Tadej Pogačar confirmed to appear in series 2 of Netflix's Tour de France: Unchained

UAE Team Emirates leader appears in trailer for series focused on 2023 Tour de France, with Pogačar's fiancée Urška Žigart also set to appear

Clock15:10, Monday 27th May 2024
Spoiler alert: Tadej Pogačar finished second to Jonas Vingegaard at last year's Tour

© Getty Images

Spoiler alert: Tadej Pogačar finished second to Jonas Vingegaard at last year's Tour

Tadej Pogačar has appeared in the first full-length trailer published by Netflix France for their documentary series Tour de France: Unchained, confirming the participation of the UAE Team Emirates leader for the first time since its first release in 2023.

The two-time Tour de France winner was conspicuously absent from the first series that focused on the 2022 edition, with UAE Team Emirates not one of the eight teams who originally signed up to offer behind-the-scenes access to the film crews.

Last summer, UAE Team Emirates general manager Mauro Gianetti confirmed to GCN that no such agreement was in place for the 2023 Tour de France, but that the team would treat Netflix as they would every other member of the media, which has led to Pogačar being interviewed for the show.

The first full-length trailer released by Netflix France begins with a shot of Pogačar smiling, whilst former pro Steve Chainel lays out the rivalry - Pogačar versus Jumbo-Visma's Jonas Vingegaard - that certainly defined the 2023 Tour and looks set to be a main storyline through the second series of the documentary, focused on last year's race.

"Pogačar won two years in a row and we thought he was unbeatable," Chainel says. "But last year, everything changed."

At this point, Pogačar is introduced to speak for the first time and as with all the riders featured heavily in the first series, the Slovenian is in a studio and speaks directly to the camera.

"2022 I gave everything that I could but in the end, Jonas was better," he says, before his fiancée and Liv Jayco AlUla rider Urška Žigart is introduced to the camera, also for the first time.

"It wasn't the easiest because it was like this realisation, 'oh, I am not the best anymore,' she adds to Pogačar's comments. "But then it brought back the hunger that he really wants to prove that he's the best again."

Read more: No Tour de France deal between UAE Team Emirates and Netflix, says Gianetti

What is Netflix's Tour de France: Unchained?

Tour de France: Unchained is cycling's first fly-on-the-wall documentary produced for Netflix, joining the likes of Formula 1's Drive to Survive, tennis' Break Point and golf's Full Swing in the current trend for sports docu-series. Created by Box to Box Films, Quadbox and France Télévisions, the first series featured the likes of Groupama-FDJ, Soudal Quick-Step and Ineos Grenadiers.

Read more: Tour de France: unchained and explained

However, Pogačar's absence was noticeable as series 1 focused on the 2022 Tour de France, where the Slovenian was looking to win the race for the third successive year. With no deal struck with UAE Team Emirates, Pogačar was not interviewed for the show and was instead presented as the dominant entity that the rest of the peloton was looking to bring down.

In this way, his role was much alike Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes AMG Petronas in Formula 1's Drive to Survive, who were also absent from the first series of the popular show. But whilst Gianetti confirmed last July that no deal had been struck with Netflix, it appears that Netflix has been allowed a certain level of access to Pogačar, at least, with the trailer featuring a supposed casual conversation between the 25-year-old and Žigart at their house.

"Now Jonas is the number one guy and you're the one who has to attack him," Žigart tells her fiancé.

The new trailer could offer an insight into how the second series of the show might differ from the first.

Sacrifice to be a central theme of new series?

Perhaps intending to present professional cycling to the mainstream audience for the first time, series 1 of Tour de France: Unchained centred largely around the brutality and toughness of riding a Grand Tour, with its abundance of crashes, high mountains and physical fatigue heavily featured.

The first teaser trailer for series 2, released two weeks ago, similarly focused on crashes and controversy, prompting many to expect more of the same from the new series.

But for those unamused by the surface-level impression this presents of the sport, the latest full-length trailer for series 2 should bring some excitement. In this teaser for the full series, the only crash that matters is that of Pogačar' in last year's Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which served to hinder the Slovenian's preparations for the 2023 Tour.

"This year we have a really super strong team and I feel better coming into the first part of the season than any other year," begins Pogačar, before revealing his fate, "and then yeh I crashed in Liège.

"It was a really nasty crash, I am lucky that I only fractured my wrist. I am still not 100%, the scaphoid is still fractured but I will never give up. Now I start a little bit different training, I try to bounce back and you need to push yourself because the Tour de France is the Tour de France. Everybody comes here in top shape."

The emphasis in the latest trailer appears to be on the sacrifices it takes to achieve victory at the biggest goal of the season, whether it be for the two key protagonists, Pogačar and Vingegaard, or France's favourite provocateurs.

Alongside both Pogačar and Vingegaard, two of the most popular French cyclists of the last decade appear on screen in the form of Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step).

"We've been planning the Tour de France for a year," says Pinot. "All teams on the Tour want a stage victory."

His thoughts are echoed by Alaphilippe, who had appeared in the first English trailer as a point of controversy surrounding his fractured relationship with Soudal Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere.

Read more: Netflix trailer reveals what to expect from series 2 of Tour de France Unchained

"It remains the most beautiful and biggest race in the world, and that's always the most important goal of a season" says Alaphilippe, with Groupama-FDJ's David Gaudu the last new rider to be introduced in the latest trailer.

"Pogačar and Vingegaard are the last winners and the best climbers," he says, before offering a word of warning. "But anything can happen, no one is safe from failure."

Between the sacrifices of the riders to prepare for the Tour, with Vingegaard shown training in the mountains with his Jumbo-Visma teammates, and the focus on Pogačar's recovery from a broken wrist, it appears that sacrifice will be a central theme of series 2, as opposed to the crash-filled spectacle of the series debut.

With Bahrain Victorious, EF Education-EasyPost (through Richard Carapaz) and Ineos Grenadiers all shown on screen towards the final seconds of the trailer, all three look set to feature - a first for Bahrain Victorious - whilst Pogačar has the final word in the three-minute clip published on Saturday.

"We all suffer for one goal, victory."

Series 2 of Tour de France: Unchained is scheduled to be released on Netflix in select territories on 11 June. To watch the full trailer released by Netflix France, click here.

For more of the latest cycling news, visit our racing news page.

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