Alain Breyer


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Meanwhile his Tour

The little bike.

"An hour late!" Radio Announces Tour!
- "Fuck sprain. The left foot that hurts me so much. "

The sun, high up, burns in July and makes the wait unbearable.

Why am I back here, not far from the birthplace to see it turn?
Here where, fifty years ago, mom called me with a stern: "Seek good, you will find a small bike" stigmatizing a bad habit of picking my nose all the time.

When, therefore, emerging from nostrils of my child, prancing at the head of a platoon of boogers, bicycle racing is it came into my life?

What was the color?
I imagine all the nobility to support checkerboard Ferdinand Bracke, the red-yellow-black Rik Van Looy, the purity of metallic "Mercier / BP on / of Hutchinson. "The beauty of multicolored jerseys of yesteryear.

"Whore sprain. "
Even thirty minutes in the discomfort of the patio, to the concrete wall which, as before, mark the buttocks. I guess already, in this side by eight percent, the undulating ridges, robust forms sheathed in black for a tough and manly effort dancer. Movement that brings me back to memory the unexpected insult, slamming into the school yard as a "bungee" released from a rack, "Pedal."

"Whore sprain. "
Another quarter of an hour.
I have long kept up there a cover of "Petit Journal" of 1891 provided by my uncle Maurice, the bicycle handlebar mustaches. Pinned by a canopy, she illustrated my first onomatopoeia in "vrout-vrout-" for the hiss of guts on the pavement or the clicking, unless this is the rattle of chain suck on the derailleur.
Before sleep, I fingered the wind on the descent of the Galibier, I Moulinais chimerical dreams of victories and blew my nose like a real racer, often in vain attempting to reject the distance, beyond the bedside, the noble snots champion.

"Whore sprain! "
And these kids that I hide the view because a 4x4 distributors of gadgets lingered beside us!

Where did I put away "Champion cyclist"?
The work of the Green Library signed by Louison Bobet in 1959 showed the heart of 50 years of life of the proletariat of the bike; A race week, no mechanic, no masseur, unaccompanied, alone ...

Hey, why has it taken you 2000 years to invent a machine so simple that a bike?
What were you doing Leonard July 12, 1500?

Leonard. The same first name as a distant cousin also born July 12, like me, today is my birthday I remember the look terribly embarrassed because I had caught peeing behind a shed with fries and walked away with this approach a penguin runner without his bike.
He never won a race.

Oh, the picturesque village fetes!

"Whore sprain! "
Then the images faded.
The passion of Tom Simpson on Mont Ventoux, the street of the velodrome, leading to the cemetery. I can not remember the name of the village.

Lance Armstrong still later, abandoned by his father, a survivor of cancer won six Tours de France. Or September I can not remember. There are so long ...

But ... that's

"Ouch. Fucking sprain "!

Jean-Pierre Denefve

AND ...

First came the epic tales of journalists, who wove the first son of the long and beautiful history of the Tour de France. So many emotions, exploits and tragedies could not leave unaffected the imagination - as they had most often interpret what we had not seen! - These reporters-pioneers.

If, today, television leaves nothing in the shadows, she instead picks up everything and we remonstrate in multiple aspects, through the remarkable technical means at its disposal, the fact remains that it is the image fixed, the photo that most closely touched the heart of the supporters of the Tour. The documents of the early 20th century are also a powerful testimony of the social life of the era: the roads, the dress of the spectators as much as actors, means of locomotion, etc. ...

Then came, thanks to motorbikes followers, the beautiful black and white photographs showing the life of the pack, the efforts of the escapees, the periods of relaxation, sprints, the grandeur of mountain scenery ... The oldest remember the magazines "sepia" or "green" that punctuated the course of the Tour for two or three issues per week. I confess that this is indeed reading "Sprint Mirror" and "Sports Mirror" gave me the virus, in the fifties and sixties?

Everything has changed but nothing has changed. Certainly, color and digital photographers have made - so to magazines and books - a wider range of documents. But the matter remains the same: a great sport and its competitors out of the ordinary operating in sometimes lavish sets and changing every day (rain, sun, wind, plain, mountain) facing the misery and danger before we know - for some them - the glory.

The "people of the Tour de France" and good-natured spirit that animates it, its heat most often, his rage sometimes, in the furnace of the Alpe d'Huez for example, are a matter of choice for hunters clichés, they are powerful or moving or both at once.

