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Tour de France DVDs: Two of the best.

By Paul Mirtschin

Seen by many as the best Tour in years, the 2003 centenary edition of the race is now available to buy. Now you can relive the excitement of Lance Armstrong's fifth Tour win in the comfort of your own home. World Cycling Production's 12-hour DVD pack is available world-wide, while the SBS 3-hour highlights DVD and video are only available in Australia.

2003 SBS - Tour de France highlights DVD and video

How does it all end?
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It took Lance Armstrong twenty-three days to cover the 3,427.5 kilometers of the 2003 Tour de France, but SBS have managed to cut it down to just three hours in this Tour de France highlights DVD and video.

Hosted by SBS's Mike Tomalaris and the "voice of cycling", Phil Ligget, this collection of race highlights, rider interviews and background stories is an excellent addition to any cyclists collection; especially if you missed most of the coverage as I did.

The DVD and video covers the entire race, from the pre-race presentation and festivities through to the race's finish on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. We get to see the preparations that each team goes through, as well as interviews with race hopefuls and their supporting riders.

The pain of losing, the pleasure of winning, and the confusion of why 30 bikes seem to be piling up in front of you is all documented. Edited for an Australian audience, SBS are excused for concentrating on the Australian riders. And since Lance Armstrong won, I guess they can be excused for covering him so much as well.

The three hours is over too fast I feel, and you do feel that there is a lot of the race left on the cutting-room floor. But adding any more footage would result in this being a double disc set and a lot more expensive. At AU$39.95 for either the DVD or video, it is a bargain, and is perfect for any rainy day; until you watch the Stage 19 time trial and realise what a wimp you are for staying indoors.

Recommended retail price: AU$39.95
More information: SBS's website
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What do you think of the SBS TdF video and DVD? Let us know

World Cycling Production's 12-hour 2003 Tour de France DVD pack

Ever sat down and thought to yourself, "what will I do for the next twelve hours?" If you have, you either need to get out and ride more, or pick up a copy of World Cycling Production's 12-hour 2003 Tour de France DVD pack.

Split over six discs, the pack gives an in-depth look into what really went down in each of the twenty-one stages of the centenary Tour de France. With the 2003 being seen by many to be the hardest, best fought Tour in recent memory, this could well be the ultimate cycling DVD pack.

Watch Tyler Hamilton as he fights on with a broken collarbone, trying not to scream as you realise just how much pain he was in, and cheer as Lance Armstrong battles with his arch-nemesis Jan Ullrich all the way to Nantes; will you be as disappointed with Jan's finish as he was?

While some may balk at the US$89.95 price, you need to remember that this is twelve hours worth of history. This was the year that Armstrong joined the "Five Win" club, and it might have been his last Tour win. World Cycling Production's also sell a four hour, single DVD version.

Recommended retail price: US$89.95
More information: World Cycling Production's website

What do you think of the WCP TdF video and DVD? Let us know