Bogense, on the northerly tip of the Danish island of Funen, hosts the 2019 Cyclo-Cross World Championships. On a sunny but cold day on the windswept coast in November last season, photographer Carsten Snejbjerg shot the fourth round of the World Cup series – the first to be held in Denmark.
The men’s race was fought out between the year’s two outstanding riders – Mathieu van der Poel and world champion Wout van Aert – while series winner Sanne Cant held off Helen Wyman in the women’s race for the Briton’s best ever World Cup finish.
It was Snejbjerg’s first ‘cross race and his research produced some fascinating black and white imagery from the early days of the sport, informing his choice of equipment for the project.
“A pack with 40 rolls of 35mm films in my fridge has for a long time been looking at me,” he says, “so I decided to use my old Widelux panorama camera for this reportage and use them up.
The Japanese camera, first produced in 1958, utilises a slit rather than a shutter, while the lens pivots on an axis, producing a distorted effect that was something of a leap into the unknown for the photographer. “Not having a clue what to expect was both fascinating and at the same time frightening,” Snejbjerg admits.
“Many of the images from behind the scenes are shot on 1/15 due to low light. It takes the camera approximately four seconds to take one frame, so you can’t control anything and most movement in the image will be blurred. That works sometimes, and sometimes not.
“It was so funny to work with the camera and only think in panoramas. It was the only camera I took to the race, so I could not chicken out and switch to the normal digital camera.”
This article was first published in Rouleur 18.7 under the title CX