After our gut-bomb dinner at Dot’s Cafe, we crossed the street to the Clinton Street Theatre to see the movie “Chasing Legends.“
It just happens to be a totally amazing documentary about the Tour de France and Team HTC Columbia. If you don’t follow the Tour, or aren’t familiar with the names then this is a good movie to watch. It’s a great introduction to some key players, some past dramas, and some exciting footage.
The focus seems to be on Mark Cavendish–a 24 year old rockstar sprinter. He is the HTC shining star. The one complaint I had about the movie was that the focus wasn’t real clear. It was a good movie about the Tour de France, and when they focused on Cavendish it was really interesting, but there didn’t seem to be a main thought throughout the whole movie. That didn’t take away from the excitement of the film, though.
The film was beautifully made. It mixed hilarious commentary from other riders, past Tour winners, and even the oldest living Tour de France winner (from 1936 and 1947 I think). He is 97 years old and showed photos from his days in the Tour. That was a very cool part of the film!
The other cool part of the film was when the camera cut away from the cycling action to the inside of the car where the two team captains were making jokes. They were so funny! Definitely a highlight of the movie. Their jobs were to study each Stage before it starts, analyze the wind and weather conditions, and plan the strategy for the day. They spoke into the mic directly to all the team members and gave them instructions. Things like “90 degree turn to your left” and “there’s a hole in the middle of the road in 100 yards” etc etc.
The film is truly epic. It shows crash after crash, slips and slides, and also the gorgeous scenery of France! There was so much anticipation watching these amazing athletes perform at their best (and sometimes worst). The filmmaker did a great job creating drama. I remarked to Michael that it was often more exciting than the big Blockbuster-movies! For example, footage of the cyclists going faster than cars down the other side of the mountains, taking the death-defying “S” turns and curves that mean certain death if not navigated correctly! I was on the edge of my seat. And check out George Hincapie:
The behind the scenes footage of HTC was fun to see. They have their own Team Chef that takes over the kitchen at whatever hotel they are staying at. They have a Team Masseuse (oh heavenly). There was footage of the guys getting massages and of course, we as viewers got to see their bumps and HUGE bruises! Man, are these guys hardcore.
The theatre was packed–in fact, they over sold the movie and people had to stand. It was a fun experience to watch the movie with a theatre packed with cycling fans. In fact, I think most of them road their bikes to the movie! There were unanimous gasps and moans and sighs as well as scattered “boos” when Contador appeared on screen! Everyone groaned in unison at ghastly crashes!
I was blown away by this movie. It was inspiring. I felt motivated to get out there and ride 100 miles tomorrow! This is the kind of movie to watch in preparation for a marathon or bike competition. It will light a fire in your and awaken your inner athlete!
QUESTION: Have you seen this movie? If so, what did you think?