Archive for December, 2012

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L’Inferno del Nord

parigi, roubaix, libro, ultimo, chilometro, film, div, moser, ignazio

– “Dovete arrivare fino a Troyes, dove ci sarà il primo settore di pavè. E lì bisogna andare a tutta, lì è come essere in pista, non si frena mai! Ok?”
Il direttore sportivo era stato di parola, ma d’altronde l’aveva già fatta anche lui, quella corsa, raccogliendo un dignitoso decimo posto a cinque minuti di distacco dal primo.
Olandesi a sinistra, belgi a destra, e poi sconosciuti e agguerriti corridori della Bretagna e della Normandia, e danesi, e tedeschi… è tutto uno sferragliare di catene, uno sgommare di tubolari,
una babele di lingue che imprecano, smoccolano, chiedono strada.
Ma dove vuoi andare, che siamo appena partiti e non vedremo l’arrivo prima del tardo pomeriggio?
Roubaix, un nome mitico nella storia del ciclismo, stai pure certo che se vinci qui ti porti a casa un bel pezzo di storia, insieme a quel blocco di pavè da appoggiare in bella vista sul camino.
Su e poi giù, poi su e poi ancora giù, la bici di Moser affronta le dolci colline che conducono la gara verso i primi tratti di pavè mentre lui pensa che da lì in poi ci sarà solo pianura, una infinita pianura fino al velodromo.
E però accidenti che caldo, 27° nel nord della Francia sarà mica normale, no?
“Dio bono che caldo!”
“Ostia, e poi dicono il freddo del nord!”
Gli italiani, o meglio il gruppetto di veneti e il trentino Moser, stanno a metà gruppo, mentre davanti qualcuno prova con insistenza a portare via la fuga. Delle tre, l’una: un ordine di squadra, un momento di scarsa lucidità mentale causato dal caldo, la totale ignoranza del percorso.
Altrimenti, sapendo cosa li aspetta, quello spreco di energie risulterebbe davvero inspiegabile.
Campi di patate e di asperges (ma saranno poi i nostri asparagi? si domanda Moser di fronte alla vastità di quei campi senza fine), qualche mucca qua e là, strani paesini fatti di un’unica strada su cui si affacciano tutte le case, e la gente davanti alla porta ad applaudire.
Ma d’altronde non è che qui ci debbano essere tantissimi svaghi, pensa Moser quando un’ inchiodata generale lo richiama all’attenzione e ne riporta l’ orizzonte visivo ai 50 cm davanti alla propria ruota anteriore. Finalmente la fuga ha preso consistenza e in testa al gruppo si sono dati una calmata, con buona pace degli olandesi in maglia arancione e del lungo carrozzone di ammiraglie, mezzi della giuria, del cambio ruote, dei fotografi e cineoperatori, un serpentone diretto verso nord in disordinata fila indiana.

