COVID-19 is keeping a lot of us indoors. The boredom of indoor training in addition to every bike race being cancelled is a real downer, especially during what is normally one of the best times of the year to be a cycling fan. Despite there being no spring classics, you can brighten your Zwifting or couch beer drinking with some of the best cycling documentaries ever made.
A Sunday In Hell
This Sunday would have been the 118th Paris-Roubaix. Second only to the Tour de France in terms of recognition, l’Enfer du Nord, the Hell of the North, is all about the punishing cobbles. Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth’s famous documentary of the 1976 edition, A Sunday In Hell (En Forårsdag i Helvede), is 44-years-old and available in all its glory on YouTube.
Filmmaker Bryan Fogel sets out on a mission to learn about performance-enhancing drugs in sports. What he ends up discovering is far bigger than anyone could have even imagined. Icarus on Netflix August 4, 2017. Watch Icarus on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80168079
Slaying the Badger
American Greg Lemond helped teammate Bernard Hinault, The Badger, win the Tour de France as teammates. In 1986, it was supposed to be LeMond’s turn, but would it be? It was a turning point in cycling. Watch the full 30 for 30 on ESPN+.
Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist
The unique and compelling story of one man taking on the mountains, an athlete’s battle against addiction, set against the dramatic background of the Alps during the Tour de France, Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist is the tragic tale of Marco Pantani versus himself. In 1998, Marco Pantani, the most flamboyant and popular cyclist of his era, won both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. This titanic feat of physical and mental endurance has never since been matched. Pantani was a hero to millions and was seen as the savior of cycling during a time when doping scandals threatened to destroy the sport. But six years after this extraordinary feat and only 34 years old, tragically, Pantani was dead. Discovered in a cheap Italian hotel, he died alone from acute cocaine poisoning. Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist explores the true story behind this remarkable man’s achievements and his tragic fall. Purchase the full documentary on YouTube.
El Día Menos Pensado | Inside Movistar Team
“The least expected day” – following the Movistar team through the 2019 season – a fascinating 6 part documentary insight. Watch on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81130094
MAMIL – Middle Aged Men in Lycra
During the week, they are white-collar professionals with responsible jobs, families and mortgages. Come the weekend, they transform into Lycra-clad super heroes; road warriors on expensive carbon framed bikes traveling in packs and competing with other males for dominance in the group. MAMIL is a feature length documentary that dares to enter this secret world of middle-aged men to uncover the reasons they take to the road. Narrated by Tour de France and cycling commentator, Phil Liggett. Full documentary on Vimeo for $7.99.
All For One
United by their renegade spirit and a determination to win against substantial odds, these riders take on the international circuit. The film offers unique insights into the first five years of their journey, bearing witness to the ethos of the team as embodied by all – from the strongest to most embattled members. Out of a culture that embraces a deeply human approach to sport, unlikely champions are born, and seemingly improbable team and personal goals are achieved. Available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/all-for-one/id1360659316
Gripped Films presents Chasing Legends, documenting the 2009 Tour de France through the eyes of the Columbia HTC professional cycling team and the legends of the sport. Grab it here: https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Legends-Passion-Glory-France/dp/B007EU81AA
American Crit II
In this feature-length sequel to last year’s American Crit, the men of Butcherbox Cycling are back for another whiplash season of USA CRITS racing. From the drama of the legendary Athens Twilight criterium, to an in-depth look at the famed Tulsa Tough series, AC II puts the sheer ferocity of American criterium racing and the unassailable tenacity of the human spirit on full display.
Rising From Ashes
Rising from Ashes is a feature length documentary about the first Rwandan national cycling team in their bid to make history and represent their country at the 2012 Olympics. Competing in a white man’s sport, reserved for the privileged, a rag tag group of cyclists coached by the first American to ride in the Tour de France, are transformed into a powerful symbol of hope for a country recovering from one of the world’s most devastating genocides. Watch on Netflix.
TIME TRIAL gives us an exhilarating and terrifying place in the race, providing an immersive experience as close to actually competing as you will ever see on film. David Millar, shrouded in darkness, declares an intention to rise again. A sensory ride through the thrill and hardship of professional cycling. We are hurtled off a hillside, details blurring like watercolours. The euphoria and the fatigue, the highs and the lows. It’s as if it were ourselves struggling through the bumpy roads of France. David bluntly and fearlessly narrates his last season in the saddle, intimate and immediate, along with the intricate relationships of cyclist, road crew, fellow competitors, manic fans, and the media circus surrounding it all.
