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As most real-life stories, this one has its flaws: you cannot invent a drama that wasn’t there, you cannot decide on whether the hero survives or dies, etc. However: the director uses the elements in a way that puts elements into the right dramatic place by using flashbacks or flashforwards cleverly. And the life is quite stunning: a self-made bike designer amidst a high-tech multi-million machinery, and up against a world cycling association that has the strange desire of having innovation only in bike materials, but not in ergonomics. It would be interesting to analyse why that was, whether it is mostly because of individual atavism and aversion or whether there are more fundamental philosophies behind that position. The way Graham Oebree dealed with the everchanging rules trying to get him out of competition was sometimes clever, sometimes dumb, with triumphs as well as smashing defeats. Maybe a well-made documentary would have made the better film, but with the excellent performances of just about everybody involved (including Pippin or the other Hobbit from Lord of the Rings, that was fun) made up for it. There are oddities, such as the fact that Oebree almost never trains seriously (6 – 8 hours a day, anyone?), but In any case: I suppose only people who love cycling (watching or doing) will see this film – for them (us!), it’s a must!

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