Documentary: Following the world's best cycling photographers at the 2023 Giro d'Italia

We follow top cycling photographer's Ashley and Jered Gruber, Luca Bettini, and Zac Williams to discover how they capture the world's most beautiful race, the Giro d'Italia

ClockUpdated 18:30, Tuesday 24th October 2023. Published 15:45, Tuesday 24th October 2023

Every year, Italy hosts the world’s most beautiful bike race: the Giro d’Italia. And every year some of the world's best photographers are there with the aim of not just capturing the best action but also the very essence of the race.

In the new documentary from GCN+ called Behind the Lens, the team follow three of the most well-known cycling photographers around – Ashley and Jered Gruber, and Luca Bettini – plus one of cycling’s most exciting younger photographers, Zac Williams, for their final couple of days at the 2023 Giro d'Italia.

The four photographers allow the GCN+ crew a unique insight into their backgrounds, the processes they follow to capture that perfect shot, the creativity involved and the anxieties that come with being in the right place at the right time. Through the three final stages of the 2023 edition – stage 19 to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, stage 20 up Monte Lussari and stage 21 in Rome – we really get a sense of how these photographers toil in the name of their art.

As Zac Williams explained while searching for the optimum spot at the top of the Dolomites, "It is looking really good, but it's whether or not you can make what looks really good shoot really nicely. This is why you just walk around like an anxious wreck until they turn up. Second guess every shot and then it all goes to shit.

“And then you panic and take one picture and you regret doing that even though it may be nice and it maybe isn't.”

In this documentary, not only are we taken behind the lens of some of the best photographers in the business, but it also makes visible some of the most important people in cycling who are usually invisible. Their perspective is both singular, because it is up to them to find it, and universal because those images will be the ones that are remembered forever.

“I love the alchemy of turning something that is a normal scene into something that is special or otherworldly,” Jered said as he went climbing up to find a wide angle of one of the switchbacks near the top of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo on stage 19. “I think the puzzle of making the imagery keeps me up at night, it keeps me freaking out constantly. In a way, it's kind of a drug.”

Behind the Lens is out now on GCN+! Watch on-demand and explore our extensive collection of exclusive and original cycling films.

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