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The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UP­FRONT -

Ralf Hüt­ter, co-founder of Ger­man elec­tro-pop pi­o­neers Kraftwerk, was so ob­sessed with cy­cling that he reg­u­larly took part in road-rac­ing events. But in early 1983, he came to grief dur­ing a race along the Rhine River, col­lid­ing with an­other rider and frac­tur­ing his skull. When Hüt­ter emerged from an in­duced coma sev­eral days later, the germ of a new song had lodged in his brain. The third in a tril­ogy of trans­porta­tion-re­lated tunes (af­ter

Au­to­bahn and Trans-Europe Ex­press), Tour de France ref­er­enced the an­nual bike race and un­der­lined Hüt­ter’s love of the sport in spite of the ac­ci­dent that al­most killed him. Cy­cling, he said, “is like mu­sic. It is free, it is out­side, it is the weather, the planet, en­ergy, speed, bal­ance, aero­dy­nam­ics. The bi­cy­cle it­self is a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment. The noise of the chain, the pedal and gear mech­a­nism, the breath­ing of the cy­clist, we have in­cor­po­rated all of this in the Kraftwerk sound.”

The 2014 Tour de France, un­til July 27.


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