parigi, roubaix, libro, ultimo, chilometro, film, div, moser, ignazio

Due chilometri a Troyes.
Qui inizia il pavè, aveva detto il direttore sportivo ai ragazzi. Ma d’altronde non ci voleva un genio per capirlo, sembra che dalle ammiraglie sia arrivato, all’unisono, l’ordine di portarsi avanti. Urla, scatti, frenate, l’alveare-gruppo è completamente impazzito.
Entrare nel pavè è come tuffarsi dal trampolino più alto dopo aver preso la rincorsa.
D’un tratto passi dai 50 chilometri orari sull’asfalto ai 50 chilometri orari sul pavè, e non hai neanche il tempo di chiederti come affrontarlo.
Tutti quei discorsi sulla pressione delle gomme, su come impugnare il manubrio, sul mettere o non mettere i guantini, da che lato stare, se passare al centro o sull’erba, se in prima o in terza quarta posizione… e poi in un attimo ti ci ritrovi in mezzo, lanciato come un treno, e puoi solo tenere la testa bassa e stantuffare sui pedali.
E la polvere! Una nuvola densa di polvere bianca, finissima, quasi non la senti arrivare ma poi te la ritrovi sulle labbra, in bocca, agli angoli degli occhi.
Moser è nelle prime venti posizioni del gruppo, avvolto da quella polvere che respira, che mangia, e da cui ogni tanto spuntano degli elementi colorati.Una borraccia rossa al centro della strada, un’altra verde a destra, al di là del fosso un corridore che agita in alto nell’aria non una ma due ruote forate, più avanti un altro appena risalito in sella, con il sangue che cola dal ginocchio e dal gomito.
L’inferno del Nord. Spesso le cronache ciclistiche vivono di esagerazioni e forzature, in cui la piccola montagnola appenninica diventa muro insuperabile, e il corridore con qualche velleità da scalatore viene subito denominato aquila, rapace, stambecco.
Ma qui la definizione ci sta tutta. Fallo con la pioggia e ti ricoprirai di fango, fallo con il sole e annasperai nella polvere e nel vento contrario.
Andare a tutta sul pavè ti sfianca, la bicicletta si dimena e sobbalza come un toro meccanico e questo schakerare impazzito ti massacra i muscoli.

parigi, roubaix, libro, ultimo, chilometro, film, div, moser, ignazio

Tre settori di pavè, tre soli settori, poco più di sei chilometri in totale, e il gruppo già si è sfilacciato, con ritardi superiori al minuto e corridori esausti. Trenta chilometri di tranquilla e assolata pianura francese, più piatta di un campo di petanque, fanno più selezione di quanta ne potrebbero fare tre gran premi della montagna di prima categoria.
Dopo ogni settore la testa del gruppo rallenta, i corridori si guardano per fare la conta dei morti e dei feriti, permettendo a quanti si sono attardati di rientrare per poi staccarli, di nuovo e con gli interessi, nel settore successivo.
Vista da fuori la Roubaix è una corsa molto musicale, fatta di momenti di adagio a cui seguono frenetiche impennate di ritmo, vivace, presto, prestissimo! Poi, di nuovo, la quiete dopo la tempesta, una tregua armata talvolta di due chilometri, talvolta di dieci, in genere corrispondente con i tratti di strada asfaltata che intervallano i settori in pavè. Mons en Pévèle, Pont Thibaut, Cysoing e poi il celebre Carrefour de l’Arbre, delle buche che ti ci perdi dentro e un rettilineo, quello che porta al famoso ristorante L’Arbre, che non finisce mai, con l’ enorme casone che appare da lontano come un faro in mezzo al mare, unica costruzione in mezzo a chilometri di
campagna.

parigi, roubaix, libro, ultimo, chilometro, film, div, moser, ignazio

Moser continua a spingere sui pedali con il rapportone da pianura, ormai inconsapevole di quanto stia accadendo in corsa, della posizione, dei distacchi. Non valgono più i giochi di squadra, i treni, i gruppi e gruppetti; ormai si è al tutti contro tutti, contro la polvere, le forature e le cadute, contro la fatica e le gambe ormai svuotate di energia.
L’arrivo a Roubaix suona come una presa in giro: i corridori affrontano un ultimo settore di una facilità disarmante, un finto pavè, un acciottolato moderno che dovrebbe evocare le difficoltà affrontate dai ciclisti ma sembra invece minimizzarle e schernirle.
Svolta a destra, ingresso nel mitico Vélodrome, un primo giro di rincorsa e poi la volata finale per dare fondo alle ultime energie.

