Coureur (first feature)

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official site


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original title:


italian title:

Il ciclista

directed by:


Niels Willaerts, Koen De Graeve, Fortunato Cerlino, Nicola Rignanese, Serge-Henri Valcke, Karlijn Sileghem, Günther Lesage, Loïc Bellemans, Vladislav Prigunov, Anton Petrov, Merlijn Willems, Yves Nollet, Niola Morandini, Mattia Castellani


Kenneth Mercken, Monica Stan


Martijn van Broekhuizen


Manu Van Hove

set design:

costume design:


Jan Swerts


Czar, Climax Films, Kino Produzioni, with the support of Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Le Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Screen Flanders,Canvas, RTBF, IDM Film Commission Südtirol, Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission





film run:




festivals & awards:

‘Coureur’ follows the struggles, glory and dreams of a young 'flandrien' cyclist who will do whatever it takes to succeed, no matter the consequences for himself and those around him.
Felix Vereecke grows up as an insider at his father’s veteran league cycling races, an outlandish milieu with no shortage of alcohol, violence, and prohibited substances. He wants to become a pro no matter what, like his father Mathieu, who seeks to fulfil his own failed dreams of cycling glory. As an adult, Felix turns out to be incredibly gifted. When he becomes national junior champion, he follows his own path towards the promised land of youth cycling: Italy. The merciless competition and his feeble health, however, threaten to become his downfall.
‘Coureur’ is inspired by director Kenneth Mercken’s own turbulent past as a talented cyclist. Kenneth also grew up among the frames and the smell of leg cream. But it took a while before he really got serious about cycling. In 2000, he won the national championship for elite riders without a contract. Later, while on the payroll of an Italian team, he discovered that his body couldn’t cope with all the hardships of the sport and the sacrifices he had to make in order to reach his goal. He turned his back on his childhood dream and enrolled in film school.