Today on "Pure Opelka', Mike Opelka welcomed former FX colleague and Emmy-award winning host of "The Amazing Race," Phil Keoghan. Phil came to talk about "Le Ride," a documentary he wrote and directed which told the story of the first antipodean team to participate in the Tour de France.
"This is a great underdog story. I want to bring it to life," said Phil when he researched the 1928 New Zealand and Australian team. Underfunded, untried and not even the correct team size (four vs the usual 10), the French press quipped that allowing them to compete was "nothing short of murder."
The shooting schedule for the film was not too shy of murder, either. "Le Ride" is an independent project, so Phil drafted family and friends to help him lug authentic 1928 bicycles, which "weigh twice as much as a modern bike", up and down rolling French landscapes. The crew traveled the course of the race: "150 miles a day with some stages over 200 miles," with such exhaustion setting in that it "almost derailed the finishing of the film on the road."
Per the trailer for the film, Phil retraced every one of the 3,340 miles of the grueling 1928 Tour de France, which is over 1000 miles longer than today's course. It had "the highest attrition rate" of any Tour de France in the race's history. This was a "passion project" for Keoghan, who himself is a bicycling enthusiast.
A special screening with "Amazing Race" winners Dave and Connor O'Leary took place last week in Salt Lake City. Both father and son are cycling enthusiasts and cancer survivors, so Phil visited the hospital where they were treated and gave the proceeds from the sold out screening to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Proceeds from all the screenings of "Le Ride" across the country will go to various local charities.