MOSER F. Vainqueur 1978-79-80
E’ quanto riporta la targhetta posta su uno dei box-spogliatoio nelle spartane docce del velodromo di Roubaix, altro luogo mitico di questa corsa. Ignazio, con l’asciugamano in vita, sfila davanti alla targhetta e tira dritto, preferisce rivestirsi sotto lo sguardo più benevolo di un Coppi (1950), un Ballerini (1995-1998) o Tom Boonen (2005- 2008 -2009 -2012), il suo suo corridore preferito, il suo idolo. Ignazio ha ereditato dal padre buone gambe e una grande, smisurata passione per l’Inferno del Nord, ma se c’è una cosa in cui essere “figli di” non porta alcun vantaggio, questa è il ciclismo. Oggi il morale è a terra, ma già da domani, attraversando il pavè del centro storico di Gardolo, ricomincerà a sognare fughe nella polvere e arrivi a braccia alzate nel velodromo di Roubaix.

from Wielertall.nl

“A worth having movie about cycling” volgens PezCycling News.  Wielertaal geeft 1 exemplaar van de DVD The Last Kilometer weg!

Omschrijving

The Last Kilometer is een film die volledig in het teken staat van het wielrennen.

The movie follows the story and an entire cycling season of “the old” Davide Rebellin, 41 years old and still fighting in the peloton after many victories and scandals, and “the young” Ignazio Moser, promising 20 years old son of cycling champion Francesco Moser. The famous italian journalist Gianni Mura, Tour de France correspondent since 1967, helps us to discover what cycling was and what it has become today, after doping scandals, passion, epic, richness and decadence. Finally, a bit of madness and insane joy is brought into the movie by Didi Senft, better known as “El Diablo”, a living and metaphorical symbol of all cycling fans, with their passion and their enthusiasm. The Last Kilometer is a portrait of cycling.

DVD | 52 minuten + 7  extra minuten| Video formaat 16/9 | Engels/ Italiaans gesproken| Engels ondertiteld

Trailer:

(link trailer)

Winnen

Wil jij zelf een mening kunnen vormen over de film? Dan kan dat! Wielertaal mag namelijk van de makers van The Last Kilometer 1 exemplaar weggeven!!!  Wil je kans maken op dit exemplaar, geef dan voor maandag 31 december antwoord op de volgende vraag:

Welke renner is de Galibier aan het beklimmen in de filmtrailer van The Last Kilometer?

Stuur je antwoord via mail naar info@wielertaal.nl. De winnaar krijgt na 31 december bericht.

Geen zin om te wachten tot je gewonnen hebt? Bestel de DVD dan alvast via www.thelastkilometer.com. Lezers van Wielertaal krijgen zelfs 10 % extra korting op de prijs van 14,90 (binnen Europa, excl. € 2,- verzendkosten). De kortingscode kan aangevraagd worden door een mailtje te sturen naar info@thelastkilometer.com met in de omschrijving ”I want Wielertaal discount!”. 

from Road.cc
The Last Kilometer (DVD) Stuffilm Creativeye

Unpretentiously shot with well chosen subjects it will gradually gain more significance as time goes by

Contact: http://www.thelastkilometer.com

Dan Kenyon, December 14, 2012

The Last Kilometer

I hadn’t heard about The Last Kilometre until I was asked to review it and it’s a relief to come to a piece of work with no pre-conceptions and no trailers. After the recent non stop trailer for ‘A Year in Yellow’ I was thinking ‘If I hear Cath Wiggins say “Which Bradley..?” one more time I shall head butt the TV. Not Cath’s fault – but less is more.

Paolo Casali is an Italian ex junior racer and documentary maker who covers the 2012 season through the eyes of two riders: Ignazio Moser – son of a certain Francesco Moser – and Davide Rebellin, the tiny haunted winner of numerous races including the Paris Nice in 2008 – now making a come back at the age of 41 after a 2 year doping ban. After introductions it’s a traditional chronological jump from rider to rider and race to race to see how they’re both fairing. We get to meet both fathers: Ignazio’s uncorking wine at his vineyard all smug in a comfortable polo shirt; Rebellin’s dad – fuming in his one man support car and refuting his son’s doping guilt because ‘he didn’t tell me.”

