Chris Meads Photography: Blog en-us (C) Chris Meads Photography [email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:01:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:01:00 GMT Chris Meads Photography: Blog 120 80 The Legend of Kenny Van Vlaminck My career as a sports photographer has now reached its zenith and i am left asking myself “where do i go from here?”

The reason?

Well the great Kenny Van Vlaminck (KVV!)has chosen one of my photos of himself for his new range of designer apparel. Yes, you heard it correctly. A photo of mine will adorn the front of KVV!’s new range of T Shirts.

For those unfamiliar with the man (and i can’t think that there will be many) KVV! is the legendary Belgian hardman who took the northern classics  by storm in the 90’s. Announcing his arrival on the scene with a spectacular 67th at Fleche Brabanconne in 1992 he followed this up with 11th in 93’s Gent Wevelgem and then to prove these results were neither flukes or career blips inspired by pharmaceutical assistance he stormed to an incredible 19th in the prologue of the 96 Tour of Morocco.

Widely regarded by Belgians as the man Merckx could have been KVV!’s formidable hardman status gained him a reputation throughout Europe that survives to this day. His transition from cyclling great to knowledgable tv pundit has been smooth and natural, organic some might say, and he is bringing to cycle sport what Mick Fleetwood brought to the 1989 Brit Awards.

For Mick and Sam read Kenny and Ned.

If there is  one fly in the ointment in an otherwise flawless Kenny world it is that he has been cursed with the misfortune of bearing an uncanny resemblance to former National Road Race Champion Matt Stephens. The irony really couldn’t be any greater when you consider the staggering gulf in the talent of these two men.

Kenny can be found at

Hard Case Nutter


Kenny shadows a young Greipel

[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) cycling belgium bikes chris meads chrismeadsphoto chrismeadsphotography kenny van vlaminck matt stephens Tue, 08 Oct 2013 14:10:22 GMT
British 4X Series This weekend i will be making the journey down to Bridgnorth in Shropshire for the 5th round of the Schwalbe British 4X Series. This will be the second of these i have been to this season and for anyone unfamiliar with this type of racing it goes as follows:

Loads of lunatics get on mountain bikes and ride down hill really fast. At some point they fall off usually resulting in some form of injury (being looneys they tend not to notice this fact). For the injured the paramedics bounce across the fields in a land rover. When this is deemed inadequate a proper light flashing woo-woo ambulance also bounces across the fields. Finally a big yellow helicopter appears Apocalypse Now stylee from behind a copse and ferries the injured to the mortuary. This sport is brutal and seriously entertaining. Its like Takeshis Castle on bikes and i confess to having the greatest admiration for the type of folk it attracts. These free spirits hurtle along with little thought for their own life and limb out of sheer competitive gusto.

Its just fabulous and of you happen to be in the vicinity on either Saturday or Sunday (Sunday is National Champs day) then you need to get yourself there

[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) cycling 4x bicycles bridgnorth cyclist dirt mountain bikes schwalbe british 4x series 2013 sport sportsmen Thu, 11 Jul 2013 15:50:38 GMT
Its Hinault vs Lemond 2 I have to confess to mixed feeling about this years Tour de France. On the one hand i would like to see Sir Bradleyness defend his title but on the other i really think the Froome Dog deserves his teams full support. If you look at this seasons form so far then as far as Sky go it  has got to be all about Froome, but Wiggins is one class athlete and don’t be surprised if he has a go at yellow whilst disregarding team orders.

My gut feeling is that Froome will take the honours as far as Sky are concerned but these two may be so busy neutralising one another that Alberto C. could sneak up and urinate on their potato based fast food.

Whatever happens this will be one intriguing race and has seems to have been the norm these past couple of years the Brits will be in the thick of it.


