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Rouleur podcast: Paul Fournel and Time Trial film director Finlay Pretsell

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“I wanted to be him, I wanted to look like him. Of course, he was tall, blond, lean – I was short, dark and big.” Author Paul Fournel on Anquetil. Plus the director of David Millar’s fine new film Time Trial

Photographs: Offside/l'Equipe
anquetil podcast

Paul Fournel is one of the most distinctive voices in cycling journalism, with an impressive palmares of unusual and thoughtful books, essays and articles.

 

In his native France, Paul is well-known as a poet, publisher and cultural icon, a member of the eccentrically avant-garde Oulipo group of writers. His books Need for the Bike and Anquetil Alone have been published in English and many of his essays have appeared in Rouleur magazine.

 

On the latest Rouleur podcast, Paul shares his lifelong love of cycling and his passion for Jacques Anquetil. “I wanted to be him, I wanted to look like him. Of course, he was tall, blond, lean – I was short, dark and big. But he was so beautiful on the bicycle. At that time there was no wind tunnel, there was nothing of that kind, it was all by instinct. He was so beautiful, he was pedalling like no-one else.”

 

Finlay Pretsell

We also hear from Finlay Pretsell, whose film Time Trial finally makes it to UK cinemas this week. The film centres on David Millar’s last season as a pro and his sometimes conflicted feelings about the end of his career.

 

Rouleur’s Desire Editor Stuart Clapp repeats his view that he’d struggle to be friends with anyone who didn’t like the ending of Time Trial, and remembers a drunken evening at the top of Alpe D’Huez with one of Lance Armstrong’s domestiques. Wait for the punchline…

 

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David Millar, Time Trial

David Millar and Finlay Pretsell hold a live Q&A at the screening of Time Trial in London, Friday June 29