It’s the off bike moments that make the real story and Casali does some justice to both riders. They’re both nice guys at opposite ends of a career in cycling: Moser sitting with his team mates like a group of school kids on the kerb all pinning on their race numbers together in a line; Rebellin has the cadaverous face of the pro cyclist we all recognise – weary pride and sadness in every crease. It’s moving to see his expression when his girlfriend gently describes how now – post ban, at the end of his career Rebellin was slowly losing his fear at moving on and discovering what it is was to be a man outside of cycling. For the young Moser too there is poignancy as Casali films a number of winners plaques in the showers at the Paris Roubaix Espoir – the junior amateur version for under 23 year olds – and catches Moser (84th this year) sidling past and giving a little glance at his father’s plaque with it’s 3 wins on it. My advice to you Ignazio would be to forget the Paris Roubaix and concentrate on doing an Axel Merckx – end up dancing in front of your dad, blowing raspberries and waving an olympic medal.

Talking of blowing raspberries – for Devil fans there is also a supplementary feature on Didi the Devil. Every cycling film should have one. As everyone knows Didi Sendt has been tormenting tour riders since 1993. Watching him in the dark – laboriously line painting his bicycle symbols and messages on the road only to get up at dawn and wait 10 hours to poke Cavendish in the rear with a trident – surprisingly Cav doesn’t stop for a fight – you have to respect his energy. It’s interesting to discover Didi grew up racing bikes in the GDR and fell in love with Le Tour by getting a signal from West German TV from behind the iron curtain. With that upbringing I can now understand when the wall came down why you might think it normal to build ‘the world’s largest cycle-able guitar’ and spend your summers on mountain tops dressed in horns and tights. Love him or hate him – he’s out there living it. Chapeau Didi.

At 53 minutes The Last Kilometer doesn’t really lag. Casali says “Filming cycling’s not easy. You should have 2 helicopters and 3 motorbikes to do the best” Using a lot of footage from fans, the action is sometimes scrappy and jerky, but most of it supports the story perfectly. On the Paris Roubaix Espoirs – you can taste the dust and even in the dry the race looks as it always looks – madness to be riding the cobbles at all – let alone racing on them. The music works well – a traditional quirky euro accordion pop which supports the quirky story line. The editing device of having soft retro stills flow in like an old fashioned slide projector then sharpen annoying but thankfully doesn’t last long.

In retrospect Casali might have concentrated on one subject for half an hour; Moser, Rebellin or Mura could have each carried their own film. The only real fault – and thankfully it’s fixable – are the subtitles. I freely admit, I couldn’t begin to translate English speech accurately into Italian text. But what I’d do is get an Italian to sit down with me and translate it to text word by word. I would guess The Final Kilometer has been translated into English text by an Italian with a good – but not prefect – grasp of English. Right from the beginning the interview with a very grizzled and frankly quite frightening Gianni Mura is strangled by the Itali-anglaise.

Mura has been covering the Tour de France since 1967 and it shows. He has a face like a salami run over by a press bike – that’s then got up to give chase. Squatting behind a desk covered in a rubble of notes and books Mura spits on the very concept of race radio calling it ‘The end of the adventure’ but you realise that he’s really saying “the end of the adventurers”. The subtitles continue with a rather beautiful word mash describing cautious pro riders as “They’re no more familiar with the French so-called Beau Geste” when it should say ‘no longer’ and link with a later sentence about the French Foreign Legion method of denying riders too much water. Casali illustrates Mura’s voice over reminiscence of his first tour as a journalist and the death of Tommy Simpson in the last kilometer with a wobbly bleached out sequence on the Ventoux – shot as if your looking through Tommy Simpson’s eyes – that served to bring back ghastly memories of the 2009 Etape I thought I’d buried much deeper.

It’s a good film but the subtitles need to be gone through with a fine tooth comb to make it a fine film. Having ‘ride’ mis-translated as ‘run’ all the way through should be fixed for major release if nothing else.

