Jack Thompson grew up following the Tour de France on middle-of-the-night broadcasts in his homeland and dreaming of competing in the race himself. He came to realize that he was not fast enough for the pros but still the dream was there and in July he set out alone to win the 2021 Tour, sort of. It was to be “the Amazing Chase.”
PEZ at the movies
A sea-change in entertainment has given us a brave new world of cycling-related videos that through their subject matter or length or lack of star power would never have appeared in traditional media. Wahoo Fitness has a series featuring off-road riding and the most recent of these adventures was released on January 14.
Deceuninck - Quick-Step, the self-proclaimed “Wolfpack” functions at a very high level in terms of teamwork and nowhere is this more obviously portrayed than in the video “The Wolfpack Insider: Tour de France 2020,” which gives an intimate view of the team's campaign at the grandest of Grand Tours.
Beryl Burton was one of Britain's greatest athletes and one of the best cyclists ever, a story brought to life and beautifully told in the DVD “Racing is Life - The Beryl Burton Story.”
Giuseppe Marinoni, a seminal figure in Canadian cyclesports, is still out on his bicycle but disappointed that he has to ride alone, due to Covid-19. Most people 82 years of age would be happy to ride at all but Marinoni, the subject of a charming 2014 documentary, put in 8,000 kms in 2019 and still has big plans.
It is not surprising that during the Great Lockdown Netflix is seeing a massive increase in subscribers. With many new viewers watching a six-part documentary about pro cycling team Movistar's 2019 season, where bizarre antics could not be ruled out as those of us watching races last year did not comprehend what the team was trying to do.
The British have a great love of the idiosyncratic and this enthusiasm for the oddball has extended to bicycle racing. Before British Cycling conquered track racing and Grand Tours fell to British riders, the British had a warm enthusiasm for time trialling. And one of the biggest fishes in this tiny pond was Alf Engers, “The King.”
Film Review: Bike racing is hard, whether a city crit or a local time trial. Then it gets really hard if you are a pro. Then you have people who like to sit on their bikes for a long time: ultra racers who do it for the challenge. The toughest ultra race is the Race Across America and a new film (with special screenings in Canada on July 15) shows just how tough it can be.