Last week, Movistar released the long-awaited third season of their Netflix series 'The Least Expected Day'.
The series is an insightful documentary going behind the scenes into life in the Movistar camp at the Grand Tours over the last three years. Viewers get an access all areas pass to be a fly on the wall in disputes over tactics, rows over who is the team’s leader at the Giro d’Italia and to see riders at their lowest point after crashing out of major races.
In the latest series, the highlight is undoubtedly an inside look at the row between Miguel Ángel López and team management at the 2021 Vuelta a España which ultimately resulted in ‘Superman’ climbing off the bike and refusing to continue.
If you enjoyed watching the latest instalment of 'The Least Expected Day', then here’s eight of the best of the rest in cycling-related films and documentaries available to view online.
Some are available free of charge whereas others require a small fee. Depending on where you are in the world, you might have more or less choice on any of these streaming platforms; this was written from what we can get in the UK.
SLAYING THE BADGER
Available to stream on Disney Plus, 'Slaying the Badger’ is a documentary looking back at the pivotal 1986 Tour de France and is based on the book by the late Richard Moore.
Now that Lance Armstrong has been firmly scratched from Tour de France record books, Greg LeMond is the first and only American rider to have ever won the three-week race. In the film, LeMond reflects on his rivalry and friendship with his teammate, mentor and five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault.
Legend has it that Hinault agreed to help LeMond to his first Tour de France victory in return for the American agreeing to work for him during the previous year. The film swiftly lays bare the dynamics of the La Vie Claire team during the 1986 race and what then happened out on the road.
Currently available on Netflix, ‘Icarus’ is a 2017 Oscar-winning American documentary film.
It chronicles the writer Bryan Fogel’s exploration into the murky world of doping in order to win an amateur cycling race. In the process of doing so, he inadvertently discovers a major international doping scandal.
Fogel enlists the help of a scientist named Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory.
What he then discovers causes shock waves throughout the world of sport and ultimately results in Rodchenkov being kept in protective custody by US Law Enforcement.
ONBOARD THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RACE
Available on Netflix, this 2019 documentary looks into the gruelling Transcontinental race.
Twenty-four-year-old Fiona Kolbinger took first place making her the first female winner of the event. The film directed by Antonin Michaud Soret is an inside look at just what it takes to ride the most challenging of bike races.
Watching the film leaves you feeling like you’re riding along with competitors on 18-hour days, across Europe's most breath-taking scenery in the ultimate test of cycling endurance.
This two-part documentary chronicling the fall from grace of Lance Armstrong is currently available to view on the BBC iPlayer.
Based on in-depth interviews and conversations with the Texan, the two 90-minute long films tell the full story of his rise in the United States as a top level cyclist, as well as his battle with testicular cancer and recovery.
The film then continues to go over his rise to cycling stardom that came with his seven consecutive Tour de France yellow jerseys, before that dramatic interview with television host Oprah Winfrey in which Armstrong famously confessed to doping throughout his career.
Currently available to stream for free on Amazon Prime, 'The Racer' is a fictional story of a pro cyclist called Felix who dreams of becoming world champion.
Once the protagonist joins a team in Italy, he is dragged into the murky waters of corruption and performance-enhancing drugs.
How far is Felix willing to go to pursue his dream of the rainbow bands?
BREAKING THE CYCLE
'Breaking the Cycle' is the story of former ski-mountaineer Anton Palzer’s journey to becoming a professional cyclist.
Palzer currently rides for Bora-Hansgrohe and the German rider was recently given a new contract by his team for next season. The film on Amazon Prime sees Palzer as well as his coaches and team manager Ralf Denk talk through the 29-year-old’s journey and his first steps into pro racing at the 2021 Tour of the Alps and Tour de Suisse.
Currently available to stream with Amazon Prime and on the Red Bull website (opens in new tab).
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE / BELLEVILLE RENDEZVOUS
Currently available on Amazon Prime, 'Belleville Rendezvous' should be top of anyone’s must watch cycling films. An absolute classic, which beautifully depicts the passion of cycling through the eyes of one of the protagonists' grandchildren.
Although there is a twist.
Madame Souza instills a love of cycling in her young grandson who eventually becomes a road racer dreaming of lining up at the Tour de France. However, when he eventually arrives at the French Grand Tour he goes missing.
Madame Souza and her faithful pet dog are then left with the daunting task of discovering what has become of her young cycling prodigy.
'The Program' regularly turns up on the various streaming platforms out there including the BBC iPlayer. It’s currently available to rent on Amazon Prime.
Based on the book ‘Seven Deadly Sins: My pursuit of Lance Armstrong’ by award-winning journalist David Walsh, the film depicts the author's efforts to expose the Texan's wrongdoings as a drugs cheat.
Chris O’Dowd plays Walsh in the motion picture, which also features Dustin Hoffman and Jesse Plemons.
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