Tour de France 2006: The Highlights (2006)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Main Menu Introduction
|Year Of Production||2006|
|Running Time||249:22 (Case: 298)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Controversy is seemingly always part of major bicycle races these days, however 2006's Tour De France is probably the most controversial ever. Before the race even started, over 30 riders were sent home by their own teams due to them being implicated in a doping scandal that rocked the sport. They were not found guilty, only implicated. This included many of the favourites such as Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso. Also, when the race was finally won after three weeks and over 3600Km, the winner failed a drug test and (at the time of writing) is still under a cloud of uncertainty as to whether his victory will stand. Despite all of this, this is a fascinating two disc set which is well put together, including lots of highlights and many extras. I was lucky enough to previously review the 2004 Tour which featured the two riders I mentioned above.
The race itself is made up of 21 smaller races spread over 3 weeks which takes the field of over 150 riders into Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Belgium and The Netherlands, along with lots of France of course. Each stage is very different and they include hard slogs up mountains, time trials, 200Km+ flat out racing and all sorts of combinations. Each stage has its own winner and for many riders this is an achievement of a lifetime, in fact some riders try for years just to get accepted into one of the teams and start in the great race.
In terms of the overall race, there are four main categories, overall, climbs, sprints and youth. The overall classification is won by the person with the lowest total time over the 20 stages. The person leading this competition each day gets to wear a yellow jersey signifying they are in the lead, but at the end of the day if they are no longer in the lead they must relinquish it. The climb classification is a prize for the best mountain climber in the tour and points are awarded in the various climbs included in most stages. The leader here gets to wear a red polka dot jersey. The sprint stage is similar except that points are awarded for pre-designated sprint portions of each stage. The best sprinter in each of these gets points which go toward the final classification win. In this case a green jersey is worn by the leader. Finally, young riders in the event can compete for a white jersey, which is again determined based upon total time.
After the 30+ riders were sent home it became a much more open contest, with many riders in with a chance to win the event. In fact this Tour tied the record for the largest number of yellow jersey wearers during the event. Unlike many previous Tours, the winner (on the road) was not decided until the second last stage which makes it more exciting.
This set contains about four hours of highlights of the race, which to my mind gave great coverage of the various stages without going over the top. Some great photography is included, not only of the action but of the beautiful scenery as well. The extra features also add more depth to the coverage, see below for details. Each stage has its own menu which allows access to a map of the stage, the highlights and any extras for the stage.
Overall, this is an excellent production and if this piques your interest it is well worth a purchase.
The video quality is very good.
The feature is presented in a 1.37:1 aspect ratio, which would be the original aspect ratio.
The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with only one noticeable spot of low level noise in a tunnel. There was some occasional light grain.
The colour was excellent, well saturated with no colour artefacts.
From an artefacts perspective, there was quite a bit of minor aliasing on passing roofs etc and some macro-blocking such as at 98:30 on disc 2.
There are no subtitles.
The layer changes were not noticeable and must have been placed between stages.
The audio quality is good.
This DVDs contain one audio option; an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 256 Kb/s.
Commentary was clear and easy to understand. The music was funky and not overly annoying.
The surround speakers added some atmosphere when played using Dolby Pro Logic II.
The subwoofer was not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu included a nice motif of a stretched yellow jersey, some cool music and was clear and easy to use. The action was available either through a play race function or stage by stage using the stage index. The stage index also allows access to the extra footage mentioned below and gives some details of each stage including how long it is and the graded climbs along the way.
Featurette about the pre-race announcement of the drug issues and some interviews with the disgraced riders.
Seven extras are available on Disc 1 through the stage index which do not form part of the main feature. They are included in different stages as detailed below:
Eight extras are available on Disc 2 through the stage index, which do not form part of the main feature. They are included in different stages as detailed below:
A text-based collection of statistics including details of the final results for all competitors in the race, the top ten in the climb, sprint and youth races, details of the teams involved and an explanation and history of the various jerseys. Excellent stuff.
This set is only available in Region 4.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is good.
The set has a quality collection of extra material.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer|