the rest of the weekend. I saw several reactions like this while waiting for Tim Bardsley-Smith to turn up.

Eventually the cavalcade with the champion ended and it was time for coffee. While Evans sat with Bakker and their group of guests for the morning, Caleb Ewan rolled in to the park. He had flown up from Melbourne that morning after attending the Australian Cyclist of the Year awards. He didn’t win – and, this time, it didn’t matter. A year earlier, Ewan was the silver medallist in the under-19 road race at the world championships. He’d been beaten by Matej Mohoric in Valkenburg. And in 2013, he Ewan was fourth in his first attempt at the under-23 world championships… again he had been beaten by Mohoric.

There’s a new generation of cycling stars forming. In 2014 some of them – including Mohoric, under-23 TT world champion Damien Howson, and the Yates brothers from Britain – will be part of the WorldTour peloton. Exactly how these youngsters cope remains to be seen but we wanted to acknowledge their efforts early in their careers. At a time when a professional cycling contract is harder to come by than it has been for years, there are some riders just out of the junior ranks who are ready to set the standard in the years to come. Ewan is part of this clique even if his time in the pro ranks won’t be official until the end of the 2014 season…


Cadel and Cadel, with Tim Bardsley-Smith behind the camera. Photo: Rob Arnold

Caleb and Cadel, with Tim Bardsley-Smith behind the camera.
Photo: Rob Arnold


For an Australian magazine, the decision to feature Caleb and Cadel on the cover seemed an obvious way to conclude the 2013 season. The young man represents a new wave of riders coming in to the sport after a period that’s involved a significant cleansing; the 36-year-old is about to embark on a ambitious racing campaign that will begin at Australia’s premier stage race, the Santos Tour Down Under. If all goes to plan, he’ll arrive in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the first week of May ready to turn his BMC jersey into a pink one – in 2014 he seeks the Giro d’Italia’s maglia rosa.

RIDE #62‘s first feature is titled ‘Class of 2013 – onward and upward‘. It’s about young guys like Ewan, Howson, Rohan Dennis, Simon Yates, Adam Yates, Warren Barguil, Michal Kwiatkowski and Rafal Majka. It also includes coverage of the 2013 Vuelta a España (and an exclusive interview with the oldest Grand Tour champion ever, Chris Horner), and previews of the 2014 Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

Cadel Evans is the first Australian to finish in the top three on GC at the Giro. He’s racing for pink next year. He’s been a star of the international cycling scene since the mid-1990s and he continues to inspire cyclists everywhere to tune in to the sport, enjoy the racing, and let the buzz of competition offer them motivation.

There are many stories in RIDE #62 and the story of arranging the cover shoot is an relatively simple one: we knew who we wanted to feature, we made a few calls… everyone involved was able to make it to the same place at the same time – and it happened. Of course there were aspects to consider. We didn’t want to: attract a crowd, clog up the roads of Sydney, impinge on the limited time the riders were in Sydney… we wanted to feature two generations of professional cyclists. We wanted to show Ewan in the jersey in similar colours to what he’ll wear when he turns pro (although we also photographed him in the current Jayco-AIS WorldTour Academy kit). And we wanted a shot that engaged the reader. In my appraisal, we ticked off every requirement.

Big thanks must go to Jason Bakker, Tim Bardsley-Smith and, of course, Caleb Ewan and Cadel Evans.



Almost the cover shot, similar composition but from a higher angle…

Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith



The phone rang and I said…

Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith



A lucky moment of cloud shadow and all three flashes firing at the same time… the “2013 jersey” for Caleb.

Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith



Legs – young and experienced…

Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith


Really, we are blessed – we ride our bikes and get paid to do so…

Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith


Shooting on an avenue for bikes… the road leading to Centennial Park in Sydney.

Photo: Rob Arnold 



In the shade of a few trees and lit up by three flashes…

Photo: Rob Arnold



With the Horden Pavilion in the background, another jersey option for Caleb…

Photo: Rob Arnold



Making sure that there are a range of angles to select from…

Photo: Rob Arnold




Author: rob@ride

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