The runner would have “pushed” into the hurdle during the race; Speedcam app reaction; Netflix confirms new doc Tour; Ill Van Aert a doubt for Flanders; Pidcock signs new deal with Ineos; Travel with the Wolfpack (sort of); MVDP breaks Strava and more on the live blog

Tour de France organizers ASO have confirmed that an eight-part documentary series about the race will be released on Netflix in early 2023.

First reported to be in the works earlier this month, the series will focus on the behind-the-scenes trials and tribulations, as well as on-road action, of seven WorldTour teams and one Pro Tour team as they compete in the biggest race in the world.

The series, which will be produced as a joint venture between Quad Films and Box to Box (which you may know as the mastermind behind the hit Formula 1 docuseries Drive to Survive), will consist of eight 45-minute episodes. minutes, broadcast in 190 countries. France Télévisions is also on board and will broadcast a one-hour documentary as a bonus before the start of the tour next year.

The eight teams that will take part in the series were also confirmed by ASO today. They are: AG2R Citroën Team, Alpecin-Fenix, Bora-Hansgrohe, EF Education-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ, Ineos Grenadiers, Jumbo-Visma and Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl.

UAE Team Emirates, home of two-time Tour winner Tadej Pogačar, declined Netflix’s invitation to take part in the series, at least for this year.

“It’s true that UAE Team Emirates, like several other teams, was asked to take part in the show. However, the conditions to be protagonists in the first season have not been agreed,” the team told Cyclingnews.

“We like the general idea, but we don’t have to rush into anything. The door is open to participate in the future.

It has been pointed out numerous times over the past month that two of F1’s most recognizable names, Mercedes and Ferrari, did not take part in the original Drive to Survive series. If this new cycling iteration proves as successful as its motor racing counterpart – F1 viewership figures are said to have increased by 53% after the docuseries first aired – it might not be long before the UAE does. jump on board.

> Netflix documentary on the Tour de France could take the sport “to the next level”, according to Patrick Lefevere

That level of mainstream success is definitely something ASO wants to emulate with the new series.

“We are proud of this partnership with Netflix, France Télévisions and the Tour de France teams, which will offer fans a unique behind-the-scenes immersion,” said Yann Le Moënner, CEO of sASO, today.

“Through a narrative approach, which is added to the competition itself, the public will be able to discover how the Tour de France represents the ultimate challenge for the competitors; particularly in terms of suffering, surpassing oneself and team spirit.

“This project is part of our overall ambition to make our sport more accessible and to reach an even wider audience.”

Normally a staunch critic of Tour organisers, EF Education-EasyPost boss Jonathan Vaughters, admitted the new series will help the sport grow.

“It almost pains me to say this, but I think ASO is actually helping the sport in general with this project and I agree with that,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

“Their worldwide media rights contracts are based on viewership. So if cycling as a sport becomes more popular, the Tour de France will become more popular, and therefore their viewership will increase, and therefore their contracts media rights will increase, so of course they will benefit.

Filming for the project began earlier this month, so most of the footage should consist of sick riders rushing to the restrooms or Patrick Lefevere having the bump with his classics team after yet another loss… (okay, I’ll relax on the Quick Step jokes – Asgreen is going to win on Sunday right?).

Earnest L. Veasey