A Bunch of "Kiwis" Ride Le Tour A Day Before The Race

"One Day Ahead" is a film that asks, "Can an ordinary bloke complete the Tour de France?"

Eight riders from New Zealand, one a former olympic cyclist, but none from the pro peleton, get to gether to ride every stage of the 2018 Tour, the day before the official race goes through. "Just ride it to enjoy it... ...'cause there's no room in the car."

I'll be watching this tonight and maybe adding a bit more to this post tomorrow, when the reel has been watched.

Twenty hours later: Watched it, great tale! Would have liked to have seen more riding and scenery, but there was enough, and I kept spotting places I know from the official Le Tour coverage on SBS every year. That said, I highly recommend this film. For cycling and non-cycling reasons pretty much alike.

The eight riders, the cameraman/support crew mate, his wife, and the odd other person close to the riders, set out to see if, as ordinary blokes, they could complete the entire Tour de France course in 2018, riding the official route each day, only one day before the actual race came through. There's no spoilers in saying they did it. They also raised $75,000 for mental health in New Zealand, where they were from.

They were taking 8 hours at times to ride stages with an official race day 4 hour sweep time, but they finished it. And how they finished it! Every rider had, in some way, been affected by mental health, either themselves, via a family member with mental illness or both. The teamwork that this helped contribute to actually made it possible for all of them to finish. Images of riders helping exhausted mates finish a stage by pushing them up hills. Tales of illness and dehydration and sunburn. None of this misery was going to keep them from having a day on the Champes Elysses before the big day on the Champes Elysses.

This film is inspiring, hopeful and triumphant. It's also entertaining and confronting, as the riders tell of how they became involved and how they beat the odds.

Question headlines are annoying, usually, but "can 8 ordinaly blokes finish the Tour de France route?" garners a resounding "YES!" and leaves not a dry eye in the house. Five stars * * * * *


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