Can Cycling Benefit from a Documentary like F1’s Drive to Survive?

Cycling has been underrated for quite a long time. This was the case for F1 as well. But things have been turning up in recent times.

For decades, the Formula One competition, which features custom-built cars considered the most technologically advanced in the world, struggled to establish itself in the American market. But the recent release of the Netflix documentary “Drive to Survive” won over American hearts, and a new era for F1 emerged.

Does cycling need a documentary to do something similar?

How Big is the “Drive to Survive” Influence?

Sports documentary series have recently become more common, from Movistar’s “The Least Expected Day” to the most prominent and famous Formula One’s “Drive To Survive.” Before the latter’s release, Formula One had reached a plateau.

According to ExpressVPN’s research, the correlation between the F1’s increased interest and the “Drive to Survive” launch cannot be over-exaggerated. Five countries with buzzing television markets for the sport are the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and Brazil.

Despite being a popular sport in hotspots like the U.K. for decades, it needed help recruiting the next generation of fans in the United States. However, this has drastically changed since the Netflix series debuted in 2019.

The documentary’s viewership has grown every year since it first aired, with over four million people tuning in on the first weekend of the most recent series. And that’s not all. Because of these milestones, two more races in the United States are planned in 2023. One is scheduled to be held in Miami, and the other in Vegas.

Cycling Can Take a Cue From This.

We’re not the only ones feeling this way. Chris Hoy, a six-time Olympic track and field champion, knows that cycling desperately needs a boost. “I would have loved it when I was competing because you fall in love with the sport as a child and want to tell the world about it,” Hoy said in one of his interviews.

Cycling’s leading source of viewership has traditionally been the Olympic Games which happens every four years. However, outside this, It has struggled to maintain high levels of attention. The Netflix documentary added points to Formula 1, and while it is difficult to quantify, broadcaster ESPN has seen its Formula 1 audience double. Guess it’s time for cyclists to try something new.


Although Movistar’s documentary tried to give cycling a head start, more needs to be done. Thankfully, the world of Sports documentaries has only scratched the surface. With a solid second shot at a documentary, cycling will still be early enough to carve its mark and learn from its predecessors.


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    This could start with The 109th Tour de France. It could be the subject of a behind-the-scenes Netflix documentary following some of the sport’s leading teams, including Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl, whose boss Patrick Lefevere also shares the sentiments that a documentary could take the industry “to the next level.”

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    Can Cycling Benefit from a Documentary like F1’s Drive to Survive? — Bike Hacks