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
This film was originally supposed to be about Tyler Hamilton, but as that turned out the way it did it pivoted and became about Baden Cooke and Jimmy Casper
The original Thereabouts film. The first thereabouts ride came together all at the last minute – as these things do. We had a date locked in for a few months beforehand but we hadn’t properly considered exactly where we would go. All we knew was that we wanted to ride through a desert or over a mountain range. Ideas about different routes across the world had been floating around but in reality we had little money, and lacked the logistical skills to organise it. With less than a month until we were meant to leave we decided on Uluru – purely because it was an iconic location everyone knew, which made it easier to explain when people asked where we were going. Once we arrived however, it became pretty clear how special Australia is.
De Ronde 100 – Behind the scenes
How did team directors, riders and press experience the 100th Tour of Flanders? 🎥 Take a look behind the scenes!
The Stars and The Water Carriers: The 1973 Giro d’Italia
The images from the Tour de France in the television production Eddy Merckx in the Vincinity of a Cup of Coffee may be seen as a small sketch for the fully unfurled epic cycling drama Stars and Watercarriers. The film follows the 1973 Giro d’Italia and in his commentary Leth explains the fascination exerted by the great cycle races: “The most beautiful, most pathetic images cycling can give us involve extreme performances in classic terrain.
Bradley Wiggins a Year in Yellow
Bradley Wiggins. The 2012 Tour de France. What else do you need to know?
Filmed over several years, Arūnas Matelis and his crew joined the medic teams to reveal the unseen footage of the riders at the back of the race – the so-called “water carriers,” “domestiques,” “Gregarios” – who forego their careers and personal victories for the sake of victory for their leader. Its heroes are athletes undertaking the most difficult challenges, while remaining in the shadow of leaders, without the right to personal victory. Through their sacrifice, they pave the way to victory for the band’s stars, becoming a universal symbol of sacrifice.
The Quest – Saeco at the 2003 Giro d’Italia
A great behind-the-scenes look at the Saeco Cannondale team and Gilberto Simoni.
Lance Armstrong – Road to Paris
Road to Paris is a 2001 documentary film showing the preparation of Lance Armstrong, then twice winner of Tour de France, and his team, US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, for the 2001 Tour de France. The film was shot during April, covering races such as Circuit de la Sarthe, Gent–Wevelgem, Paris–Roubaix and Amstel Gold Race, mainly featuring Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie. The film was produced by Nike.
Geraint Thomas The Road Will Decide
A BBC film that looks at Geraint Thomas and his 2019 Tour de France.
The High Life
Super climber Robert Millar and his “High life.”
The 1991 Motorola Cycling Team Spring Classics
An inside look at the 1991 Motorola Cycling Team as they prepare and race the major Spring Classics.
23 Days in July – 1983 Tour de France
Phil Anderson’s bid to win the 1983 Tour de France.
Paul Kimmage Rough Rider
In July 2014, a documentary film called Rough Rider was shown. The documentary was filmed over two years and was set against the fall of Lance Armstrong for doping offences and followed Kimmage as a journalist during the 2013 Tour de France where he questions what is being done to remove the doping culture in professional cycling since the release in 1990 of his book Rough Ride.
Documentary Cycling Team CSC
Profound and penetrating insight into the hermetically closed world of professional cycling. With former pro rider, Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis as the protagonist, the documentary follows him and his new Team CSC as they strive for the impossible: to become the world’s best and win the Tour de France.
British Cycling Road to Glory Part 1 Grand Ambition
With cycling more popular than ever and huge interest in this year’s Tour de France and Olympics, BRITISH Cycling: Road to GLORY will offer an insight into the inner workings and stars of both the professional road outfit Team Sky and the national British Cycling team,. It will lay bare the extraordinary physical, psychological and tactical dimensions of both professional cycling and the bid for continued Olympic success at London 2012. The six-part series will also feature key coaches behind the bid, including Dave Brailsford, Performance Director of British Cycling and Team Principal for Team Sky.
Hell on Wheels
The 2003 Tour de France from the perspective of Germany’s Team Telekom, with a focus on sprinter Erik Zabel.