Inside team Belkin – The camera is always there

Society & Culture
Belkin, Mollema, Tour de France 2013
Kees Jongkind
HD available

For the very first time a (Dutch) television crew has been granted access to life inside a professional cycling team during the most prestigious cycling event in the world: the Tour de France (which this year celebrated its 100th edition).

In a unique cooperation between Dutch public broadcaster NOS and the Belkin Pro Cycling Team, acclaimed documentary maker Kees Jongkind spent three weeks embedded with the team, from the Grand Départ in Bastia on the French island of Corsica until the traditional finish on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

In a sport plagued by a credibility problem due to a series of high profile doping scandals, the Belkin Pro Cycling Team (formerly known as Blanco and – before that – Rabobank) has agreed to be totally transparent. Kees Jongkind and his crew slept in the same hotels as the riders and staff, they were present during meals, team talks, medical treatments and joined the team manager in his car during Tour stages. Their focus was not only on the riders, but also on the mechanics, the team physicians, the manager and even the cook. Team ace Bauke Mollema en his most important helper, Laurens ten Dam, did surprisingly well during the first two weeks of the Tour. However, they couldn’t maintain their ranking in the overall classification. Highs and lows, how did the team respond? And: what’s their view on doping? How did they prepare for the next day’s stage? Did they follow team orders? What confidentialities were exchanged on the massage table? The NOS crew shot 300 hours of film that were condensed into a unique 85 minute documentary, covering every aspect of team dynamics during the world’s most demanding cycling race.