A few years ago at the VIFF I took in a great German documentary called Höllentour (Hell On Wheels). It followed Erik Zabel and Rolf Aldag during the incredible 2003 edition of the Tour de France. Both were amazing cyclists in their day, key members of former powerhouse T-Mobile, and Zabel is indisputably a legend. Upcoming on February 2nd is the Vancouver showing of Chasing Legends, a documentary that follows HTC- Columbia during the 2009 Tour. It will be interesting to compare the two films, as both feature the pressure of sprinters on the biggest stage in the world, and both expose a sporting event like no other. Young, cocky, and at the top of his game – Mark Cavendish could be the best sprinter ever. However, he still doesn’t have a green jersey, and his Directeur Sportif, none other than Aldag, is no doubt trying to groom him to follow in the footsteps of the only man to win the maillot vert six times: Zabel.
No matter what you think about cycling, cyclists, or the controversy that surrounds them, the sport is gruelling, the athletes incredible, and the biggest race – the Tour – is a spectacle that has no rival anywhere, at anytime.
I will be going to the sole Vancouver showing on February 2nd. If you are interested in attending you can find information here, or contact me. I encourage you to watch the trailer below, and see what some of the featured personalities have to remark. How do you think you would fare flying down some of the descents they show? How many times do you hear the word suffering?