What­ever hap­pened to Lance Arm­strong?

The Wokingham Paper - - LEISURE -

EIGH­TEEN years ago, two gi­ants of cy­cling climbed Mont Ven­toux in a dra­matic bat­tle to win stage 12 of the Tour de France: Lance Arm­strong, who went on to win the Tour and a fur­ther five in the years that fol­lowed be­fore be­ing stripped of his ti­tles, and Marco Pan­tani, who never raced in the Tour again and died of an over­dose four years later.

Now, that mo­ment in his­tory is to be recre­ated at South Street.

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

Mont Ven­toux has be­come leg­endary in the Tour de France as one of the most gru­elling 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 moun­tain side.

Artis­tic di­rec­tor of 2Mag­pies The­atre 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.”

Ven­toux pre­miered at Sum­mer­hall at the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val Fringe in 2015 and has toured ever since.

It will be at South Street on Wednesday and Thurs­day next week.

For more de­tails, or to book tickets, call the box of­fice on 0118 960 6060 or log on to www. readin­garts.com

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