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Behind the scenes on the RCUK 100

Bringing the 100 hottest products in road cycling to life

When we first touched down on location for the RCUK 100 video shoot, having left the UK winter behind and arrived to the glowing embers of a beautiful sunset above the clouds high in the mountains of Tenerife, we knew we’d hit the jackpot to bring to life some of the best bikes available in 2016.

The RCUK 100 debuted in 2015 and having delivered the inaugural edition in print, we asked ourselves how we could move things on to the next level. So we took the RCUK 100 to the web, delivering more words, more images and, from Tenerife, selected video. The brief was simple: to present our hand-picked guide to the 100 hottest road cycling products of 2016, in a unique, detailed, sophisticated way which showcased the very best tech on the market. If you haven’t seen the RCUK 100 yet, then head this way.

The project began in August 2015, six months ahead of launch, when the RoadCyclingUK team started the process of shortlisting the 100 products set to feature. That’s no mean feat – we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to top-notch kit, and with the RCUK 100 including everything from bikes to tools, there were countless products to whittle down.

However, having tested and ridden more products than ever before through 2015, attended dozens of launches and trampled through miles and miles of trade show halls, we arrived at our final 100 and started the huge logistical operation of calling in, shipping and photographing every product.

  • Credits

  • Photography – Alex Wright
  • Director – Ryan Van Kesteren
  • Producer – Jo Fairweather
  • Editor-in-Chief – George Scott
  • Staff Writer – Colin Henrys
  • Lead Camera – Richard Prendergast
  • Second Camera and Editor – Will Berman
  • Location Manager – Patrick Trainor
  • Guide – John Walsh
  • Rider – Jamie Newell

Alex Wright of Teneight Studios was pressed into action for still photography. Each and every product was individually lit and shot on our handbuilt studio sets to deliver more than 1,000 stunning images and present those products lucky enough to make the RCUK 100 in the sumptuous, lip-smacking detail they deserve.

While that was happening in Macclesfield, a six-man crew, led by the superb camera duo of Richard Prendergast and Will Berman headed south, closer to the equator, for the video shoot, with more than £50,000 of bikes and state-of-the-art camera equipment for company.

With the video shoot taking place in December, our location options were limited – were we to follow our knobbly-tyred colleagues over at Dirt and head out into the wilds of the UK and the depths of winter, or jet off in search of warmer climes and mountain climbs? In the end, the decision was easy, and we settled upon Tenerife in the Canary Islands – a popular winter training camp destination for amateur riders and WorldTour teams alike. If it’s good enough for Team Sky…

The ten-day shoot saw the crew rise for first light and film through to sunset, catching the ‘golden hour’ of beautiful, soft light over Tenerife at either end of the day.

The last hour of the day proved crucial, with a beautiful sunset every night. In truth, we were spoilt for choice in Tenerife. It is a beautiful place to ride a bike – with everything from lush, forest-covered mountainside to the Mars-like crater; leg-numbingly steep climbs to white-knuckle descents with the van speedometer hitting 100kph to catch our rider, Jamie, in full flight – and allowed us to show off some of the top bikes available today at their very best.

The RCUK 100 is a celebration of road cycling technology and now, having been launched to incredible feedback (thank you!), we hope you’ve found it as inspiring to read and watch as it was for us to make. We’ll be back with the RCUK 100 once again in 2017.

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