Le Ride Adam-Fresco'S REVIEW



Host of TV's The Amazing Race, Phil Keoghan, grabs mate Ben Cornell and a couple of bloody heavy vintage steel bicycles, then sets off on a cycle tour from hell. Inspired by real-life Kiwi Harry Watson and his three Australian teammates, Phil and Ben attempt to recreate the 1928 Tour de France – a feat so punishing that it made me glad to be sat safe, stationary and snug in my cinema seat throughout the gruelling journey on screen.


The original 1928 entrants were considered woefully under-prepared and under-equipped (and probably under-the-influence) by the French media. Yet the Antipodean underdogs went on to be amongst the handful of competitors to complete the gruelling 5,600 KM race, over 26 days of literal blood, sweat and tears.


Retracing their steps, our modern heroes pedal vintage steel bikes, with bugger-all brakes or gears, up the Pyrenees and through the Alps, riding rotten roads, insane inclines and treacherous tracks. Phil and Ben take an entertaining, amusing and sometimes touching tour in a film that’s part madcap Top Gear-style adventure, part historical documentary, part video diary.


While for many the appeal will be in the enormity of the challenge undertaken, for some the personality of Phil, our lead protagonist (especially in the over-reliance of his voice-overs), may be a distraction. It would be nice to learn more of the original riders who inspired the challenge, but - as the title implies - it’s an entertaining (if not hugely insightful) ride.