[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) cycling "bike racing" bicycles bikes bradley wiggins chris froome chrismeadsphoto chrismeadsphotography cycle sport cyclist cyclists shootthebikerace team sky tour de france Thu, 30 May 2013 15:29:38 GMT
The Shape of Things to Come Milan-San Remo proved to be as exciting as ever on Sunday and one particular rider can take great credit for it being so. I have long waved the flag for Ian Stannard and on Sunday he was described by tv as mixing it with the best. WRONG! He was the best. He was certainly the strongest and i think one of the strongest guys the peleton has seen since Sean Yates bashed down the cobbles a generation ago. It can only be a matter of time before he makes a solo break in a prestigious race and gets to the line first. Pity he hasnt got a sprint but then you cant have everything. Watch this space too for Geraint Thomas who i believe is one of the finest talents from our shores ever. Again on the right day this guy will get a biggie.

We are now entering classics season and for the next few weeks the thrills and spills will abound. With the peleton now seemingly a cleaner place the new talent emerging, particularly from the new world and the UK, will have a great chance to grab glory.

By the way Alex Dowsett to Movistar- brilliant move and much glory to come.

[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) cycling "bike racing" alex dowsett chrismeadsphoto chrismeadsphotography cycle sport cyclist geraint thomas ian stannard Milan Sanremo national road race championships 2012 racing road racing shootthebikerace yorkshire Tue, 19 Mar 2013 16:04:10 GMT
Busy Weekend! I had a very busy weekend following the two wheeled action.

First on Saturday i went to the excellent Hit the North (4) at Phillips Park Prestwich. This is a brutal two hour mtb race all done for charity and included the legendary Nick Craig who went and won it. There were many highlights of the day but i particularly enjoyed seeing the Mayor of Burys Jag get stuck on a particularly gravelly ascent (don’t ask). A crowd formed to assist in the push. Me, i laughed a lot.

The race was run in great weather unlike last year with a field of over 300 and there were some very tired looking folk at the finish

Sunday i was the photographer for the excellent Cheshire Mini Sportive. A field of 650 competitors set off from Poynton Leisure Centre and through the leafy (sort of) lanes of affluent Cheshire on a course of either 30 or 60 miles. The great pleasure in photographing the sportives is that the riders are genuinely having a great time. Most wave, smile and greet you as they bowl past.

The one thing that made both these events possible and indeed highly successful was the hard work and efficiency of the organisers. Both Jason Miles of HTN and Tony Orell of Torelli sport worked like Trojans and not to forget that collectively they ran events with around a thousand competitors all who seemed to enjoy themselves and all who appeared to make it through in one piece. Well done gents!

[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) cycling bicycles bikes cheshire Cheshire Mini Sportive chris meads photography chrismeadsphoto cycle sport cyclist hit the north 4 shootthebikerace sport sportsmen Mon, 18 Feb 2013 16:18:10 GMT
National CycloCross Champs I had the great pleasure today of watching the National Cyclocross Championships at Peel Park in Bradford. This was a truly terrific event with a field full of quality and quantity for all the races and an enthusiastic crowd to cheer them on. There were four races on todays calendar- Under 23’s, women, junior men and senior men.

Female champ was the ever smiley Nikki Harris, and well she might smile today as she beat the odds on favourite Helen Wyman.

Mens champ was Ian Field for the second year running.

The cross season has nearly finished now and sights switch to the road but this winters action has proven just what an exciting and well supported sport this is.


Photos are now online at chrismeadsphotography

[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) cycling bicycles bradford chris meads photography chrismeadsphoto chrismeadsphotography cycle racing cyclist cyclists cyclocross mud shootthebikerace sport sportsmen yorkshire Sun, 13 Jan 2013 15:27:44 GMT
Its Not Always About the Bike ! Away from all the two wheeled shenanigans over Lance Armstrong, Pat McQuaid and Greg Lemond i had the rare opportunity the other day to get away from it all on a week day. Not wasting the chance i headed up to the Lake District at the crack of dawn (actually some time before that) with the aim of getting a few good shots of Coniston at sunrise. The Law of Sod of course dictated that this would be the only spot in the North of England that would be shrouded in fog. Fortunately this soon cleared and i had a rather productive morning behind the lens.

