The Hell Of The North

After last years trip to photograph the Paris – Roubaix cycle race I vowed that I would return to shoot it again.
It’s called “The Hell of the North” for a reason. It’s a bike breaker, and some of the riders are close to tears at the finish.

You’ve never seen anything like it in terms of an elite cycle race.
Over 55 km’s of the course are over cobbles. They shake you and your bike to pieces.

I was especially keen to return this year after Sir Bradley Wiggins announced he was going to ride it.
The 2012 Tour De France winner looks like a coal miner at the finish with a 1000 yards stare.
It was great ride to finish 9th, and a really useful recce as some of the cobble sections will be in this years Tour De France.

I was a guest of Eurosport, who looked after me with 4 course meals at lunch, and dinner.
My diet still isn’t quite going to plan, but at least  my list of Michelin starred restaurants that I’ve eaten at is increasing!


About Gray Hughes photographer

Gray Hughes grew up in southwest London but has always had strong connections to the USA. He has spent many summers on road trips, visiting family in California. In his early twenties he moved to New York and assisted various fashion photographers before returning to London to shoot editorial sports and lifestyle. He soon graduated into shooting commercially for brands including Coca-Cola, Asics, Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Powerade. Gray has always loved film and music – his mother exposed him to Hitchcock at an inappropriately young age. As a young teen he used to record music demos on a four track recorder. Then in 2001 he took a break from photography to pursue a career in music, remixing dance music for four years before returning to his first love, photography. Gray’s personal projects have taken him to cowboy country in Montana, USA as well as Rio de Janeiro and more recently, around the grassroots rugby clubs of Britain. His film, ‘Heartland’ was a finalist in the 2015 AOP awards, with the accompanying photographs featured in the Sunday Times Magazine. He directed his first commercial for Glamorgan Brewing Company in 2015 and then subsequently joined Ridley Scott Associates where he was added to the photgraphy and moving image roster, he is on an indenpendent arrangement while he grows his show-reel so is free to collaborate with other production companies. So far this year he has directed films for Reebok and Standard Life and has shot a global advertising campaign for Vodafone.

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