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Tour du Rwanda
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Tour of Rwanda, 2012

Colin Delfosse

Afrique Cycling Cyclisme Delfosse

Un mot sur l'oeuvre

(REF : CDEL002)
The country lends itself magnificently to cycling, and it is no coincidence that people call it « the land of a thousand hills ». The cyclists find fantastic terrain here in which to practice their sport. There is a more than 12-kilometre height gain over a distance of barely 800km… The popularity of the event is also due to the tradition of Tsukhudus, the enormous wooden scooters that couriers use in Rwanda. They cart around all kinds of merchandise on them while building up their calf muscles. When you go around on these strange vehicles all day, riding a bike is a stroll in the park. Add to this a grandiose backdrop and all the ingredients were there for the Tour of Rwanda, started in 2009, to become an unmissable event on the African cycling calendar.
23rd November 2012, the 60-kilometer 6th stage takes the cyclists from Musanze to Rubavu.
Amanuel Meron (Eritrea) won the stage.

Le témoignage de Colin Delfosse

It was the first time I’d covered a cycling event and I didn’t really enjoy taking photos on the back of a motorbike. I needed to find an alternative and change viewpoints by distancing myself from the cyclists. I also wanted to show this magnificent country in my photos. The idea behind covering the event was the same as for my work on wrestling in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Just before the 20th anniversary of the genocide, Rwanda is still synonymous with inter-ethnic conflict. I wanted to show another image of this small East African country whose economy is growing. Cycling has become a tool for reconciliation and the national team, a symbol of unity. This event is the pride of a people who want to move on.

Le choix de Jean-Denis

We are used to images of the Tour de France, and its iconography is abundant. In this photo we are somewhere else, really somewhere else.
Sport becomes a pretext for speaking about the country in this shot, for showing its majestic and grandiose landscapes. As is often the case in Colin Delfosse’s images, the backdrop partly tells the story too.
I love the viewpoint. If you recall that Rwanda is also gorilla country, that Diane Fossey their protector was assassinated here, then you can’t help but imagine that if one of those large primates was watching the race, he’d see it like this. This photograph is for those of you who wish to find their inner gorilla (male or female).