Monday, January 14, 2008

La Course en Tête / The Greatest Show on Earth.

Now that I have my very own blog, I thought I'd mention a pair of videos that every cyclist must have in their collection. Luckily you can get both of them on one DVD.

For an American that got into cycling after Eddy Merckx retired and moved on to making bicycles, I don't believe I had ever fully appreciated what he was/is to cycling before I sat down to watch these two incredible documentaries. Sure, I had read about all the victories thinking he must have been the greatest of all time. Yes, I've seen video clips of him discussing his line of bikes at Interbike as a charismatic and knowledgeable older business man. I've read his quotes on practically every new cycling scandal that hits. But now, watching the videos, of the man himself, in his prime, pedaling up mountain passes, racing hard, training, giving his daughter a ride on the top tube of his orange bike, eating even, it's inspiring. He really comes across as a larger than life character. I suppose many of his contemporaries in the peloton felt that way also, making it even harder to beat him.

La Course en Tête gives you an inside look at Merckx's life in cycling and his home life while The Greatest Show on Earth follows the 1974 Giro d'Italia. Both are fantastic period pieces that made me believe that Merckx's time may have been the golden era of professional cycling. An interesting point worth noting is that Merckx had his own Performance Enhancing Drugs Scandal back then and how it's mentioned in the Documentary. Cycling seems like it's always been at the forefront of that battle.

Highly recommended for any cyclist, and great for helping you through the cold winter months of indoor training.

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