Bycicle, bycicle, I want to ride my...


Sweaty bodies, tense muscles, flashes of turquoise and white whizz past the camera, the Astana cycling team come into view and out again, just as quickly.

They had been staying up in "National Park Teide" as part of their annual training programme.

The location is popular for altitude training for many sports and were in stages of preparation for the famous, and infamous, "Tour de France".

Our good friends from Atom Film, Ukraine, had brought us this testosterone filled and sporty challenge and we were as usual ready for whatever this might entail with a lot of varied locations for the director to choose from.

The first location was a twisty; dipping country road in the south of the island and base camp was at the head of the road. Normally used as a coffee stop by local truck drivers, many amused glances were exchanged between the Lycra clad team and the slightly pot bellied locals.

Catering for a sports team needs to be something light and refreshing and a super meal of lightly fried whitebait with a fresh salad was just the thing. Of course the most important element of the shoot was water - and not any water, ASU water, sponsor for the Astana team so plenty was available, imagine, 100 litres water all the way from Kazakhstan.

Next stop, at the far end of the island this time, a tightly curving, steeply sloping cliff side narrow mountain road for some super racy downhill shots. This was a challenge for our camera van taking care to keep the right speeds all the time.

Some of these off the beaten track mountain roads can be subject to occasional small rocks falling. So we were prepared with equipment to sweep up any obstacles and ensure a clear run for the high-speed cyclists.

As numerous takes were necessary, our sympathy went out to the cyclists having to ride back up the road each time until we realised they were actually hitching lifts back up with the location vehicles, a professional trick to conserve their energy!

However they did say they intended to ride all the way back to their hotel in the Las Cañadas National Park, a mere 69 kilometres, all uphill– I didn´t volunteer to join them, not this time anyway!