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Videos: The Armstrong Lie documentary trailer + press conference

Movie released next month; director joins Betsy Andreu, Jonathan Vaughters and others to speak about it at Toronto International Film Festival

In 2008, Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney began making “a feel-good movie” on what he believed could be one of the great sporting comebacks as Lance Armstrong sought an eighth Tour de France title; five years on, his finished work, The Armstrong Lie, instead charts the downfall of a legend.

The film, made by Sony and due for release next month, received its international premiere at the Venice Film Festival in Italy in September, and a trailer has been released.

Gibney and his crew received unprecedented access to Armstrong both ahead of and during his 2009 comeback, when he finished third in the Tour de France, and following his confession to Oprah Winfrey earlier this year.

Speaking about his film, which had the provisional title The Road Back when shooting began, Gibney says: “In 2008, I set out to make a film about a comeback. Lance Armstrong, a man who had cheated death, the 7-time-winner of the Tour de France and an inspirational figure who had raised over $300 million dollars to support those afflicted with cancer, had decided to return to cycling.

“Though he had been dogged by accusations of doping, he was going to return to the sport, at the ancient age of 38, to prove to everyone that he would race clean and still beat the field.

“I almost finished that film. Then, in 2011, I sat with my jaw open as I watched Tyler Hamilton on 60 Minutes reveal, in detail, how Lance had doped,” he went on.

“I was there in Austin, Texas, when Lance shot his interview with Oprah. I interviewed him briefly a few hours later and saw, for the first and only time, a slump in his shoulders that showed some kind of vulnerability.

“Then, a few months later, I interviewed him again. The subject of our talk, and my new movie, was not about the bike. It was about the lie. The Armstrong Lie.”

Gibney and his crew received unprecedented access to Armstrong both ahead of and during his 2009 comeback, when he finished third in the Tour de France, and following his confession to Oprah Winfrey earlier this year.

The movie also includes interviews with several people who formed part of Armstrong’s inner circle including the banned doctor, Michele Ferrari, and former US Postal, Astana and RadioShack team manager, Johan Bruyneel.

Others appearing include witnesses to the United States Anti Doping Agency’s investigation such as Frankie and Betsey Andreu and Jonathan Vaughters, and journalists including David Walsh of The Sunday Times.

The video below is of a press conference about the film at the Toronto International Film Festival last month in which Gibney, the film’s producer Frank Marshall, Betsy Andreu, journalist Bill Strickland and Jonathan Vaughters talk about the documentary and Armstrong’s career.

Skip forward to 12 minutes into the video for the press conference.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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