Verdict

Unpretentiously shot with well chosen subjects it will gradually gain more significance as time goes by.

by Leslie Reissner

  Bread and butter. Horse and carriage. Italy and…bike racing. Unless you’re Mr. Pez and then it’s Negronis. All of us at Pezcyclingnews carry a torch for La Bella Italia when it comes to cycling and it is clear that the makers of the entertaining video “The Last Kilometer” do as well. Their passion is expressed through a season focused on four very disparate characters.

There are a lot of videos out there about cycling so what makes “L’Ultimo Chilometro” worth having? Well, besides the great old videos that open the film showing races past, it is the work of a fan, someone who loves cycling, and its aim is to disprove its own opening when decrepit Italian journalist Gianna Mura, who has covered the Tour de France since 1967, opines from his startlingly paper-strewn desk that with riders being directed through earpieces pro “racing has lost its adventure.” Present at the Tour the year Tommy Simpson died on Mont Ventoux, Mura has clearly seen a lot of changes and bemoans that the racers are now hidden in their buses away from the fans until five minutes before the start and that Cadel Evans has no panache and there are no real champions anymore and, well, as I have learned old grumpy Germans like to say, “Früher war alles besser,” or “Back then everything was better.”

That is probably pretty much how Davide Rebellin must feel since everything really was better before for him. He is one of the featured players in the film, seeking meaning after his two year suspension for doping and loss of his silver Olympic road race medal. He talks about his love of racing, his desire to win and how, at 41, he still wants to prove himself although he has trouble finding a team and getting in enough race time.

As the film and the 2012 season progresses, he finds a team but not the form that made him one of the finest Classic riders, with triple wins at La Fleche Wallone and victories at Amstel Gold, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, San Sebastian and Zurich over his career. He is a man with doubts and is clearly unable to come to terms with his doping suspension and the inevitable winding-down of his career. He did go on to win a French stage race in Languedoc-Roussillon in 2012 but in the video he ages visibly, distressingly, over the season. After he steps off his bike after a disappointing second-place finish in one race, the veins in his temples look like they will rupture; he is terribly gaunt and shell-shocked. He feels he can be a good example for children. At one point in the film he says that because he had concentrated so much on cycling he had given up too many other things in life, making him “half a man.” On the massage table, he is so emaciated he looks more like a 16th of one.

The opposite persona is portrayed by Ignazio Moser, an up-and-coming U-23 racer who, for the most part, looks painfully serious as he tries to build his career. He goes through some tough education, with a team coach who is clearly not willing to sugar-coat his views. Ignazio is a big, strong good-looking kid and is clearly a fine sprinter. But in addition to all of the pressures that come to bear on a young pro racer, he has an addition burden: the reputation of his father.

Francesco Moser was also a big strong sprinter, strong enough to win the Giro once (and the Points Classification four times), along with the World Championship, Milan-San Remo, La Fleche Wallone, the Tour of Lombardy (twice) and Paris-Roubaix three times, as well as the World Hour Record on an aero bike. He is shown larger than life in “the Last Kilometer” at his vineyard, working a backhoe in a manly way or lounging on a bench, squinting handsomely into the sun, or enjoying a glass of his own vintage.

His son is adamant he is not racing because his father’s name gained him entry and that is probably true but at every race young Ignazio enters in the film the announcers always refer to Dad. Papa does not seem wildly supportive of his youngest son’s racing, pointing out that Ignazio is probably never going to be as good a racer as he was and, besides, he can always come work on the farm. Of course this makes us root all the more for Ignazio.

And he needs all the help he can get as he races the U-23 version of Paris-Roubaix. One is always amazed at just how awful a race this is, brutally hard and unforgiving. The young riders give it everything but it takes more than they can deliver, at least for this year. He loses contact at 107 kms into the race and struggles in with a dejected group. The scene where he leaves the famous stone showers at the Roubaix velodrome is a downer as you see the name on the plaque when he walks by.

But Ignazio is made of sterner stuff that his Papa would think and one of the sparkling moments of this film, which has a lot of really excellent footage, is when the younger Moser challenges in a sprint finish. His expression after the race is wonderful and shows that the adventure is not dead yet.

