Tour du monde

They wind their way through the landscape like a snake. Men in colourful 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. They 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 to win the Tour in Paris one day. After all, the Avenue des Champs Élysées 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. Not only is the Tour de France known all around the world, but it is imitated all over the world too. 

Chris de Bode travelled with cycle tours through China, Colombia, Cuba, Eritrea, Qatar and Senegal, turning his camera not on the finish, the frontrunners or the pack, but primarily on the spectators along the side of the road.