Paris-Nice Reportage: In the Lineing Up (and some considerations about art)

Giant's rider looks relaxed while Frank Schleck is not
Profesional riders are few, they know each others more or less, they have often been in the same team in spite of their actual jersey and - unless other sport - they are constatly mixed: at the signing, during the race,  in the lineing up while they wait to start. 
The stretch of road between the signature podium and the start line is almost deserted, just walked up and down by workers and race staff fixing the last things, then riders begin to arrive, they cross the empty space by bike, carefully climb the stairs to sign and very often go back to the bus. 
Down the podium the crowd slowly grow, outside and inside the barriers. The last riders to sign have just the time to line up and this  random process makes it casual and messy. Not a melting-pot, not a boiling mass like the signing because now riders are still, firm on the place, chattering or focusing, laughing or in a thoughtful  silence, in a small group of the same team but also and frequently side to side with their main opponents or previous mates.
A Dutch crew
Two Spaniards
Frank Schleck poses for photographer Serge Waldbillig
Bodies and bikes, looks, glipses, smiles, arms and legs are all connected in such a complex but harmonious way that it makes me think of Michelangelo's pictures. 
It's a waiting dense of action like those bodies are full of energy and power. The sun was shining in Nice so the most of them was wearing glasses, riders' eyes are also interesting, reflecting a deep concentration, often the cheerfulness to be on the road once again, sometimes a sadness, vague, indeterminate, or even a kind of rage. They must get in the 'zone' and each one has got his peculiar way. 
Pictures of a lining up can seem chaotic but what I post is the result of a long editing: there is too much in a shot, you must cut, you must decide whta is the focus of the image still considering it is a real image. That's art, isn't it? introducing order, thought and aim in a portion of reality.  Enjoy!

John Degenkolb wears his logo on the helmet: like a knight!

Bob Jungels is focused

Two Frenchmen

Kiriyenka's powerful body

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