Sunday, 25 April 2010


It’s the wonder of this profession, despite the difficulties that surround it increased further in these times of change and crisis. Because, in which other job could I had the chance of cycling together with one of my childhood idols, and surely the greatest cyclist of all time, Eddy Merckx? It all began with a phone call from Pepe Baeza, the Vanguardia Magazine picture editor: - "What are you doing on Sunday? Could you make some photos of Eddy Merckx who will go cycling with some friends? Asked me Pepe.
Baeza rarely call me to shoot portraits, because he has more specialized photographers. But this time, I guess he told me because he knows my love for bikes and that, whenever I can, I use the Bicing service as a transport in Barcelona.

I contacted Frank, a Belgian living in Barcelona; he was who organized the visit of Merckx. The realization of the pictures had a certain complexity: Merckx was on vacation and I had to integrate into the group of cyclists. I had to forget about photographing him from the back seat of a motorcycle, as I thought at first, and nothing about asking Merckx things like “Let’s go the Sagrada Familia and you pass five times in front of the church. "

Knowing that, I used a very light photo equipment: a Nikon D80 with a 17-80 zoom at 400 ASA and in semiautomatic mode. It was a beautiful day, and it was a wonderful ride through Barcelona. In some places, I accelerated and, driven by inertia, placed parallel to Merckx, framed him and shoot with just one hand. Dangerous? A little. The good weather had filled the streets with people and I nearly run over a pedestrian a couple of times. And, once, I nearly crashed against Eddy Mercks, who elegantly eluded me without even raising an eyebrow. More than once I placed myself behind the wheel of the legendary champion while shouting "I'm sucking Eddy Merkx wheel"!

In the afternoon, José Martí Gómez did a long interview to the champion in a hotel. I had five minutes to shoot a portrait for which I used a tripod and a Nikon SB 800 flash from his left side, on a support, and with an Apollo soft box.

The publication used the portrait to ilustrate the long and excellent interview Martí Gómez wrote.
I share those photos with you and the wonderful bike ride with the greatest cyclist of all time.

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