Independent has signed a North American deal with Gravitas Ventures for Kieron J. Walsh’s Irish cycling drama The Racer. 

The London-based sales outfit is showcasing the film at next week’s Cannes online Marché. Screen exclusively reveal the first trailer for the film, above.

Set in summer 1998, The Racer follows late-career cyclist Dom Chabol, who has been one of the best support riders on the Tour de France for 20 years, but secretly harbours a desire to wear the yellow jersey once before his career is over. Walsh wrote the script with Ciaran Cassidy.

Louis Talpe stars with Matteo Simoni, Tara Lee, Iain Glen, and Karel Roden.

The film completed production on February 28 this year, just as the European and North American industries began to react to the Covid-19 crisis. It was due to premiere at SXSW in March before the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Like many filmmakers I didn’t know where to turn,” said Walsh.  “A short time later I was revitalised to hear that Gravitas Ventures loved our movie and, despite cinemas being closed at the time, were determined to release the film theatrically in the autumn.”

The Racer is produced by Katie Holly and Yvonne Donohoe of Ireland’s Blinder Films and is a co-production with Jesus Gonzalez-Elvira of Luxembourg’s Calach Films and Robin Kerremans and Dimitri Verbeeck of US company Caviar.

The film is supported by Screen Ireland, Film Fund Luxembourg, Eurimages, Screen Flanders, the BAI Sound & Vision Fund, and RTE. Kinepolis Film Distribution will release the film in Benelux.