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Home Page  >  Other Sports  >  Cycling  >  Tour de France - Official Centenary Film (DVD)


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Release Date
October 2003
PAL Region 2
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Important Information on DVD compatibility.
This PAL Region 2 DVD is designed to function in the following countries:

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NB. This DVD will NOT work in NTSC TV regions (such as United States & Canada) unless your DVD player can play Region 2 DVD's (ie it is multi-region) AND your TV can receive the PAL signal. If you are in any doubt please consult your electrical retailer before making a purchase.

However, although we offer no guarantees, some of our customers in USA and Canada have successfully played these DVD's on their PC (not TV) equipment. Again, if you are in any doubt please consult your electrical retailer before making a purchase.

Introduced by Lance Armstrong, this official DVD film celebrates an incredible century of cycling, from the early flickering images of the 1903 winner, Maurice Garin, to the incredible scenes which greeted Lance Armstrongs fifth straight victory in 2003.

As well as the incredible triumphs we also explore the tragedies associated with the tour, amongst them the death of Tommy Simpson on the Ventoux in 1967 and Fabio Casartellis death in 1995, as well as the controversies, notably the drug scandals involving Pedro Delgado and the Festina team in 1998.

The early years of the tour are full of incredible stories - the epic wins of the un-sponsored Lucien Petit Breton in 1907 and 1908; the first three-time winner in Philippe Thijs (1913, 1914 and 1920); the tragic tale of two-time winner Octavia Bottacia who was rumoured to have been murdered by fascists having died in mysterious circumstances on a training ride; the eight stage wins of Charles Pelissier in 1930 - still not enough to win the tour; the extraordinary footage of Rene Vietto who forfeited a good chance of winning to cycle the wrong way up the Portet DAspet to hand his bike to team-mate and eventual winner Antonin Magne in 1934; the victory of Gino Bartali in 1938, the year that the legendary riders Magne and Andre Leducq finished arm in arm to jointly win the final stage (both riding their final tour).

After WW2 the real heavyweights of the sport emerged with Jean Robic taking the 1947 title, Bartali winning for the second time, a decade after his first win, in 1948 and Fausto Coppi, one of the greatest of them all, winning in 1949. Coppi won again in 1952, before Louison Bobet became the first three-time in a row winner when taking the next three years. The 50s also saw the first win of Jacques Anquetil, winner in 1957, who went on to take the 1961, 62, 63 and 64 Yellow Jersey to become the first ever five time winner. His battles with Raymond Poulidor are still talked about to this day.

The next five time winner was Eddie Merckx, unquestionably the finest of them all, who trounced the opposition in his five victories, including the unique achievement of winning the green, yellow and polka dot jersey in his inaugural 1969 win, a feat that will never be equalled. Merckz was followed by Luis Ocana, Bernard Thevenet and Lucien Van Impe before the next five-time winner emerged in Bernard Hinault, followed swiftly by Spanish legend Miguel Indurain who dominated the early 1990s with his five consecutive victories from 1991.

Other individual highlights include Stephen Roches epic 1987 victory and the amazing 1989 victory by Greg Lemond over two-time winner Laurent Fignon by a mere 8 seconds. The programme finishes with a look at the phenomenal Lance Armstrong, who has overcome cancer to stand on the brink of becoming the first ever 6-time winner of the Tour de France. All his previous 5 victories are highlighted as he has dominated the tour in recent times.





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