For the first time in the history of women’s cycling, a behind-the-scenes docu-series has been produced on a top team. In the run-up to and during the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes, Team SD Worx was followed closely by a number of camera crews to record a four-part documentary series unique to women’s cycling. This way, the best women’s team gives a unique behind-the-scenes look and the viewer gets a good idea of how the team works, with top athletes such as Lotte Kopecky, Demi Vollering, Marlen Reusser and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak.
The four-part documentary series can be seen on Canvas and VRT MAX from 17 April at 22:15, while the series can also be found on streaming service Prime / Amazon NL. In this production, made by Zebra 63, the makers within the team had the cooperation to film almost everything. They followed the riders on their training courses and also visited them at home in the run-up to the Tour.
During the Tour, the cameras turned at team meetings where the team management did not shy away from speaking their minds. In the team bus where the riders share their initial emotions after the stages. In the team cars where strategy is mapped out, but also at the dinner table and on the massage tables where the riders spoke openly.
Team SD Worx, as the best team in the women’s peloton, went into the first edition of the Tour de France Femmes with great expectations. The team wants to win stages, take green with Kopecky and yellow with Vollering. Expectations are high, interest high. In no time, the Tour also catapults itself to the most important appointment of the year in women’s cycling.
The women are presented with an eight-day stage race over a challenging course. The first two days there is no climbing to be done, but then the peloton heads into the hills, partly also on unpaved roads. The final weekend in the Vosges is tough and runs through mountainous terrain with quite a few tough climbs, such as le Petit Ballon, le Grand Ballon, le Ballon d’Alsace and the final climb to the Super Planche des Belles Filles. Between Paris and La Planche des Belles Filles, the cards are shuffled a lot. Not everything is going according to plan for Team SD Worx, causing stress, doubts, mounting emotions and some heated moments.
Where traditional sports coverage stops, there begins this docu-series that will be a stimulus to make women’s cycling even more popular. Ruben Van Gucht supervised the production of the series: “Women’s cycling has been incredibly on the rise in recent years. In 2022, one of the most important moments ever in women’s cycling took place: ASO organised, in full, a Tour de France for women. The race looked like the men’s, was portrayed like the men’s, handed out the jerseys as we know them in the men’s. The next step was also to make a behind-the-scenes documentary series and that has happened with this documentary around Team SD Worx.”
Team SD Worx prepares for the most important race of the year via an altitude training course. We get to know the different riders better and see how they forge a team together. The tactics are gone through and the stages explored. The moment of the final selection creates tension: who will be allowed to go to the Tour de France Femmes and who will be eliminated. The press also pays a lot of attention to the selection and who is part of it. The team then travels to Paris to get ready for the start.
The Tour de France Femmes takes off amid massive interest on the final weekend of the men’s Tour. Set for the start is the city of lights, Paris. The first stages are immediately crucial for Lotte Kopecky with an eye on the green jersey. But Demi Vollering must also try to keep her yellow ambitions intact by surviving the nervous opening stages. The cameras record in the morning at breakfast, during the team meeting, in the follow car, on the massage table, during dinner. We see what it is really like behind the scenes of the Tour.
The battle for the standings continues. And gets more interesting and exciting day by day. The riders and their entourage get tired, teams face bad luck, the stress factor strikes. We dive into the Champagne region and the first hills appear. The classification is put in a first fold. The team discusses tactical plans that may or may not be perfectly implemented along the way. Demi Vollering has to work hard in these transitional stages to safeguard her GC ambitions and Lotte Kopecky gathers as many points as possible while she can to win the first green jersey.
The final leg of the Tour puts everything in its decisive fold. The final two stages will decide final wins and final losses. All eyes are on the women’s peloton on the final weekend of July. We get a historic final moment with arrival at La Planche des Belles Filles. Everything will be clear at the end, prizes will be handed out, analyses will be made, success tasted and wounds licked.
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