Giro d'Eritrea

Chris Keulen

The Giro d'Eritrea is one of many lasting influences of Italian colonial rule.Eritrea's passion for cycling is one of many lasting influences of Italian colonial rule. The country's first multi-day cycle race was staged in 1946, although locals were not allowed to enter. The Giro was resurrected fifty-five years later, a symbol of the new-found confidence of a nation which had finally achieved its independence in 1991.~~Africa's oldest cycle race is a far cry from the televised sporting extravaganzas that we're used to seeing on TV. But a live telecast almost seems unnecessary. The roads are packed with spectators. The event is a huge celebration in a country whose repressive regime gives its people little to cheer about. Chris Keulen photographed the giro twice - in 2004 and 2009. His 2009 visit - shown here in the first 14 images - won the 3rd prize in the Sports Stories category of the 2010 World Press Awards.

 

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      ERITREA

      Janni Tewelde from the Eritrean cycling team prepares...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Third stage of the Tour d'Eritrea 2009. Road from...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Schoolboys gather around cyclists in streets of...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Eritrean national cycling team passes a camel caravan...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Boy playing in the street in Dekemhare with a cycling...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Eritrean cyclists Meron Russom (back) and Amanuel...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour 'misses' and general public waiting for the...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Thousands of people in the streets of Mendefera...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Training for the Eritrean national cycling team....

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Eritrean cyclist Meron Russom is exhausted after the...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Celebrations at the end of the Tour d'Eritrea 2009...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Eritrean cyclist Amanuel Kibraab on his bed in the...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Training for the Eritrean national cycling team....

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Early morning mist in Dekemhare before the third...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Riders in their cycling shoes, during the Tour of...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Young men sit on top of a...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Rider Isayas Tekie...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. An assistant for the Red...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Soldiers try to calm down...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. The peloton races under...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. The peloton passes a...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. After a gruelling stage...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Cyclists race through the...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Asbeco, a competitor in the Tour of Eritrea cycle...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. A camel driver watches...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Sandy and dusty roads...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Local hero Tahir Abdella...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Eritrean riders Daniel...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. The peloton races...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Cyclists stay in bed at...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Final day of the Tour of Eritrea cycle race, in...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Ecstatic fans celebrate...

      © Chris Keulen

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      ERITREA

      Tour of Eritrea cycle race. Cyclist Isayas Tekie...

      © Chris Keulen

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