Yell for Cadel: The Tour Backstage
YELL FOR CADEL goes behind the scenes at the Tour de France to reveal how a world class cyclist - Australian Cadel Evans, the recent winner of the World Championships - prepares for the world's toughest bike race.
For over 100 years this spectacular three week race across the mountains, valleys and cities of France has fascinated millions of people worldwide, who cheer on their favorite riders. Feel the tension, the passion and the excitement of one of the world's foremost sporting competitions as Cadel and the rest of his Silence-Lotto racing team prepare for their '08 Tour de France campaign. Evans has long been a favorite at the Tour; he's never won... but this could be his year.
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By itself, it's a nice little video, a distraction. However, the description of the video is greatly exaggerated. It's a hodge-podge of snippets recorded on the team bus, in the hotel, and in the car with the race director. There is no cohesion; it's like a random set of candid shots, and has no racing action. I wondered if it was poorly edited, or if they simply didn't have very good footage. For what they did have, this could have been a 15-minute video. Instead, we see too much of Cadel's brusque bodyguard, too much of the outside of the team bus, and useless scenes like two photographers having an argument.
For a film that supposedly goes behind the scenes, there is no coverage of the support crew, no coverage of anyone else on the team except for about 15 seconds of one rider who dropped out of the race, and only about 60 seconds total of tactical discussion but without insight. There's zero coverage of preparation for the race except for a couple of special features snippets. And did I mention Cadel's bodyguard gets a lot of screen time?
On the positives, the special features interview with Cadel is good--actually more informative than the regular film. The regular film did give me a sense of the ever-present tension of being on that team, but I don't understand the source of the tension. Overall, I enjoyed learning more about Cadel Evans, but most of that came from the special features interview.