Netflix has confirmed that it is producing a new series about the Tour de France. Other than saying the project is expected early in 2023, details are still scarce. But the project now appears to have a title.
Going to Netflix page used to read simply “Untitled Tour de France project.” As of Friday, it shows a title. The new series appears to be called Tour de France: Unchained.
The series is modeled on the wildly successful F1 project, Drive to Survive. Netflix even hired Quadbox the same producers behind the F1 show.
Feel free to disagree, but if Unchained is the final title, it doesn’t quite imply the same urgency or high stakes that Drive to Survive does. For a race that very much requires an intact chain for a rider to be at all successful, Unchained might not be the most inspiring.
Yes, it’s obviously supposed to call to mind the unpredictable racing of cycling’s most famous event. No, I do not think it succeeds. It sounds more like an early 2000s freeride movie collecting dust on a bike shop shelf. It would also be a workable title for a downhill World Cup project, calling to mind Aaron Gwin’s iconic chainless winning run in Leogang. way back in 2015. Oh, and it actually is the part of the title of a mountain bike video game released back in 2018.
Unchained is still set to debut early in 2023. There are eight 45-minute episodes planned. The show will follow eight of the 2022 Tour de France teams. AG2R Citroën Team, Alpecin-Fenix, BORA-hansgrohe, EF Education-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ cycling Team, Ineos Grenadiers, Team Jumbo-Visma and Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl are all involved in the project.
Title aside, it should be thrilling to see pro cycling get the full Netflix treatment. It was a thrilling edition of the Tour de France. Having Netflix and Quadbox views from behind the scenes and on the team bus should add exciting layers and depth for fans looking to understand what it really takes to win a Grand Tour.