New film charts the eventful life of Jonathan 'Jacques' Boyer, an American Tour de France rider who moved to Rwanada to train cyclists

A film depicting the story of the first ever American Tour de France rider who has spent almost a decade training Rwandan cyclists is set to become a Hollywood blockbuster film.

Jacques Boyer, who in 1981 became the first cyclist from the States to ride the Tour, has lived and worked in the African country since 2007 training local cyclists who were affected by the Rwandan civil war in the 1990s.

Dubbing his work as Team Rwanda, Boyer – who also assists with Project Rwanda, a scheme that provides bikes and aid to locals – was integral in Rwanda’s flag bearer Adrien Niyonshuti competing in cross-country mountain biking at the London 2012 Olympics.

To honour Boyer’s work, Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Bay have been announced as the leading producers in an upcoming film about the story.

>>> How cycling is helping to rebuild Rwanda

Produced in collaboration with Appian Way and Bay Films, the movie does not yet have a story line or a release date.

Adrien Niyonshuti

Adrien Niyonshuti riding for the MTN-Qhubeka team

But it is expected to centre heavily on Boyer’s colourful life, from progressing through the amateur cycling ranks in France to competing five times in the Tour and finishing 12th in 1983, to his misdemeanours in later years including spending a year in jail in 2002 for having an affair with a teenager.

Boyer attracted attention during his Tour years because of his devotion to religion, once claiming that he would rather read his bible than a ‘lad’s mag’, and his meat-free diet that consisted largely of nuts and berries.