Tour de Force: the 7 best cycling films

In honour of Le Tour, here's our choice of the best movies on two wheels

So the Tour de France 2015 kicked off yesterday and you'll have likely had one of two reactions: "Brilliant! I'm inspired to go out on my bike" or "Brilliant! I'm going to watch it all on TV".

For those of you in the first camp, may we point you in the direction of this feature about buying a sexy new bike for yourself. You smug so-and-so.

And for those in the latter? We think you'll enjoy this list of the best pedal-powered films we've seen. Just don't overdo it getting the remote.

1. Pantani: The accidental death of a cyclist

Winner of both the Tour and the Giro d’Italia in 1998, Marco Pantani was a flamboyant cyclist and legendary mountain specialist who died just six years later at the age of 34 in 2004, alone in an Italian hotel room.

This excellent documentary explores the tragic final descent of the man known as ‘The Pirate’, from the pinnacle of sporting glory to cocaine-fuelled oblivion.

Buy Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist (£9), on DVD here

2. The Flying Scotsman

Graeme Obree went from a bullied childhood to champion cyclist by designing his own bikes and revolutionising body-position aerodynamics.

Playing Obree, Jonny Lee Miller does a good line in paranoia. This 2006 film is missing Obree’s more recent revelations, though. 

Buy The Flying Scotsman (£5) on DVD here

3. Breaking Away

This coming-of-age 1979 classic has small-town boys versus college jerks, a cyclist obsessed with Italians, and some of the best fictional road-bike action ever committed to film. It’ll make you want to find an old Masi Gran Criterium, chase lorries and start talking Italian. “Ciao, Papa!”

Buy Breaking Away (£9), on DVD here