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Portrait of the vicissitudes facing the suspended cycling talent Thomas Dekker, who has to straighten out his doping past and has learned the hard way how steep the road back to the top is.
Filmmaker Gerard Lassche follows the suspended cyclist talent Thomas Dekker during his struggle to come back as a professional racer on 1 July 2011, two years after his suspension. In little over a year, we see Dekker do four tests that should show if he is ready to compete with the top again. This turns out to be harder than the cyclist had hoped. It’s an arduous process not only physically; ‘prodigy’ Dekker has a hard nut to crack mentally, too. He was applauded, but now reviled, very successful but suspended, quite rich but also alone.
The director tries to make Dekker talk about his doping and his relationship with the controversial Italian sports doctor Luigi Cecchini, but this is where Dekker draws the line. The camera can go anywhere, to his houses in Belgium and Italy, to training sessions, to his parental home and his haptonomist, but Dekker is reticent about ‘where it went wrong’. This produces both an exciting interaction between the protagonist and the filmmaker and a candid glimpse of this top-class sportsman’s life.