Cycling: Netflix is ​​part of the Tour de France

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CyclingNetflix joins the Tour de France

After F1, the American giant is interested in the Grande Boucle and films the day-to-day of eight teams in the 2022 edition. An immersion behind the scenes of filming.

Arriving at the Col du Granon on July 13, Netflix cameras are closer to Jonas Vingegaard who just won the stage and the yellow jersey.

AFP

These are the most anticipated cameras of the Tour de France. However, we had to look for them, because neither the badges nor the logos indicate their presence in the Grande Boucle. The American giant’s teams are very unobtrusive, probably to better infiltrate behind the scenes. It even looks like some teams are camouflaged in official uniforms of the teams that follow. Sometimes you can spot a stick hanging over a runner’s head near the team bus. Or a camera in a sports director’s car.

Since March, three groups (a journalist, a camera and a sound engineer) have followed each of the eight training courses (AG2R-Citroën Team, Alpecin-Fenix, Bora-Hansgrohe, EF Education-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ, Ineos Grenadiers). , Team Jumbo-Visma and Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) who have agreed to participate in the docuseries of the platform, scheduled for the first quarter of 2023.

The bus paddock, the sports directors ’cars, the hotel – the film crews don’t want to miss anything from the big July Mass. According to Anglo-Saxon media, a check for 50,000 euros was paid to each of the formations that agreed to take part in the adventure. “I still don’t think there are cameras in our rooms, but they really record a lot of content,” smiles Benoît Cosnefroy, AG2R pilot. There are microphones everywhere, on the bus but also on some bikes in the peloton. It’s a great presence but it’s good to make the effort, especially for a team like ours because it gives them a good showcase. Then I also understand that a team like UAE Emirates doesn’t bother with the limitations of the series.

Because the documentary will have a notable absentee: Tadej Pogacar. His team did not accept Netflix cameras, unlike Jonas Vingegaard’s Jumbo-Visma team. Too bad we would have liked to discover the conversation between the Slovenian and his sports management, on the bus, after his failure at the Col du Granon last Wednesday. Wout Van Aert, great animator of the Tour de France, will necessarily be one of the main actors in the series being filmed. On the podium of the official ceremonies, we saw the Belgian several times with a microphone screwed to his cap.

Tour de France actors don’t seem too upset by the presence of the film crews. “I have the impression that they are there with good intentions and my runners confirmed to me that there was no problem,” says Marc Madiot. The Groupama-FDJ manager had already appeared in a France 2 documentary about Thibaut Pinot, an unfortunate hero in 2019.

“I hope the series brings other fans who aren’t attracted to the scenery and the beautiful views.”

Benoît Cosnefroy, French runner

“Inevitably, there are times when we feel less like talking than others, but the film crews feel it,” said Aurélien Paret-Peintre, before his positive test for Covid-19. We found our site and our staff has appointed people to manage the Netflix team. Thus, some formations do not want, for example, cameras when massaging runners.

Less rivalry than in F1

Involved in the project, the organizer of the Tour de France (ASO) sees an opportunity to further popularize the Grande Boucle. “The Tour has always been in tune with the media of its time,” sums up Christian Prudhomme. A platform like Netflix, but also social networks, offers us another way to consume this adventure ”.

“The general public does not realize what is happening behind the scenes of our sport”

Stefan Küng, Swiss runner

Cyclists, on the other hand, are hoping to catch the Formula 1 aspiration, driven by the Netflix series “Drive to Survive.” “I’m a big fan of this series. I didn’t follow F1 before and this documentary regained the sympathy and interest of a much wider audience,” said Benoît Cosnefroy. “I hope it’s the same with cycling, which will bring “other fans than those attracted by the landscapes and the beautiful views. Surely the interest in our sport will increase, especially among young people.”

This is also what the Swiss Stefan Küng thinks. “The general public does not realize everything that goes on behind the scenes of our sport and it is interesting to open our doors to generate more interest,” stresses the Thurgau. Humanizing the platoon is one of the goals of the series, which should have eight chapters of 45 minutes.

“I can’t wait to see the final cut, but I don’t think there is this side to the specific rivalry in the world of Formula 1 drivers,” said Benoît Cosnefroy. We, when a rival wins, will congratulate him because he was stronger and only physical. Not all F1 disputes and resources.

The tender moment between Jonas Vingegaard and his wife, at the top of the Col du Granon, seems to have been immortalized and recorded by Netflix microphones. No trace instead of the searches of the Bahrain-Victorious team in Denmark, as the formation of Damiano Caruso does not participate in the documentary.

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