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Tour du Monde

The Tour de France will start in London for the first time ever. To commemorate this event, Getty Images Gallery is proud to present Tour du Monde, a stunning exhibition exploring the range of sporting and everyday activities encompassed by cycling.

Whether a means of transport, a precious toy, a status symbol or an ecological statement, the bicycle embraces them all. From surprising pleasure to almost unbearable pain, from peaceful recreation to a means of escaping war, Tour du Monde celebrates this remarkable machine.

From a boy standing by his bike in Basra, to a bicycle polo match from the 1930s, to Lance Armstrong bidding for a record-breaking clutch of Tour wins, all are linked by the engineering perfection of the bicycle and the passion of those who use it.

Visually drawing on the links between one of the greatest sporting events and the enormous diversity of bicycling life around the world, Tour du Monde is a journey of extreme emotions and experience. From photography dating back to the 1880s through to award-winning contemporary sports reportage, Getty Images’ curators have unearthed everything from the heroic to the hilarious, familiar to freakish.

Oakley, the sports performance brand synonymous with the Tour and its elite level athletes, will be exhibiting the original eyewear worn by legendary riders Andy Hampsten, Steve Bauer, Viatcheslav Ekimov, Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie, and unveiling the Special Edition Oakley LiveSTRONG Radar frame.

Dating from 1983 to present day, each pair of glasses is representative of the engineering perfection required for Tour success. Lance Armstrong understands that more than most. On show alongside his gold Oakley M-Frame glasses will be the actual yellow jersey he wore during the first of his seven consecutive Tour victories in 1999 and an exact replica of his Trek 6.9 SSL race bike.