From the Top: Graham Watson on his 40 years as a cycling photographer

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This week we continue our theme of individual icons within the sport by chatting to Graham Watson, perhaps the most prolific cycling photographer in the world. Like with other pioneers of their professions, some might argue that it was easy for Graham back in the day and there were more opportunities. But everything is obvious in hindsight, and as you’ll soon hear from Graham, it was anything but easy.

I’m a big believer that you make your own luck to open the next door, and that’s precisely what Graham did over the five different decades he covered the sport. And whoever came up with the saying ‘nice guys finish last’ certainly hasn’t met Graham.

From aspiring bike racer, to studio photographer, to winning a photography award in 1977 with a shot of Eddy Merckx, Graham retired a couple years ago after photographing some of cycling’s most historic moments. I sat down with him to hear how he got started, and to learn about some of his highlights and struggles along the way.

Today’s episode is slightly longer than the rest because there’s no way I can do justice to Graham’s remarkable 40-year career in an hour. So buckle up and come along for the ride.

Thank you to Ashley de Neef for composing the music for the show, as well as our producer Mal Bloedel.

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