This is our first ever Photo Issue, I don’t know why it has taken so long, but it has. What really got us thinking about the possibility of having an issue dedicated solely to photography was the SNAP exhibition at the World Championships in Fort William this year, it worked well, looked good and we got some great feedback from it. So we thought that the next logical step would be to have a Photo Issue of the magazine. For a long time now we have prided ourselves on the quality and variety of photographs that we use here in Dirt. It has not always been easy, but we have tried to search for the best images, a new angle or a different take on things. There are clichés abound when it comes to photography, but it has to be said that a photograph is a powerful thing. It can simply be a record of a time, place and event, but it can also inspire, change your mood, but most importantly for us, make you want to pick up your bike and go for a ride. The riders may get the fame and glory, but for me it all boils down to the unsung heroes hunched behind the lens, the guys who spend hours, days and years trying to capture the essence of the sport that we all love…the photographers. They are a mixed bunch. From the race photographer who is up on the hill at the crack of dawn to get the early light and sniper shots, to the freeride pro cycling miles to get the perfect alpine backdrop. There is such variety amongst the mountain bike photographers that I know. Some are old schoolers that have been doing it for years, others the young guns who have grabbed every opportunity that has come along and helped to keep things fresh. This issue is a celebration of all that.

So here it is, Dirt 71, the Photo Issue.

Mike Rose.

Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia