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Wired To Win: Surviving the Tour de France

Baden Cooke and Jimmy Casper

Baden Cooke and Jimmy Casper (Image credit: Wired to Win)

Brain meets bike on the giant screen

After near three year gestation period, Wired to Win has finally hit IMAX theatres across the globe. The film follows the efforts of FDJeux.com teammates Jimmy Casper and Baden Cooke in the 2003 Tour de France, and how their brains cope with the stress. Chris Henry reports on the movie from New York.

The 2003 Tour de France, the centenary of the event, generated considerable excitement for many reasons. The hundredth anniversary of the first Tour, Lance Armstrong's quest to join the elite club of five-time winners, fellow American Tyler Hamilton's struggle to overcome a broken collarbone and finish fourth in Paris, perennial runner-up Jan Ullrich's closest ever deficit to Armstrong... Each of these elements provided the race with almost unparalleled drama. Behind the scenes, excitement was also being generated by a Tour first: an IMAX feature film being created on the roads and in the skies above France.

Director Bayley Silleck had a lengthy filmmaking resumé, but was new to the world of professional cycling. He found himself easily drawn into the stories and the drama of the Tour. "It's kind of embarrassing, really," he explained. "I didn't realize it was a team sport... that there was actually an incredible amount of strategy involved. It's like chess on bikes. When you get to know some of the riders, and you learn how hard it is just to finish the race, let alone win anything, it's almost impossible not to get emotionally invested."

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