Living in a world bombarded by copious amounts of screens, tv, movies, online streaming, on demand tv and generally just a lot of stuff to keep our eyes firmly fixed and occupied for hours, it can at times be overwhelming.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve logged on to netflix with the nice idea of watching some random documentary, only to an hour later to have become so confused and bamboozled by so many choices, that I still haven’t found something I’d really like to watch. I get exhausted, burn out and end up just closing down the laptop because I’m now so tired, I want to take a nap and have lost all interest in watching anything.
And that’s just Netflix.
It’s super dooper that nowadays we have so much immediately available to entertain us. Whatever your mood, you will find something out there or in here to watch. Great, great, great.
I like a good sports documentary, among other things and having become more cycling focused lately, I am consuming cycling documentaries, movies and books faster than my wallet can keep up with. And so, I’ve been availing of some of the freebies out there.
Thank you internet, nice posting people and the digital era.
As you know, I like to share the goodness around and do what I can to insert a little cycling joy into people’s lives. It’s what I live for 😉 And so, I give to you a list of some damn good cycling documentaries which I would highly recommend to both the cyclist and non-wheely person, because when a documentary is good, it really doesn’t matter whether you’re a vet or a virgin. On your marks…
1. Stop At Nothing. Lance Armstrong. Is there anyone out there on this planet who has not heard of Lance Armstrong? More famous than Jesus Christ. For different reasons, obvs.
2. Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist. Pantani, an italian legend among cyclists, tragically died alone in his apartment in 2004 of a cocaine overdose. Talented, exciting and charismatic, his professional career became plagued by doping allegations, ultimately leading to depression, ostracization and death. A very sad story but essential viewing for anyone who ever thought to judge a cyclist for their resort to PEDs.
3. Slaying the Badger is an awesome documentary charting the rivalry between the revered Bernard Hinault and the young, rising talent of Greg LeMond as it unravelled.
4. Clean Spirit is available to watch for peeps with Netflix and follows “clean” Team Argos-Shimano’s (now Giant-Alpecin) successful run at the 2013 Tour de France. Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb assume the spotlight here. Great bit of propaganda here for Giant-Alpecin, with Kittel and Degenkolb coming across very well. But do you believe it?
5. The Armstrong Lie or the National Geographic Armstrong documentary Cycling’s Greatest Fraud or The Bad Boy of Racing Cyclists. Yep, I know, more Lance… who on God’s green earth could possibly want any more of Lance? But here’s the thing – love him or hate him, watching him is, I regret to say, utterly compelling. I’ve watched a lot of Armstrong docs but these are among the best. I could and will watch all of them again.
As in, right now.
6. Road To Glory is a good one for the Brits or for anyone with an interest in Team Sky. We hear a lot about their self-proclaimed absolute clean cycling policy. Why not have a look and decide for yourself?
7. Bradley Wiggins: A Year in Yellow is an absorbing look behind the Wiggins curtain at the Englishman, as he prepares himself for the 2012 Tour de France. Very, very engaging and certainly one for those who mightn’t be all that into cycling.
8. Blood, Sweat and Gears gives viewers an insight into Team Garmin-Slipstream (now Team Cannondale….if you can keep up with the number of team name changes…) in 2009. If you’ve read David Millar’s biography, you’ll be interested in seeing this as it focuses on the team’s build to the 2009 Tour de France and their endeavours to rise among the ranks of pro cycling teams, pan y agua (drug-less). This would be after Millar’s disgrace and his massive fall from glory, as he tries to rebuild and re-enter the cycling world.
9. ITV Sports Life Stories: Chris Froome. Like Froomey? You’ll like this.
10. Road to Paris… yes more Armstrong, if you’re not sick of him. This is different however, because it was made before his colossal fall from grace.
11. Telefacts is a shorter documentary (30 mins) following Belgian team Omega Pharma Quickstep as they get ready for the Spring Classics in 2013. A rare glance into the training of a pro cycling team. I like this one.
12. Overcoming follows team CSC during the 2004 Tour de France, led by Bjarne Riis and included on on its team at that time, Tyler Hamilton and Carlos Sastre. It’s good but not excellent, hence my popping it down to the tail end of the list.
13. Because nothing is more apt at no.13 on the list, this place belongs to Oprah as she nails Lance Armstrong to the cross. Not technically a documentary, but do you care?
Lots for you to get your teeth into! Have fun and enjoy and please, please let me know what you think, I love chatting all things cycling.