Time Trial

  • Finlay Pretsell
  • United Kingdom
  • 2017
  • 81 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
This portrait follows the former British road racing cyclist David Millar during his last cycling season. Director Finlay Pretsell has Millar tell his own story, and allows us to feel the impact the sport has on the cyclist. Immersed in the cyclist’s experience through the camera on Millar’s handlebars, we see his sweat and breathe with him in his race against the clock—he's not getting any younger, and he wants to secure his spot in the Tour de France one last time. Simply by filming the cyclists, sometimes in slow motion, sometimes blurred and shaky, Pretsell makes us feel as if we too are slogging through the rain. We experience the euphoria of the race, but also the tedium. Music evocative of the piercing, repetitive rattle of a bicycle chain captures the endlessness of the route. The swelling, hypnotic sounds underlying the slow-motion footage make the peloton seem like a heard of hunted animals driven ever onwards. Time Trial shows just how far a man will go in his will to win.


  • 81 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
Finlay Pretsell
Sonja Henrici for SDI Productions Ltd, Finlay Pretsell for Cycling Films Ltd
Executive producer
Iain Smith, Ian Davies for Initialize Films, Noe Mendelle for Scottish Documentary Institute, Avril Millar, Leslie Finlay for Creative Scotland, Sylvie Richards
Martin Radich
Kieran Gosney, Dino Jonsäter

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

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IDFA history

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