With the 2019 edition of the Tour de France having drawn to a close, the first image of “The Racer,” a film set during the notorious 1998 edition of the iconic bike race, has been released.
The real-life Tour de France was tainted by doping scandals in 1998, subsequently earning the nickname the Tour de Dopage. The opening stages of the world’s biggest bike race took place in Ireland in that year, before moving to France.
Kieron J. Walsh’s “The Racer” follows fictional Belgian rider Dom Chabol. He has been a domestique, a support rider in cycling parlance, for years. With the Tour about to start he is dropped from his team. After a doping issue disqualifies a teammate, he finds himself back in the saddle and with a shot at achieving his secret desire to wear the yellow jersey, which is sported by the race leader.
Louis Talpe, who starred in ABC biblical series “Of Kings and Prophets,” plays Chabol. The cast also includes Tara Lee (“A Date for Mad Mary”), Matteo Simoni (“Gangsta”), Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones”), and Karel Roden (“The Bourne Supremacy”).
Filming took place in Ireland and Luxembourg. Blinder Films coproduces with Calach Films and Caviar Films. Kinepolis Film Distribution (KFD) will release the film in the Benelux. U.K.-based Independent is handling international sales.
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Screen Ireland, Film Fund Luxembourg, Eurimages, Screen Flanders, the BAI Sound & Vision Fund, and Irish broadcaster RTE all supported the film.