For the 2014 Tour de France, things were a bit different from other races, photographically speaking. Instead of covering several stages of the Tour as before, I concentrated on one étape and tried to broaden the view. The product is on its own microsite entitled «Stage 14».
Because of the dramatic landscape I chose stage 14 of the 2014 Tour de France, the queen alpine mountain stage. The étape leads from Grenoble to Risoul over 177 kilometres and includes the Col d’Izoard, a classic climb of the Tour.
The Col d’Izoard is a 2360 m mountain pass in the Alps with dramatic rock pinnacles on the south side: La Casse Déserte. The Tour de France first climbed the Col d’Izoard in 1922 – in those days over unpaved roads. Later the Izoard became the scene of epic battles between Fausto Coppi and Louison Bobet in the 1950ies. There is a memorial on the mountain dedicated to these two riders.
Black and White, on Film
Also technically, things were different. The photos are black and white. The Col d’Izoard is such an iconic climb of the Tour de France and there are so many great photographs from the old days, that black and white seems suitable. As a reference to those times and to force me to think differently, I used a film camera: my 25 year-old Nikon F3 with a 35 mm lens, loaded with Kodak Tri-X film, and developed in Rodinal. It makes a difference if you can take 10 pictures per second or only 1 frame every 2 seconds!
Not all the photos of the final edit are analog though, there are also some taken with a DSLR, and some iPhone snaps. You can tell from the film borders which ones are analog (I left them when scanning but cropped them out for the final edit).