Vive le Tour is great short documentary by French filmmaker Louis Malle. It chronicles the 1962 Tour featuring scenes beyond just the racing itself. It shows the atmosphere as spectator gather to watch the race pass, the caravane publicitaire, the feed zone and drink raids.

One of the most remarkable parts of the film is the footage of a rider who is in a pretty bad way. It appears that he has taken drugs and eventually passes out. Malle’s camera follows this rider from the Ignis team until he finally slows down and crashes by the side of the road.

The New York Times describes the film as containing “ebullience, whimsy, jet black humor, awe and unspeakable tragedy” and as “a worshipful documentary of a sport made by a man who knew it intimately and loved it.”

Vive le Tour won the Dok Leipzig Golden Dove award in 1966.


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