Set in the summer of 1998 when the first stage of the Tour de France took place in Ireland The Racer mixes fact with some fiction. The fact is that a team masseur was caught with a boot load of banned drugs in the boot of his car prior to the race starting in Ireland. The fiction part is 38 year old Belgium cyclist Dom Chabel (Louis Talpe), a Tour de France Cyclist for 20 years who has spent most of his career as a a domestique, a pacesetter for better cyclists in his team. Obsessed with racing, he gets phone call on the day before the start of the race from his sister telling him that his father has died but refuses to leave the race and attend the funeral, his one regret is never having won the coveted yellow jersey.

The Racer pretty much covers the same ground as the documentary on infamous cyclist Lance Armstrong, The Armstrong Lie.

Most of the The Racer is set either in hotel rooms, where the team masseur Sonny (Iain Glen) administers drug laced blood transfusions to the cyclists, or out on the open road, which I imagine is pretty much what it must be like in the claustrophobic confines of a competitive race.

The Racer is an enjoyable insight into the drugs scandal that impacted cycle racing but if you want to know more than what The Racer brings to the table I would suggest watching The Armstrong Lie.


The Racer

1h 35m

UK Release: In cinemas and Digital HD 18th December 2020