Thursday, June 27, 2013
Review: La Legende du Tour de France
This is a 'find', a French documentary called, 'La Legende du Tour de France.'
A rousing hurrah celebrating this worthy giant of all races. Colorization of the historical footage is to be commended. Amazing footage I have never seen before deserves mention: Le Grand Boucle in the 1900s. I enjoyed the impromptu interviews of some weary finishers caught unaware trying to answer simple questions and one who didn't understand at all. The simpler times of old France caught in the 1930s; priests cheering on the side of the road, couples enjoying lunch at a roadside table applauding the passing peloton and Breton Jean Robic winning on the Tourmalet and becoming a national hero.
Exciting moments of Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali victorious. The fifties was glory for France and Louison Bobet and the ascension of Jacques Anquetil. Raymond Poulidor is the instant eternal second place hero. Then enter the new King Merckx giving the tunic dore to the King of Belgium. France returns with Bernard Hinault and Bernard Tapie. I can't help but think Greg LeMond was portrayed as a supporting actor in this French play. Big Mig is striking as the perfect example of pure power. But nothing hits a low point as the Festina Affair and the lasting image of a tearful anti hero, Richard Virenque. ASO organisers did not invite Lance Armstrong as part of the final stage celebrations in Paris. He along with many receives important mention during the last segment of this engaging video.
Throughout the negativity of doping there's a positive French optimism ...that the Tour will always endure.