In part two of this adventure i headed down to Blackpool. Now anyone familiar with this town will realise that during the summer it can be something of a culture shock to the civilised human ( i want to use stronger language here but i dont have a good lawyer to hand). In the depths of winter however, and if you stick strictly to the sea front, it is actually quite sexy! Now don’t head up there on my say so because behind the scenes it still leaves a lot to be desired but if you choose your aspects carefully the scenery can be quite rewarding.

Anyway, enough of the arty stuff, its back to the cycle-cross this weekend!

[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) landscapes blackpool chris meads photography chrismeadsphoto coniston england lake district lancashire scenery shootthebikerace Thu, 13 Dec 2012 15:42:00 GMT
Its All Uphill From Here I went to the National Hill Climb Championships last Sunday and what a terrific event it was. It was played out on Rawsons Rake at Ramsbottom (bit of alliteration there) and was won by Jack Pullar and Lynn Hamel. The crowds were amazing despite the atrocious weather, showing what a gritty bunch us Northerners really are. It is the atrocious weather that i love when it comes to taking sports pictures. The subject always looks to be suffering more (if that is possible on a 1 in 4 hill climb!) and the colours and skin tones seem more enhanced when soaked through.

The commentary was done by the acerbic Peter Graham from the organising Lancashire Road Club and he really doesnt care who he offends, especially in his words, the idiots who take their dogs to the race. He also saved a bit of criticism for the fans who had cycled there. “What fool takes a bike to a bike race?”

Next stop Cross, cross and more cross.


[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) cycling bikes chris meads photography chrismeadsphoto cycle sport cyclists lancashire lancashire road club national hill climb championship ramsbottom shootthebikerace sport the rake Wed, 31 Oct 2012 16:33:57 GMT
Hey! Cross is Back Just realised i havent blogulated recently so heres a small catch up.

The cyclo cross season has returne dand i attended my first race Sunday last. This was the Weaver Valley CC race at Northwich and whilst i left Wigan-On-Sea in fine blue skys and sunshine the weather got very foggy and anti-photographic as i neared my destination. This put a particularly transluscent haze on the pics from the Youth race but as the morning went on the fog lifted and fortunately the senior race was held in bright sunshine.

The race was won by Paul Bethel who outsprinted his younger team mate Giles Drake for the honours although i am sure Drake will take his fair share of wins over the next few months. Photos are now online at

Sunday sees a return to the road as the National Hill Climbing Champs come to the Rake at Ramsbottom then its cross all the way to next spring.

I may blog about the Armstrong situation later. Everyone else is!








[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) cycling bikes chrismeadsphoto cyclo cross racing weaver valle cross north west league cyclocross northwich race weaver valley cc cross shootthebikerace sport Tue, 23 Oct 2012 05:55:55 GMT
Cheats!! The Twittersphere has been taken over by the US Postal doping story, even knocking Jimmy Savile off the headlines or trends or whatever they are.

Now i like to look sideways and irreverently at things but this needs staring at head on. The truth is that a whole generation of mainly American riders systematically doped and cheated. Riders who i for one trusted and looked up to. Indeed the thought never crossed my mind that the likes of Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie were souped up when they performed their heroics, mainly in the service of their team leader Armstrong (first name formalities are done with for him, and Savile for that matter!) And how Michael Barry got a berth in Team Sky is beyond belief when you consider the stance Dave Brailsford has taken on these matters!

All of this is rather depressing and the only beacon of light is that the sport may at last be on the cusp of cleaning itself up. Yes the UCI, McQuaid and everyone else included. The Yanks of course werent the only ones at it and if you want some really depressing reading try this

Please let this now be the end of it. And dont be shy about sending some of these guys to prison. Its fraud, sporting fraud.

[email protected] (Chris Meads Photography) cycling cheat chris meads photography chrismeadsphoto cyclists dope doping epo fraud george hincapie lance armstrong levi leipheimer shootthebikerace sporting fraud tour de france Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:44:07 GMT