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Faces of Courage

#IWD2021 • Images by Twila Federica Muzzi

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To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked Czech Republic-based photographer Twila Federica Muzzi to choose 10 of her favorite portraits of professional cyclists and to describe each image.

Chiara Consonni.

I can start with saying that I’ve never actually looked at so many different portraits all together. There are so many emotions in these shots, This image of Chiara Consonni makes me think of the word “Simplicity.” Finding a reason to smile even if it was a bad day, is the most powerful thing we can do for ourselves.

Anaïs Morichon.

Anaïs Morichon after the finish of Namur CX World Cup. I have the feeling she was not entirely happy with here result but she knew she did her best.

These two images above give me the same feeling: We are warriors! In life as in cycling (in this case) we have our ups and downs but we manage to get it through no matter what. They might put us down but it will only help us become stronger. I also think about the differences between the prize money for men and women. They suffer the same way as the men but they’re still not recognized as they should be. This, however, doesn’t stop these great women from excelling!

Chiara Consonni & Vittoria Guazzini.

I love this one of Chiara Consonni with Vittoria Guazzini, after their teammate Elisa Balsamo won the U23 European road title. It truly shows the bond between us women. We are strong alone but we are stronger together.

Elisa Balsamo.

This is Elisa Balsamo winning her European Road title. I chose this picture because of her smile. It screams “I made it. I made my dream come true.”

Alice Arzuffi.

This is Alice Arzuffi and like the image above of Anaïs Morichon, it tells me there is a subtle sadness about not doing as well as they had hoped.

Ilaria Sanguineti.

Ilaria Sanguineti cooling herself down after hard work done for her teammates. It shows us that despite the smiles, there is also fatigue. Professional cycling is great but it’s for very few people. Those few people are the strongest people I’ve ever met. I’m glad I have the chance to capture such people. They indirectly make me feel stronger.

Marta Cavalli.

Marta Cavalli shows that every single drop of sweat counts. She started cycling at eleven years old and now she is riding for an international team. For the girls out there: Do not give up on your dreams. Do not give up on yourself and don’t quit.

Teniel Campbell.

And finally Teniel Campbell. This image sums up every other shots in here. We might cry, we might be disappointed, we might have a lot going on in our lives but we won’t allow it to take us down. We will focus on our goals and how to reach them.