Milk Race

Milk Race stage winner Ben Luckwell punches the air as he crosses the line, Stage 6, Leicester, 5th June, 1993.

Milk Race stage winner Ben Luckwell punches the air as he crosses the line, Stage 6, Leicester, 5th June, 1993.

The Milk Race, 1993, Briton, Ben Luckwell (Team Raleigh Banana) steams to victory in Leicester at the end of a 165km stage in the English Midlands.

Why post this archive picture now I hear you ask? Well, 20 years down the line and the Milk Race, albeit a day of criterium races under the same name, is set to make a comeback just up the road in Nottingham. I learned this tid-bit from John MacLeary of Telegraph Cycling (@JohnMacLeary) last night and remarked I remembered being at the stage finish in Leicester in the last one and had taken a shot of the victor. (Incidentally, the race is now known by its other moniker the Tour of Britain after the Milk Marketing Board was wound up and their sponsorship stopped).

I had only got hooked by photography a year or so before and had just finished my undergrad studies in Leicester (Environmental Science) and I recall ringing up the Leicester Mercury at the time knowing I had a good shot on the roll of undeveloped 400 ISO black and white neg film. They declined interest then, which I was disappointed about, but I went on to dev the film myself and this is the result. It’s a pity I had chosen Rodinal as the developer else it wouldn’t have been quite so grainy but at least it now serves as a marker in time.

I searched high and low but only found a small print today – I know there is a negative and a larger print somewhere else but this serves the purpose and I copied it using the DSLR – a far cry from the Nikkormat EL with manual wind-on and relatively slow manual focus lens I used in the first place!

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