This is my second year in a row photographing the Test of Metal, and it proved even better than last year's race. Some of the World's best racers were on hand, Max Plaxton, Chris Sheppard, Catharine Pendrel, Marty Lazarski were some of the many Elites that were racing. The race is held in Squamish, BC and the race has been held since the early 90's. The race loop is 67km of uphill and downhill riding.
Last year at the TOM it was my first time in Squamish and I really had no idea what the course was like and came ill prepared for it. But since my dismal performance from last year I was never going let it happen again. I had a year to prepare myself for this event and I was going to get some excellent photos in 2011.
Arriving a day early this year I brought my offroad motor bike so I would be able to ride the TOM course the day prior to the race and know exactly where to go on race day to get the photos that I wanted in an adequate amount of time.
This year instead of sleeping in my vehicle and in a tent the Rosser family offered me their spare room with bed to stay in. Ron & Sherry Rosser who's daughter is the World Jr Female DH Champion Lauren Rosser, and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank them again for their hospitality and gratitude.
The night before the race it rained in Squamish right until around 7:0oam on race day which made trails muddy in spots. One thing you should know about Squamish is it could rain everyday for a week and then have one day of dry weather and it would dry up that day. The ground there sheds the water quite well.
Like last year I was in the pace car that would lead the racers to the single track through town. It is an exciting feeling to be leading out 1118 racers off of the start and taking their photos. The lead was constantly changing as riders were jockeying for position and to lead for a bit for bragging rights.
After leading the riders to the single track we waited for all the riders to enter the singletrack and then we headed back to the start/finish
When passing through the feedzone it would be the first time the riders were going through it, and I realized I would have a little bit of a wait at my photo taking spot I had lined up.
After about a 20min wait the racers started to come through the Plunge, first was Chris Sneddon and right behind him was Chris Sheppard. I only stayed at the Plunge until Dre' Hestler came through and then I had made my way back to the finish. The Wednesday prior to this race I had separated my shoulder and collarbone from wiping out on my dirtbike. My collarbone was still pretty sore from the ordeal and carrying the camera bag full of camera gear was not the most pleasant of things to do. Getting the top riders was my objective and is why I opted to go back to the finish/start so early.