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Flandrien Hard Men exhibition opens next week

The photographer exhibition 'Flandrien, Hard Men and Heroes' starts in London next Tuesday. It highlights the central role of cycling for recreation and racing in the cultural and social life of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, where children grow up dreaming of being bike racers. The pictures show old women cheering on their heroes, bars packed to full capacity, and whole villages turning out when the race runs through.

'Flandrien' is sponsored by the Flemish Embassy who is organising a guided ride from the embassy (Flanders House, 1a Cavendish Square W1) to the Host Gallery (1 Honduras Street, EC1Y 0TH) at 6:00 pm to open the show on Tuesday, June 19. It will be led by the Minister of Culture and Sport and a host of current and former cycling heroes. The show will open with a Flemish-style street party with Belgian music, food and beer, which typically accompanies any cycling race in Belgium.

Johan Musseeuw, the Flemish champion also known as the "Lion of Flanders," who dominated racing in the 1990s and Tony Doyle, two-time World Track Champion and Tour of Britain organizer, will help launch the exhibit.

Admission is free for the show, which runs Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday 11:00 am to 4:00 pm from June 20 through July 31.

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