Of course, there is another person to whom the adventure is certainly not dead: the Ultimate Fan. This would be the colourful Dietrich “Didi” Senft, the trident-wielding Devil who has appeared in costume chasing racers at every Tour de France since 1993, and probably every other major cycling race as well. The filmmakers catch him at the Giro this year (he was unable to attend the Tour de France for the first time in 19 years due to surgery in 2012) and he is really marvellous.

A highly-imaginative artist, he is addicted to bike racing, which he describes as both the most inconsequential and the most important of all things. His eyes shine, he does his full clown act for the camera, he is completely “on.” Gianni Mura hates people who dress up at the races (“like Indians,” he sniffs) but Didi Senft is having a great time and, it is obvious, takes care not to interfere with the pros as they go by. He cheers on amateurs as well and is infectiously happy jumping up and down on the side of the road. In a lovely film sequence he paints a bicycle with a big heart below it on the road, working quietly but intently at night before retiring to his wildly-painted van.

The director, Paolo Casalis, lets these interesting individuals tell their stories without interference and we have some additional cast members, including Rebellin’s sympathetic girlfriend Francoise and his father (another perhaps not-so-easy Italian Papa) as well as Cadel Evans, the non-champion, at a BMC team presentation.

A lot of the video selected is very expressive and of the highest quality. In addition to the feature’s 52 minutes of running time, there are a few nice extras, including at lovely little snippet of film made at La Storica, an April-run vintage ride similar to L’Eroica but run in Liguria and tracing part of the historic Milan-San Remo route. A word of warning: in spite of this DVDs many undoubted virtues, the English subtitling is not one of them. Word usage can be downright weird (“unuseful”) or simply wrong. Viewers are better advised to learn Italian, which is better suited to bike racing anyway.

To reach the Red Kite, the Devil’s Flag, when there is only one kilometer left: that is when the race is decided. “L’Ultimo Chilometro” crosses the line in style.

The Last Kilometer/L’Ultimo Chilimetro
By Paolo Casalis, with music by Mario Poletti
A Stuffilm Creativeye Production, 2012
Running time: 52 minutes, in Italian (except for Cadel and Didi, of course) with English subtitles (except for Cadel, of course)
Order at www.thelastkilometer.com for 15.90 Euros (shipped worldwide)

Moi drodzy, szykuję się całkiem niezła dawka historii kolarstwa.  Ostatni kilometr (L’Ultimo Chilometro| The Last Kilometer) to film ukazujący czym jest pasja, emocje, sport: kolarstwo. Prezentuje historię „starego Davida Rebellna (CCC Polsat), 41 letniego kolarza walczącego w peletonie, wielokrotny zwycięzca, jak i ofiara skandalów, oraz ” młodego” Ignazio Mosera, obiecującego 20 letniego syna słynnego Francesco Mosera. Słynny włoski dziennikarz Gianni Mura, korespondent Tour de France z 1967, pomaga odkryć czym kolarstwo było kiedyś, a czym stało się teraz. Sportem zamieszanym w skandale dopingowym, pełnym pasji, walki, bogaty we wspaniałą historię.

Na koniec dodatkowo pojawia się Dititer „Didi” Senft, znany jako El Diablo, superfan, o nie samowitej pasji, pasji na granicy szaleństwa. Pięknym podsumowaniem czym jest kolarstwo, padło z ust Didi: „Kolarstwo to najmniej a tym samym ważna rzecz na świecie. „

Ostatni Kilometr na zdecydowanie film pokazujący czym naprawdę jest Kolarstwo. Więcej na stronie thelastkilometer.com

Reżyseria: Paolo Casalis
Muzyka: Mario Poletti (Lou Dalfin)
Występują: Davide Rebellin, Ignazio Moser, Gianni Mura, El Diablo
oraz: Francesco Moser, Cadel Evans, Françoise, Gedeone Rebellin, Marco MIlesi