Chasing Legends Review

Chasing Legends is a cycling documentary following the 2009 Tour de France through the eyes of the HTC-Columbia team. Albeit, it is not a new concept, it was a refreshing view of a scandal riddled sport. For non cyclists, it was great to get an understanding of stage racing like “The Tour.” Neophytes might be surprised at the extent to which the race is a team sport as well as one of grueling feats of individual stamina and athleticism. There was decent narration, but I would have liked to have more included. Race commentary was as always, spectacularly done by the legendary fixtures, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. It was nice to see the historic segments of the Tour, in the old footage. Plus having the great Eddy Merckx commentary, could not have been more fitting as he is thee “Legend of Cycling.” However, I thought the opening scene was weak in the scene re-enactment, and poorly portrayed.

I liked the fact that they followed the Tour from start to finish, but had hoped to see more drama as it is the most extreme, epic race on the calendar. Depicting tour drama was simply perfected by the CBS coverage in the mid 80's and to this day, no one has done it better. I would have also liked to see more behind the scenes footage of the riders instead of the Director Sportifs in the team car. The film had good cinematography but I would have liked the camera to stay a wee bit longer on the mountain stage scenery. There were quick pans, with quick glimpses of the scenes jumping in and out of the screen, instead of a longer more fluid camera pans of the scenery. One the weakest aspects of this film was its musical score. I would have preferred a more "Yanni-like" or “Paul O’Brien-Like” soundtrack, something that brought out the real emotion of cycling. I had also hoped the film would have depicted the suffering, the pain, and the glory a little better. Again, that would have meant a greater emphasis on the musical score. The Hincapie story line was a pleasant surprise, as it is something that the normal viewer would have never been privy to back in 2009. His losing the jersey to Team Garmin's spitefulness, made me lose all respect for the Garmin Cervelo team.

Chasing Legends is a cycling documentary which is not a new concept , as there are plenty of them available now. The directors have done a stellar job in its portrayal. They have definitely carved their niche in documenting the world’s greatest bike race and have firmly entrenched its spot among the likes of “Hell on Wheels,” “Overcoming,” and “Road to Roubaix.” I enjoyed the film and overall I give it 7.5 out of 10.

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