Top positive review
Valuable insight even with the benefit of hindsight
on 26 October 2015
A fascinating behind the scenes documentary of the inner workings, trials and tribulations of the CSC cycling team largely filmed in and around the 2004 Tour De France giving a unique perspective on how hard life as a tour rider and being a member of the support team around them is. Unique access to the squad was granted, and whilst there is some race footage much of this is what you don't get to see on TV - tactics being called from the team car, the mundanity of hotel life, post-race massages, post-crash doctoring, support for personal issues and family problems. It's a backstage look at life on the hardest sporting event in the world, tainted a little with hindsight at the annulment of not only Lance Armstrong's seven Tour wins but also CSC team manager Bjarne Riis' solitary victory for doping, for he is the glue that holds the film and the team together. Riis throughout appears dedicated and passionate, but concerns appear for him from team members as the strain clearly takes hold yet he internalises it. Even with those annulments hanging over the production in retrospect it's still a very valuable insight into life on a pro cycling team who won the team award in this edition of Le Tour. Loads of extras on Disc 2 include an interview with David Duffield (amusingly stating Bradley Wiggins will never win Le Tour), time with the mechanics, a detailed half hour backstage look at Stage 13 won by team member Ivan Basso, and things from the perspective of the fans - excellent bonus material.