Between 2008 and 2011, I worked at Cervélo, makers of the fastest, most coveted racing bikes in the world at the time. I created their transmedia content strategy and co-wrote, produced and directed all video content, including their refreshingly authentic documentary-style Tour de France commercials and groundbreaking BEYOND THE PELOTON web series. “BTP” as the series was called affectionately by its dedicated fans, revealed the behind-the-scenes realities of Cervélo’s Tour de France-winning TestTeam, garnering a dedicated fandom who pointed out how it paved the way for Netflix hit TOUR DE FRANCE: UNCHAINED series, with the two sharing filmmaking techniques – and even a few characters. 

Vroomen, who embraced transparency in a sport plagued by deceit and believed behind-the-scenes R&D about the fastest bikes in the world was more compelling than ad agency hype (“marketing mush” as he calls it), jumped at the chance to show his company and team make history.

As Vroomen puts it: “In 2009, Booker (together with Joe Finkleman) pitched us the idea for a documentary series about our newly-founded Cervélo TestTeam. As we wanted to create the most transparent cycling team possible (something lacking in this sport in general) and were looking for original ways to tell our story, it was the perfect idea. In all modesty, I think it’s safe to say that Booker with the rest of the crew of BEYOND THE PELOTON, as it was to be called, made a small piece of history together with the Cervélo TestTeam. The documentary series was the first of its kind, showed the raw beauty of the sport (and its ugliness), was honest and unpolished and most importantly, fans and riders loved it. Nowadays, many teams have documentary series, but the brilliance of the original has never been matched. The main reason is that Booker and Joe always maintained creative independence, resulting in truly interesting stories rather than slick (and often-boring) marketing mush. Of course they understood the needs of the team too, but the integrity of the story was paramount for them and frankly, also for us.”

Fans were in an uproar when BTP was canceled after three seasons due to Cervélo being acquired by conglomerate Pon, and a new management team was brought in. The end of an era, but its legacy – and fandom – lived on, with one fan at Tesla proposing a similar series following Elon during the company’s rise in the early 2010s. Unfortunately (or fortunately, given Elon’s recent antics), a music-tech startup I co-founded just secured 8-figure financing. So I had my own startup story to tell, featuring early adopters like Diplo, El-p and Pusha T.

Joe and I are working on a detailed behind-the-scenes blog post, but for now you can check out this Cycling New article.

There are too many great videos to link to here, so I’ve organized BTP playlists and summaries on my blog.




This website stores cookies on your computer. Cookies Policy