Alain Breyer is one of them: people interested in cycling, active or passive spectators, witnesses calm or passionate. Representative in any case the sociological variety of our country. Everyone can enjoy cycling in its own way and, as an anthropologist, the artist here demonstrates that the heroes and the cheering crowds that are interdependent. Each other and each have their talent.

Here is a book that provides an additional stone to the bibliography, already rich cycling. Have you noticed that the Tour de France is surely the sporting event which gives rise, by far the most prolific literary production?

It pleases me to welcome this singular work and image quality for peaceful and close to our sport, which in its spontaneity, publishes eternal ...

Jean-Marie Leblanc

AND ...

They came, they are all there, the South of Italy, Wallonia, Flanders, France and Navarre, Artois, Picardy, Belgians, Italians, Dutch, Spanish, or those of adjacent further away, leaning owners or tenants in the open.

Has anyone ever seen such a procession of horses since the passage of the King, the armies of the Empire or the liberators? But there is no war here, nations or parties, there is only one country for people that just divides the ribbon of the road, one of cycling.

Moreover, we know, despite the flags that are waved first for ourselves, it's going too fast and we just recognize that we have just encouraged, drowned in the bunch, dust and horns of the following cars; jerseys are similar and that this procession was long expected, preceded by tanks of plenty that throw candy, playing cards or caps painted, does not dwell: even if they file past the show, the riders do not fall with television. Yet there is, it comes back, each carrying his little cadastre, there have for the afternoon.
For some, it is simpler, the sidewalk becomes naturally the extension of the house or garden that is then the threshold, taken a seat at the show, with a touch of preparations: the riders to soar the cocktail hour and come to one where we digest this Sunday will be short nap. Even the air smells of grilling and toasting glasses stand up to the passage of the first bikes. The children arrived earlier than usual with the nephews and cousins who are not all the provinces, the family is expanding the boundaries of the facade.

For others, those who come to the race because it did not come to them, it's a little trickier: the car will become the house, a large umbrella or blanket in the grass mark the territory time of the afternoon, a roll of hay, a bus shelter or bench will make them an instant show. Freed of any facade, they will choose a scenic stretch of pavement, a hill or a refueling, the laces of a hill where they will grow like the serpent of lookouts of the caravan. The luckiest or the most early of the besieged held as these strategic locations where stop photographers, or cameramens significant and which are the steps in this Way of the Cross: the human chain is not continuous: it is relaxed, relaxes, separates even choosing to concentrate in those places where the bike just goes and will require that these waters entrouvent earlier to let the breakaway before closing on her, still open for the wake of the peloton before those who are released before the dispersion and then the silence that makes the sky fields.

But the spectators also come to be seen, since televisions and helicopters recorded each event. In this strange set of mirrors where one sees watching, everyone hopes his small second of eternity and prepared for the ceremony: corporations, associations, cheerleaders, firefighters, workers in blue work and nurses in white coats, municipal employees, or accordion bands, schoolchildren ranked next to the teacher as for photography are the credits of a movie that goes along the road and see them shake to every bike, every car.

There are countless folk groups, grenadiers, gilles, clowns or clowns: they form the sidewalk is in joy, to disappoint the expectations. They are the effigy same places as you go through one hundred regions: the classics in search of problems, find their way between the county and secondary roads, in a geography thwarting any rectilinear layout and any other logic than that of effort. In their traditional costumes or those of their function they are to the sidewalk that the figurines are folk in the windows of souvenir shops, a uniform memory term visitors.

Yet the front row, signalers and gendarmes to show more often in the wrong place, closing the side roads, roads with stray, when they do not turn your back on the race to monitor spectators and are also the most isolated, forming as many buoys for the caravan, oranges at the corner of a dark wood, waving their target, or hidden in a hollow way as the customs of the past. These sentries who will give in at the last vehicle are worried about the race, the time between the escapement. The mobile phone is timely complete the transistor, leaving them less lonely.

No sooner have they gone that everyone goes back keenly watch television: it is the rule of this show than not to see a fragment. In the evening, the summary of the tour, we perceive the house and garden will hardly bigger than a handkerchief; time to recognize it - it rarely flies his own house - it will be after the Street, dizzy speed and never disappointed.
After all it has not paid his place and despite the scandals that splash, cycling remains a popular festival, the largest perhaps, during large gatherings such as the solstice, which announced the summer.

And I know of no sport more courteous: Viewers vanish before the runners and open the way.

Xavier Canonne

Photographs taken on film Mamija 7 Ektachrome100
The photographs are scanned by scanner Imacom