Netflix will be back at this year’s Tour de France, cameras in hand, to shoot a potential second season of its Tour-based documentary series.
The news that Netflix cameras would return to the Tour was first reported by Cycling Weekly’s Adam Becket on Tuesday. Sources have since clarified to Escape Collective that a second series is not yet fully guaranteed, but production for a potential 2024 release is set to go forward at this year’s Tour. Sources, who requested anonymity as they were not cleared to discuss the project, indicated that audience reaction to the first series will ultimately determine whether a second series ever makes it online.
The show, called Tour de France Unchained and based on eight teams at the 2022 Tour de France, releases on Netflix on June 8th, just ahead of the Dauphiné.
Sources close to the production confirmed that Tadej Pogačar and his UAE Team Emirates squad have once again declined to participate in the series.
The first series will include episodes focused on AG2R Citroën, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Bora-Hansgrohe, EF Education-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ, Ineos Grenadiers, Jumbo-Visma and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. Most of the same teams are expected to feature in a second season.
So it’s good?
It is, apparently. Select team staff have seen clips (not whole episodes, only those clips relevant to their teams) and all of those contacted by Escape said they came away with positive impressions.
Unsurprisingly, the end product is heavily French-influenced. Unlike the Formula 1 Netflix series, Drive to Survive, Unchained uses extensive subtitling and allows many non-native English speakers to speak their first language. Increased French flavor was apparently a request of Tour organizer ASO.
While the full release of a second season is not yet fully decided, the fact that Netflix has made the decision to send camera teams to this summer’s Tour is a sign of confidence in the product. Much of the reported initial production cost of around €8 million comes from sending large camera, audio, and production teams to France. That’s an investment that Netflix is clearly already comfortable making.