Tour de France 2023: 5 cycling documentaries to watch including Netflix Tour de France: Unchained

The annual battle for the yellow jersey remains one of world sports’ greatest spectacles – the opening week of the 2023 edition has been a stellar race to date with Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard renewing their jousting for overall glory.

If you're enjoying the Tour de France 2023 and want something to watch on this first rest day, read on for five must-see documentaries charting the best (and worst) pro-cycling has to offer.

Tour de France: Unchained (Netflix)

Fresh from the triumph of their Drive to Survive F1 coverage, streaming giant Netflix turns the camera to two-wheeled racing. Unchained was released last month ahead of the 2023 race and follows the battle for yellow last year...though for contractual reasons, Pogačar and UAE Team Emirates did not appear.

Icarus (Netflix)

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Doping has long dogged professional cycling and this documentary began as an exploration of cheating at the Haute Route sportive series. But it was not long before the documentary spiralled into something different – an expose on Russia organised sports doping and a man who was (for a time) the most-wanted whistleblower from Putin’s state.

Slaying the Badger (Disney+)

Based on the book of the same name by the revered and much-missed late cycling reporterRichard Moore (once of The Scotsman), Slaying the Badger follows the remarkable battle for supremacy between team mates and rivals Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond at the 1986 tour.

A Sunday In Hell (Youtube)

La Grande Boucle may be the most famous race on two wheels in the world, but the annual cobbled classic of Paris-Roubaix can claim to rival its prestige among the peloton. A Sunday In Hell is regarded by many as the finest cycling documentary of all and charts the savagery of this cult event. What’s more, the 1976 edition features some of the sports greatest ever names including Eddy Merckx and Roger De Vlaeminck.

Lance (BBC iPlayer)

The undeserved rise and long-awaited fall for serial doping cheat Lance Armstrong did near irreparable damage to the reputation of Le Tour. This two-parter looks at how the Texan built his reputation, valiantly overcame cancer to set world cycling ablaze, before finally confessing to a career-long programme of doping.



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