In this panel discussion, organised together with SportFilmFestival Rotterdam, TV maker and author Wilfried de Jong talks to filmmaker Kenneth Mercken, journalist Thijs Zonneveld and former prof cyclist and frequent winner Johan Museeuw. Motivation for the talk is Mercken’s feature debut Coureur.

The Flemish Mercken was himself almost a prof cyclist: but ultimately he became a director. His childhood was dominated by the dream of cycling, which his father had introduced him to at an early age. In 2000, he became national champion of the elite cyclists without a contract. But after joining an Italian team, it became apparent that his body did not react to EPO, and without doping, no cycle racing. The end of a dream.

In his semi-autobiographical Coureur, having its international premiere at IFFR, Mercken puts his failed cycling career behind him. De Jong and Museeuw discuss with him how they came to terms with the never-ending pressure to keep achieving in the hard world of cycling.