DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » 2005 Tour of Flanders
2005 Tour of Flanders
World Cycling Productions // Unrated // July 1, 2005 // Region 0
List Price: $39.95 [Buy now and save at Worldcycling]
Review by Holly E. Ordway | posted July 22, 2005 | E-mail the Author
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The movie

The Tour of Flanders has become one of my favorite Spring Classics, giving bicycle racing fans an exciting course whose prestige attracts the best one-day racers to fight it out for the win. The Tour of Flanders (or Ronde van Vlaanderen) is also Belgium's biggest race: for Belgian racers, who have a strong place in the pro peloton, the Tour of Flanders is basically their "World Championship." Winding its way over the back roads of the Belgian countryside, the Tour of Flanders is known for its difficult climbs over short, steep cobbled hills. The names roll off the tongue and are delightfully well known to any fan of the Classics, hills like the Molenberg, the Oude Kwaremont, the Paterberg, the Koppenberg (with a brutal grade of 22% at one point), the Berendries, the feared Muur, and the final Bosberg.

The 2005 edition, which rolled out on the morning of April 3, features a respectable start list of potential winners (and past winners). Veteran Peter van Petegem (and 2003 winner) is of course a favorite, along with T-Mobile's Steffen Wesemann (the winner in 2004); let's not forget riders like Erik Dekker and Stijn Devolder. Many eyes are also on the talented Tom Boonen of QuickStep; this isn't a course that would normally suit Boonen, who's known for his sprinting ability, and he's one of the younger riders in the peloton here, but Boonen has shown himself to be ambitious, tactically smart, and very motivated as well as talented. Other riders to look for include George Hincapie riding for the Discovery Channel team with the support of Lance Armstrong and Roger Hammond, along with Cofidis' Stuart O'Grady.

The four-hour coverage of the Tour of Flanders starts out with an excellent section, about twenty minutes long, of interviews with key riders. Paul Sherwen does a great job (as usual) with chatting up the key riders and finding out their thoughts on the upcoming race and their own chances (and that of their rivals). The interviews do tend to focus on the native-English-speaking riders, but Sherwen also talks to big names like Wesemann and Boonen. I really like these solid pre-race segments, as they do a great job of letting the viewer know who to watch for, as well as generating anticipation for the race itself.

The race itself starts out a bit slow. There's not a huge amount of action in the first half of the race; we get some give and take, and tactical maneuvering, but there's not much by way of real action. In the second half, however, things do heat up and the race becomes much more exciting. The big stars start to pick up the pace and really fight things out in the second half, especially as the race moves toward the closing climbs. The conclusion is a very interesting one; experienced viewers of the Tour of Flanders will have certain expectations as to which climb is the "key" one of the race, the one that will see the essential move of the day... but in fact, things shake out in a rather unexpected manner in this edition. That's one of the great things about a challenging, varied course like Flanders: there's always room for the daring move and the unexpected action.

Throughout the race, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen do their usual outstanding job of providing enthusiastic commentary on the action. Sherwen in particular has become quite a polished commentator over the years, bringing a thorough knowledge of racing (from his own career as a pro racer) to the table along with great enthusiasm and, most importantly, an ability to discuss the action on the fly in an interesting and easily flowing manner. Sherwen wraps up the DVD with a set of solid post-race interviews, as we hear from George Hincapie, Roger Hammond, and Johann Brunyeel of team Discovery Channel.

The DVD

The Tour of Flanders is a two-disc set, nicely packaged in a single-wide plastic keepcase. The cover art is an attractive, non-spoiler image, though it's best not to look too closely at the race's subtitle (at least if you're an experience cycling fan) as it is a whopping hint as to who wins. The disc art is good in the sense that it doesn't give anything away, but unfortunately it's vertically stretched in an unattractive manner. The menus do have spoiler images, but the chapter breaks are usefully made on the major climbs.

Video

The Tour of Flanders video quality is fairly standard for a cycling race. The image is slightly soft, especially in longer-distance shots, but looks good in close-ups. The print is clean, apart from the normal instances of picture break-up that come from interference in the original television broadcast (and these are relatively uncommon). The colors tend to fluctuate a bit, but not excessively so. The image appears in its original television broadcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Audio

The 2.0 audio track is nicely done. The sound is crisp and clean, with a pleasant amount of "race ambiance" sound included as well. Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen both sound natural and clear in their commentary on the race.

Extras

The main bonus feature is the start list for all the teams, which is printed on the back of the DVD cover insert. On the disc itself, there's an "Extra Stuff" section that has images of items available for sale on WCP's web site, along with a picture of the other Spring Classics DVDs that are for sale on WCP.

Final thoughts

I liked the 2005 Tour of Flanders; it's not one of the most exciting editions of the race that I've seen (that honor would have to go to the 2002 edition) as it has somewhat of a slow start, but in the end it delivers an engaging second half and an exciting finish. For any cycling fan, this race will deliver a solid package of entertainment, and deserves a strong "recommended" rating.

Find the lowest price for '2005 Tour of Flanders'
Popular Reviews
1. Seven Wonders of the World
2. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Turkey Day Collection
3. The Bubble aka Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth (3-D)
4. Batman The Complete TV Series Limited Edition Blu-ray
5. Drunk History Seasons 1 and 2
6. Lord Of Illusions
7. Mister Ed: The Complete Series
8. The Killer Elite (1975)
9. Wicked, Wicked (Warner Archive Collection)
10. The Wind Rises


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use