They wind their way through the landscape like a snake. Men in colorful clothing, testing themselves to the limit. Followed by cars that leave an amazed and equally enthusiastic public in a cloud of dust. The sweat streams from their bodies. Splashes of blood on the asphalt after a fall. Joy following a heroic victory. Cycle races lasting several days are not peculiar to countries like France and Italy. The are also held in many non-Western countries, all over the world. The big difference is the setting: a landscape devastated by war, baking deserts, the vibrant streets of Cuba.
The goal of all cyclists is o win the Tour in Paris one day. After all, the Avenue des Champs Elysees is heaven. The participants in other cycling tours will do anything to race there. It would be an escape from every-day life and, for some of them, a way to a better future.
See Paris and then die. Only a few make it. But the longing remains. After Chris de Bode won a World Press Award in 2001 with a photo in which Lance Armstrong allows Marco Pantani to win a stage, the photographer decided to turn his unique view on the sport in the direction of the well-known races elsewhere in the Third World. De Bode has a keen eye for the cruel but also aestheic forms of poverty and the struggle of the cyclists among themselves against a background where people struggle for their daily existence.
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