- - New Cycling Book: "The Peace Race - Immortalised by the Polish School of Posters"

New Cycling Book: “The Peace Race – Immortalised by the Polish School of Posters”

“The Peace Race – Immortalised by the Polish School of Posters” is the all-new title from Threebackpockets Publishing.

This new 200-page hardbound large format coffee table book is illustrated with over 400 images, accompanied by texts in both the English and Polish languages that takes a deep dive into the history and art of the mythic “Peace Race”.

Launched in the post-war ruins of 1948, this was an annually held multi-stage cycling race, running between Prague, Warsaw and Berlin, created by the ruling Communists as a rival to the “Tour de France”.

Known internationally as the “Course de la Paix” this state-sponsored race was fundamentally a sporting tool of propaganda, designed by the ruling Russian Communists to promote cohesion amongst their newly acquired Eastern Bloc Soviet Satellite States of Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany.

Traversing these three countries, with a total race length of over 2000km, the Peace Race attracted massive crowds of spectators along its route. Known to them as the “Závod Míru” in Czech, the “Radfernfahrt / Friedensfahrt” in German, and the “Wyścig Pokoju” in Polish, the Peace Race was sponsored by the three Communist Party newspapers in each country, somewhat unsurprisingly named as; the Trybuna Ludu (Tribune of the People) in Poland, Neues Deutschland (New Germany) in East Germany, and the Rudé Právo (Red Justice) in Czechoslovakia.

Eschewing what was viewed as the capitalist principals of professional cycling, the Peace Race was strictly an amateur-only event, yet it also invited participating cyclists from the West – and as you will discover, it provided them with a rare, fascinating, and often bewildering glimpse across the Iron Curtain

The “Polish School of Posters” refers to a lauded group of post-war state-funded Polish artists. They worked to produce posters for all purposes, including both Polish and Western cinema, the theatre, tourism, and sporting events – which included most notably; The Peace Race.

This new book represents for the first time in print, the Polish School of Posters is celebrated for each year of the Peace Race while under Soviet rule. Alongside the posters created for each year of the Peace Race, readers will also see on display in the book a wealth of original race jerseys, medals, postcards, magazines, pennants, stamps, and numerous archived images throughout this book’s packed and beautifully designed pages, providing a complete immersion for each year’s race.

Added to these images of numerous race items and posters, we will also be bringing you key information and anecdotes about both the specialties and peculiarities of this mythic race; the riders invited from across the globe to participate, the huge crowds that lined the race route, the races heavy-handed symbolism, the iconic stage climbs, the gladiatorial stadium stage finishes, the frankly bizarre race prizes, and most fundamentally, the race context; which both afforded cyclists from the Eastern Bloc the (very) rare chance to cross their country’s border and much more alarmingly in 1986, found the riders forced to cycle a race stage that was within a few kilometers of an open nuclear reactor core, yes – Chernobyl!

This new book is currently looking to secure its production costs via a pre-order campaign ending on June 30 with Kickstarter here.




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