E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem set-off an onslaught of races that sees the cycling’s world’s focus firmly fixated on the cobbled roads of Flanders and Northern France.
Legions of locals as well as an invasion of foreign tourists descend on these events with an unhealthy appetite for strong beer, frites mayo and sporting carnage. Why else do they cheer in the beer tents when they hear the first drops of rain falling?
For the 2018 editions of these two races, photographer Chris Auld turned his camera to the people who appear on the sidelines. From residents whose homes the route passes to marshals and volunteers who help out teams with spare wheels on the cobbles, Auld captures a world around the racing, their interactions with it and, by contrast, the odd occasion where the race disappears into a landscape of its own.
Read: Seven things Gent-Wevelgem does better than the Tour of Flanders
Read: Gent-Wevelgem 1989 – Sean Yates and Gerrit Solleveld’s race-long break
Read: Fabian Cancellara and the Tour of Flanders – reflections on perfection
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