Saturday, November 17, 2012

Film Review: The Heart Of The Peloton (3 DVD set)

Charles A. Smith

The Heart Of The Peloton is a riveting 3 DVD set from First Run Features that goes behind the scenes of professional bike racing. It's one big shot adrenaline from beginning to end, and biking fans are sure to enjoy these immensely.

Blood Sweat and Gears
Blood Sweat and Gears is about a the forming of the professional bicycle racing team Team Slipstream, product of the vision of  Johnathan ( JV) Vaughters, former racer and now manager of Team Slipstream, a collection of riders who race competitively all around the world in hopes of getting a invite to the Tour De France and  sponsorship. The sport suffered from rampart drug use to enhance performance and he was determined to change that, so he created a dope free team. With frequent testing, he and his athletes remain drug free and very competitive. Realizing his dream, he recruited riders like David Miller, Christain Vende Velde, Mike Freidman, Magnus Backstedt, and the rest of Team Slipstream. See what it takes to form a team, get a sponsor, and get the invitation to the biggest  race of the sport. There is only one way to do that and that is what this very uplifting documentary is about. Can they win their way into sponsorship and the race? The dedication to the sport by these athletes is really something that will impress and inspire you  along with the vision of Jonathan Vaughters who is the one making it happen in the U.S. first. He's a real innovator and believer of fair play. Highly informative, viewers sett what happens in the struggle for real improvement in, a sport that needs to be drug free! I applaud Team SlipSream, and was fascinated by this DVD.

Hell On Wheels
The 2003 T-Mobile bike racing team from Germany shows us the inside world of the Tour De France, which is easily the biggest biking event in the world. Follow the team as they reveal the heartbreak and triumph of this dangerous and glorious event. Witness the pain and sacrifice they and the other riders must endure just to make it to the end, let alone compete for the yellow jersey and the green. This documentary is in German with subtitles, and is well made, taking you right along with the riders. You actually feel like you're on the bikes and a part of the team and race. With stunning footage from past and present events, and with France as the background, this DVD is great for any viewer, especially those into biking on any level. The dedication that these riders and the greats of the sport have is unbelievable, as they push their bodies to the very limits of human ability during the most grueling race on earth. You will develop a sincere appreciation for the sport and its athletes.The race from start to finish is covered with greats like Rolf, Petacchi, Armstrong, Ullrich, and many others. This documentary is very up close and personal, taking you not only into the race but into the minds of the racers. 

Yell For Cadel
Yell for Cadel is the third DVD of the trilogy in this great box set. In every sport, there's a super star. Cycling is no different, and that what this documentary is all about. In Yell For Cadel, we are allowed inside the camp of Australian world class cyclist and recent winner of the World Championship, Cadel Evans. Following him and team Silence Lotto in their attempt to win over his rivals in this Tour De France 2008 Menchev, Sastre, and Valverde, the other real contenders in the race according to the experts. It's a very different kind of ride when you are one of the top cyclists in the world, and a class above most other riders. The ride is grueling, but they handle it differently. See what makes that difference as you follow the Aussie superstar and his bodyguard Evans as they push through the competition, reporters, and fans in France. Funny, lively, educational, and very entertaining, it's almost like watching a movie. Characters worthy of Hollywood come to life in the everyday activities of a winning team with a leader in the race. This is a well made documentary and will give you a whole different perspective on the Tour De France. For this superstar this seems like a ride in the park...almost. But we know this race is the race.. How he does it is what makes him great. This is an amazing watch! Not arrogant, just gifted, he could be a actor after the racing is over along with others in his camp. You will smile the whole time while enjoying Yell for Cadel. I highly recommend this DVD!! And the box set will be a perfect treat for anyone, especially cyclists!! The Tour De France is a three week race where every day the cyclists must do the equivalent of running a marathon. That is simply incredible, and so is this 3 disc set: The Heart Of The Peloton!!    

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