Review - Won't Back Down

20 June 2014  |  

You would almost think it would be impossible to capture the aura of Steve Peat’s legendary career in just one documentary, but in Won’t Back Down Clay Porter seems to have come pretty close.

The documentary forms a visual biography of Steve’s life, from when he was starting out as ‘Sketch Peat’ in local Cross Country races right through to finally clinching his first World Championship crown in Canberra, Australia in 2009.

However, because Peaty’s career has been so legendary, so long and so prolific, the film plays out more as a history of mountain biking. Archive footage of Steve, as well as a supporting cast of interviewees such as Rob Warner, Josh Bryceland and Nigel Page, tell a tale of a sport evolving from an amateurish pastime into the professional roadshow we know today. Peaty’s story is intertwined with the tragic death of Jason McRoy, the dominance of Nico Vouilloz, the controversy of Shaun Palmer and the rising of the new guard of Sam Hill, Aaron Gwin and Greg Minaar, creating a truly educational experience.

But the real tale is one of heartache, and triumph over adversity. It beggars belief to realise that Peaty’s first World Championships were in 1993 and that so many times since then he came close to winning, finishing just off the top step or crashing out within sight of the line. Despite having won more World Cups than any rider, the World Championships always eluded him. When he does win, Won’t Back Down provides an intimate view of the emotions of his success, emotions that were no doubt shared throughout the mountain biking community of relief, disbelief and ultimately joy.

The true message of the film however, runs deeper than race success. From the partying of his youth, through to his dedication in developing young British talent and the idolisation his attitude and demeanour have earned him, Won’t Back Down simply undermines that, if nothing else, Peaty is well and truly deserving of the title – Legend.

You can download the film now on iTunes and a DVD will be released in Summer.

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