Sunday 29 July 2018

La Grand Boucle/Tour de Force

I don't really remember when I bought Tour de Force, but I came across the DVD recently (in a stack in my house) and of course July seemed the perfect time to watch it, and so I put the disc in the player on Day 4 of the 2018 Tour. I wasn't planning to watch the whole thing but I enjoyed it so much that I missed the start of the Stage that night!

The start of the movie is a bit hokey, with a bit of trouble setting up amateur cyclist Francois' motivation to take on cycling the Tour -doing each stage the day before the actual cyclists. I believe lots of people do that, at least a stage or two for mere mortals, and certainly lots of amateur cyclists will take on the more famous tour climbs like the Col de Tourmalet, Mont Ventoux and Alpe d'huez. And in an amazing life imitates art there's an amazing group of amateur women cyclists (Donnons des elles au vélo) doing the full tour to push for a Women's Tour. They do it tough, the roads aren't closed for them.
We respect the traffic signs. We stop at red lights. We respect the rules,” Kalachova says.
Actually they're pushing for the return of the Tour de France Feminin which ran alongside the men's event from 1984-89, it has a fascinating history. I have enjoyed La Course (a women's race on the final day) the last few years, but it's a hard nights viewing. The Australian telecast of the iconic final day of the Tour starts tonight at 2330 and goes til 0400. A hard gig when you're working this evening, doing the school run in the morning, and working tomorrow evening. But I'll be on the couch for part of it and will wistfully think back on 2013 when I stood on the Rue du Rivoli for the final stage. 

Oh wait I'm supposed to be talking about La Grand Boucle... If I hadn't put in the hard yards on the couch over many cold July nights then I don't think I could have enjoyed it like I did. I understand the brigades of mad fans, the rituals and rhythms of the Tour, even the camera angles, classic shots. The Dutch jokes. I can't imagine being able to enjoy it quite so much if you weren't a cycling fan, or at least a Tour fan. There's a lot of in jokes. But it's a nice feel good movie. I'll certainly watch it again, next July, or perhaps even once more this July if I can sneak it in. 

Donnons des elles au vélo link to website in French
Donnons des elles au vélo link to news article in English

Paris in July 2018


NancyElin said...

I am a Tour de France fan pur-sang!
I followed the race during the last 3 weeks and am
always sad when the racing spectacle is over.
Beautiful images of France on the TV, interesting commentary and oh, the racing! There is a strategy that took me many years to understand! Our Dutch champoin Tom Dumoulin is 2e behind Sky team's Tom Geraint.
Tom needs a stronger team around him...maybe next year he wil win!
Love you post....because I rarely find anyone interested in cycling!
PS: I biked to the top of Alpe d'Huez 6 years bucket list achievenment! I was grueling...but amazing!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

My sister signed the four of us (including our two husbands) for a bicycle wine tour in Tuscany in June. I plan to write a post about it soon, but we'll say for now that it doesn't seem likely that I will be riding in the Tour de France in this lifetime.

I have never watched cycling. I shall next summer.

Jeanie said...

Thanks for alerting me to this, Louise. Rick and I are serious Tour fans and I'm eager to see this. Now, if only I can FIND it!

Paulita said...

I may have heard of this movie, or else I read a book about the same subject, but it sounds like a good one. I got to see the Tour in person this year. What fun