Vélo: Tour de France: Showcases the uncompromising brutality of the Tour de France

Fancy some art photography with your Tour de France? Vélo: Tour de France unrealities is an exhibition of cycling images by photographer Andrew Smith that starts Saturday the 30th of June at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield.

On his blog, Bank Street artist in residence Andrew Conway describes Smith's images as capturing the “shimmering, spectral beauty and uncompromising brutality of the Tour de France.” The exhibition, he says “reframes fragments of Tour transmissions and explores the mythology and unrealities of cycling (of riders ‘dragging their souls on a string’)”

Writer Tim Krabbé, known for the cycling novel The Rider and the novel and script for classic movie The Vanishing said of the exhibition and accompanying book: ‘Cycling was mythical, but it survived its visibility. In Vélo, it becomes a visible myth.’

The 120-page book of the exhibition is currently available in a numbered limited edition of 60, signed by the photographer, priced £20.

The show opens at 6pm on Saturday, just as the Tour de France prologue finishes in Liege and runs for the duration of this year's Tour.

For more information see Bank Street Arts, and Andrew Conroy's blog. Full details of the opening event, with a bar by Bank Street's in-house eatery Cafe Juniper are here

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.