During the Tour de France, the camera crew is constantly following eight teams for a Netflix documentary coming out next year. Cycling hopes with a folk impact eight-part series campaign to survive on Formula 1.
Ralph Dink laughs when asked if his riders think it’s a problem for a camera to follow them 24 hours a day during the ride. “They also have an interest in making this documentary a success,” the owner and team leader of BORA-hansgrohe says in a conversation with NU.nl. “Because it can earn them a higher salary in two or three years.”
Dink didn’t hesitate for a moment when he was offered the opportunity to play an important role with his cast in the first Netflix series around the tour. The German knows enough people in Formula 1 to know what such a documentary could do to the sport.
campaign to surviveMade by the same company as the Tour series, it has been taking a behind-the-scenes look at F1 since 2019. Three years later, everyone in the motorsports first class agrees is an unprecedented success. “campaign to survive “She’s had an amazing impact on our sport. She’s brought us a lot of new fans, especially in the United States,” Formula 1 coach Stefano Domenicali said in March.
A similar drive would be most welcome for cycling. “We see this documentary as a great opportunity,” says Dink. “Not only for our team, but for the sport in general. If we take 50 percent of the success campaign to survive It can be achieved, it is indeed a great result.”
Tour series in a nutshell
- Eight of the 22 teams are participating in the series: Jumbo-Visma, AG2R, Alpecin-Fenix, BORA-hansgrohe, EF Education-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ, INEOS Grenadiers and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
- Team Emirates, defending champion Tadej Pojjakar’s team, declined the offer of cooperation. “Sometimes introducing something new can be dangerous,” director Andrea Agostini told VeloNews.
- The series is produced by Quadbox, a collaboration between French production company Quad and Box To Box Films, producer of Drive to Survive.
- The series will consist of eight 45-minute episodes and will be released in the first half of 2023.
Jumbo-Visma has a camera crew around it
Filming of the series began months ago. Three to four people are marked for each team. These riders or staff were visited in-house prior to the Tour and closely followed in training camps and prep races. During the Tour de France, the photo crews full access: They can come and be everywhere.
“They have so far been very respectful and not pushed at all,” said Owen Doll, Britain’s EF Education-EasyPost rider. “I usually don’t realize they’re there. We’re used to having cameras around.”
This certainly applies to Jumbo-Visma riders. The Dutch team already accepted the NOS team for the documentary in 2013 bock tour It has since opened its doors almost every year during the Tour de France. This summer, the yellow jersey team Jonas Vingegaard is working on two series: the Netflix documentary and all or nothingthe Amazon series that previously filmed Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, among others.
“Transparency. That’s why we’ve been making documentaries with the team for years,” says Jumbo-Visma General Manager Richard Plugge. “And we want to show how our sport really works. We think Netflix, from an outside perspective, is able to explain cycling well to a larger group of people. And that opens the eyes of those people and shows them. How beautiful this sport is.”
A Netflix series sound engineer catches Quick-Step Alpha rider Vinyl Yves Lampaert as soon as he gets on the team bus after stage 13.
The tour shares proceeds with teams
Plugge also hopes that the Netflix series will be the beginning of another – and above all better – collaboration with ASO. The Tour organizer gets a lot of income from the world’s largest cycling race through TV rights and ad revenue, but teams see very little of it. The total prize money for this year’s round (€2.282 million) is a fraction of the money ASO earns from the round.
“The cycling business model is outdated,” says Belgian AG2R rider Oliver Niessen, who gave up on Wednesday on the eleventh stage. “Our team boss Vincent Lavigno told me that it costs our team €150,000 to take part in the Tour. There is no other sport in which participants have to pay such a bag of money to sponsor the show. That could change.”
That change may have kicked in, as the ASO shares half of the Netflix series’ revenue with the eight participating teams. “It’s an important signal that ASO is willing to work with us on these types of projects, and willing to share the proceeds,” said Belge, who is also president of AIGCP, the association for professional cycling teams. “At least that’s better than it was before: 100 percent going one way and 0 percent going the other.”
But in the end, the success of the series will depend mainly on how exciting the storylines are. “We need some arguing here and there, some tension,” says Nissen, smiling. “I think it could be a really great series. I really hope so because it would be great if Netflix could do what they did in Formula 1. cycling.”
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