Intense cycling rivalry comes to life on Bedford stage

The show relives the legendary clash between Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani
The show relives the legendary clash between Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani

A striking theatre piece exploring the extraordinary rivalry between two notorious cyclists comes to Bedford next week.

Ventoux tells how, in 2000, two giants of cycling climbed Mont Ventoux in a dramatic battle to win stage 12 of the Tour de France: Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani.


Performed with two road bikes, real race commentary and film footage captured by the company as they cycled up Mont Ventoux, 2Magpies Theatre recreates the 60- minute conflict with all the benefit of hindsight, charting their stark split in fortunes following the race.


2Magpies Theatre artistic director Tom Barnes said: “I really got into cycling in a big way in 2012 when Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France, and I began to look back through some of the greatest races and came across the 2000 Tour de France and Armstrong and Pantani.


“The way the story played out is so theatrical in itself that it seemed perfect for retelling on stage with this new angle of hindsight.


“We’ve had a lot of cycling fans come and see it – it’s brilliant to see.”


Mont Ventoux has become legendary in the Tour de France as one of the most grueling climbs in the race and has a history which has inspired a solemn reverence of the Giant of Provence, from the death of English cyclist Tim Simpson 50 years ago to the spectacular crash last year which left eventual winner Chris Froome jogging several hundred yards until he could get a replacement bike. Tributes are still left to Tim Simpson on the mountainside.


The hour-long show comes to the Quarry Theatre on Tuesday October 16, starting at 7,30pm. Tickets cost £14.50 or £12.50 for concessions. Visit www.quarrytheatre.org.uk or call 01234 362337 to book.