Cycling Movie Greats

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A reader this week asked me for suggestion on a few cycling flicks that him and his buddies can catch up on. His timing was perfect because I was in the middle of writing this post on my favorite cycling movies.


Breaking Away (1979)

The film is basically about a hopeless rider with a passion for Italian cyclists. The best parts of the film are:

1. When Dave chases down a lorry he changes from the large chainring to the small one so he can go faster
2. The bit where one of the Italians puts his pump into the Dave’s front wheel and he comes off. This is one of the lame jokes that every non-cyclists says to me when trying to make conversation about racing.

American Flyers (1985)

Sports physician Marcus (Kevin Costner) persuades his unstable brother David (David Grant) to come with him and train for a bicycle race across the Rocky Mountains. He doesn’t tell him that he has a cerebral tumor. While David heads for the victory, Marcus has to realize that the contest is now beyond his capabilities. Cameo appearance by Eddy Merckx.

Quicksilver (1986)

Story of TC and how fyxomatosis got its start. Kevin Bacon plays TC, which means I’m only 2 degrees away from Kevin Bacon.

Rad (1986)

Teenage drama revolving around BMX racing and such dilemmas as: can the good guys beat the bad guys, who’s got the fastest bike, must you cheat to win, and should our hero miss his SAT tests to compete in “the big race”. Some things never change.

The Flying Scotsman (2007)

Follows the turbulent life of Graeme Obree, who, as an unemployed amateur, broke the World One Hour record on a bike of his own revolutionary design, constructed out of scrap metal and old washing machine parts. He’s a harder man than you are!



Gives a great inside view of team CSC. It’s one of those documentaries that tries a bit too hard to show how much suffering a pro cyclist endures. Kinda made me want to re-think my choice in sports.

Hell on Wheels

Follows around Eric Zabel and Rolf Aldag with T-Mobile. You’ll never look at Zabel the same again after watching him in this. Every time Zabel got a second place in a sprint after watching this I was heartbroken. After his 50th second place I gave up.

Road to Roubaix

This one documents the rider’s perspectives on Paris Roubaix and doesn’t touch the actual race itself quite as much.

A Sunday in Hell

Shows the battle between Merckx, DeVlaeminick, Marten and Moser in the 1976 edition of Paris Roubaix. This one is considered one of the great classics but I’m not so sure I appreciate it as much as I should. If Liggett, Sherwen and Keenan were calling it, I’m sure it would be a thousand times better.

DeTour the Movie

Following John Trevorrow and crew, this film shows the highlights from the 2007 Tour De France along with classic “detour” moments along the way. Very funny…and very Aussie.

Road to Paris

Short but sweet. Follows around Lance and USPS in the lead-up to the Tour de France.

…and a few more that are worth mentioning

The Hard Road and Pro. These aren’t overly well known and are kinda difficult to find on the web in a simple search. They’re kinda cheezy in my opinion but worth a watch.

If you want to see some amazing mountain bike videos check out Radical Films. This stuff will blow you away.

And last but not least…

ET – a classic not to be missed

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