The Best Movies About Cycling

robert-calin-177055-unsplash

 

Over the last 200 hundred years, there have been thousands of cycling races across the world uniting sports and fitness enthusiasts alike. As popularity increased, filmmakers worked to portray the world of cycling in ways that the race viewers may not typically see. Films range from fiction to nonfiction, comedic to dramatic, from documentary to adventure. There is no shortage of movies on the long-established sport of cycling, and with so many to choose from, it may be helpful to start with a few of the best cycling movies.

Bicycle Dreams (2009)

 

This documentary focuses on the 2005 Race Across America, a 3,000-mile cross country event attempted by only the best endurance racers around. Starting with the tragic death of endurance cyclist Bob Breedlove, this story is proof of the astonishing strength of the human spirit.

 

The Armstrong Lie (2013)

 

Starting as a documentary on Armstrong’s extraordinary comeback from cancer, the film takes a turn as news breaks of Lance’s history of cheating with steroids. The film shows the once-known cycling hero’s fall into disgrace as he is stripped of his seven Tour De France titles and banned from professional cycling.

 

The Flying Scotsman (2006)

 

This film depicts the fantastic story of Scottish amateur cyclist Graeme Obree as he attempts to obtain the world record for the one-hour distance despite suffering from a mental illness and having no sponsors for support. Despite the establishment’s pushback of his self-made bike, the cyclist gives the world a story of undeniable triumph.

 

The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

 

If you are a fan of Tour de France, then this selection is for you. Although this French animation is different from most cycling movies, this funny and touching film has something to offer all. As a young boys grandmother attempts to train him to be a champion in cycling, she decides he will be the next winner of the Tour. This movie won the Oscar for Best Animated Foreign Film in 2004.

 

Breaking Away (1979)

 

This would not be a “Best of” list without mention this film. This representation of small-town America, life as a college student and amateur cyclist, this movie grossed $20 million in North America, proving its critical and commercial success. The American Film Institute ranked it as one of the top ten American sports films of all time.

 

The Biggest Cycling Races In History

By Mark Dziuban

 

In 1817, Baron von Drais invented the first version of what is now called bicycles. After 50 years and various design changes, the recognition of the freedom and fun that bicycles brought to the people led to the first mass-production of bicycles in 1868. On May 31st of that same year, cycling as a sport officially began.

 

The race was a 1,312 yard (or 1,200 meters) race near Paris. Within a year, the first city-to-city race was held between Paris and Rouen. In the U.S., the first recorded race was held in Boston on May 24, 1878. By the 1890’s, a new form of racing began to thrive: the six-day race. This non-stop competition includes 142 hours of round-the-clock racing performed by one to two-man teams. While cycling became common in continental Europe, England’s deteriorated road conditions hindered the popularity of the sport.

 

Throughout the following 200 years, many races and racers came and went leaving unbelievable stories and records to intrigue all for years to come. Here are just a few of the many unforgettable moments in cycling history.

 

In 1903, the Tour de France was inaugurated as an outsized and extravagant race. The 21-day-long race quickly became one of the most popular and prestigious cycling races in the world. This multi-stage race has been held over 100 times with route distances ranging from 2,000-2,200 miles. To this day, there have only been four cyclists to win the race five times altogether.

 

Founded in 1909, the Giro d’Italy, or La Corsa Rosa, is also a 21 day, 2,000+ mile long race. This race holds the title for most engaged fans, as the weather-related obstacles, such as freezing rain or snow, seems to present no problem for the tour enthusiasts.

 

Dating back to the 1930s, the Tour de Suisse is the most famous bicycle race in Switzerland. First won by Austrian cyclist Max Bulla, this race is known as the place to prove yourself before moving on to the Tour de France. There has been only one cyclist, Pasquale Fornara, who has managed to win the race four times.

 

Established in 1947, the Criterium du Dauphine incorporates eight individual stages over the course of eight days. Benefiting from its location and place on the calendar, race organizers often feature a mountain stage with a route that is nearly identical to what the Tour de France will trace one month later.

 

While racers and races continue to evolve, the stories, moments, and successes of those dedicated to the ultimate physical challenges will remain cherished and revered.