Tour de France: Unchained Review – Tyres, Tantrums and Triumph in the World of Cycling

By Romey Norton
Published: June 8, 2023 (Last updated: April 8, 2024)
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Netflix documentary series Tour de France: Unchained Season 1 review
Tour de France: Unchained (Credit - Netflix)
3.5

Summary

A thrilling series follows eight teams competing in the 2022 Tour de France. It’s fast, it’s furious, and it’s fearless.

From the makers of Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Quad Box and Box to Box films have brought Tour de France: Unchained to our screens. I’ve heard about the intensity of cyclists when it comes to the Tour de France, even the highly loved Tour de Yorkshire, and the passion these riders have. Across the eight episodes, audiences follow eight cycling teams as they compete in the 2022 installment of the world’s most grueling bike ride.

The documentary series gives access to exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage of the eight groups preparing for the challenge. The groups include AG2R Citroën, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Bora-Hansgrohe, EF Education-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ, Ineos Grenadiers, Jumbo-Visma, and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

Through personal interviews with riders, team managers, CEOs, and sports journalists, they help explain and showcase the multiple stakes of a race and how the sport has grown so popular it is now broadcast in 190 territories.

The series shows the suffering and sacrifice every person makes to make this sport as special as it is. I didn’t realize the dangers of the sport; there are a lot of crashes. In every single episode, there’s an accident of some sort accompanied by dramatic music.

These riders can get seriously injured, and they have the determination and talent to make a comeback, both in and out of the race. We hear about the use of drug use in sports and changing that as the years have gone on.

Tour de France: Unchained (Credit – Netflix)

There are multiple types of footage from races, previous seasons, events boardrooms, and media outlets like the news. Seeing footage from the rider’s body cams drives the intensity of the sport, and the birds-eye views of the racing and the multiple cities are stunning. I can’t imagine being a spectator; they’re so fast you’d get a glimpse, and they’d be gone. 

My only criticisms are that the voice-over acting is a bit annoying and cheesy at times but bearable, and I would have liked some interactions with sports fans to get their interpretation and experience of watching these ground tours live.

It would have been interesting to know what they think this series will do for the sport and where they feel the sport is going in the future.

Tour de France: Unchained is well worth watching if you’re a sports fan, specifically a cycling fan or enthusiast. I’m not the biggest fan of cycling, but because I enjoyed the F1: Drive to Survive series, I wanted to give this a chance, and I’m glad I did. I learned a lot from this series, and I look forward to season two.

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