This beautiful film was shot by Jonathan de Villiers, a fashion and portrait photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wallpaper* and other places.

It gives a real insight into the life of a keirin racer in Japan, and the difference between the international sport and the Japanese version, which is one of the only state-sanctioned betting activities and therefore less about ‘pure’ atheleticism.

It looks like Villiers got some great access behind the scenes at races (which is very unusual, as they are very tightly controlled due to the amounts of money being bet) and at the state keirin school, where all prospective riders must go for a year’s training.

Can’t embed this one for now, so take a trip on over to Nowness to watch.

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uglyyeti
uglyyeti
11 years ago

…less about ‘pure’ athleticism…more about pure Yakuza. The gear isn’t the only thing that’s fixed.

Varaxis
Varaxis
11 years ago

I was hoping to see more derby style action…

uglyyeti
uglyyeti
11 years ago

@max – yes a generalization, but I’ve seen the fix in action (and spoiled) at Tachikawa…

short version of the story is in the comments @ http://drunkcyclist.com/2008/12/17/skittle-keirin/