2004 Tour de France documentary
Plot: This documentary is an intimate look at a German racing team during the 2003 Tour de France. Focused mostly on Erik Zabel and Rolf Aldrag, teammates and roommates who bicker over who gets to hold the remote control, the film takes a look at the trials and tribulations of cyclists during the three weeks this race goes on. Peppered throughout is historical black and white footage of earlier tours.
This was recommended by my brother, a cyclist. I wonder how much enjoyment I'm missing because I don't know diddly-squat about the sport or have any interest in any of these people. It's beautifully filmed with lots of great landscape shots of France, and a movie can never have too many scenes with old man massaging the legs of cyclists. It all looks very dangerous (lots of road burns, bruises, nicks) and is frequently exciting, but the documentary itself could have used some editing and less music. Gruelling work for the cyclists, I'm sure, but watching the thing also made me pretty tired. I was amazed at some of the badassery--one guy rode with a broken collarbone and another with a broken coccyx. One guy, I know, only rode with one testicle, but they didn't talk about that. It should be noted that both cyclists at the center of this documentary later confessed to doping in the nineties.