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Lessons from the Tour de France: Unchained

Lessons from the Tour de France: Unchained by Jason Bahamundi

I’ve always been a sports enthusiast. Growing up I watched baseball but instead of focusing on the score, I focused on the small parts of the team. I was intrigued by the intricate mechanics that make up a successful team or athlete. As an endurance athlete and an avid cyclist, the Netflix documentary, ‘Tour de France: Unchained’, was a must-watch. As I watched I kept thinking that the lessons from the Tour de France: Unchained can be applied to the everyday athlete, like you and me.

Unveiling the World of Professional Cycling

The documentary offered an unique perspective into the world of professional cycling, the complexities of teamwork, and the psychology of individual athletes. I was pulled into the dynamic interplay between the team leader and the support staff, including seven other riders and a whole crew of dedicated professionals like massage therapists and dietitians. It was a profound look into how teams operate under changing circumstances. They were making adjustments on the fly. Every day they are planning strategies to overcome competing teams.

The documentary didn’t necessarily change my perspective on sports but served as a reminder of the sheer tenacity required in endurance sports. Endurance sports are hard, even for those at the top of their game. The path is spotted with challenges that must be overcome with grit, determination, and a whole lot of hard work.

Powerful Lessons from the Tour de France: Unchained – Triumph over Challenges

One poignant moment was during a grueling mountain stage. Sprinter Jasper Philipsen of Team Alpecin–Deceuninck, found himself at a disadvantage and crossed the finish line with just 17 seconds to spare. But his perseverance paid off – he won the final stage on the Champs-Élysées, a sprinter’s dream. This was a powerful lesson in resilience and a testament to the rewards that come from pushing through challenging times.

Another unforgettable narrative was that of Wout van Aert, a three-time UCI world champion. His sacrifices for the team, perseverance through tough stages, and his emotional victory in the final time trial stage demonstrated both the personal sacrifices and the rewards of teamwork in professional sports.

Parallel Experiences: Lessons from My Own Endurance Journey

In my own endurance journey, I’ve found that the lessons from the documentary run parallel to my experiences. Over my 16 years of racing, I’ve paced and crewed for fellow athletes, helping them reach their goals. The sacrifices I’ve made were small acts of selflessness that contributed to the bigger picture. For example, giving up my only pair of gloves during a cold race so that the athletes could be comfortable. Another would be giving a friend water on the course as I knew they needed it more than I would.

Lessons for Every Athlete: The Journey Filled with Rewards

The key takeaway from my experiences and the ‘Tour de France: Unchained’ is the acknowledgment that endurance sports are tough. There will be moments of self-doubt and questioning. These are inherent parts of the journey. Embrace them. Each experience, each failure, and each success is a lesson in disguise.

Whether you’re an everyday athlete like me or a professional at the Tour de France, the journey is filled with lessons. The key is to keep pushing, keep trying, and always be open to learning. The real rewards lie in the lesson we get along our path.


Jason Bahamundi Run Tri Bike Magazine Owner Triathlete Ultra Runner Trail Runner

Jason Bahamundi is a co-owner of Run Tri Bike. He has been competing in endurance sports since 2007 with (8) Ironman Finishes, (8) 100-Mile Finishes and a 250-mile finish. His goal is to have fun while competing and provide support to those who are just getting started.