Cyclo-Cross and...

    ...SYDNEY Olympics ?



The First Champion of France of cyclo cross, Laurence Leboucher began well the year 2000. Specialist of... MOUNTAIN BIKE wants to continue on her departure by keeping in target a medal for the Olympic Games of Sydney. On the other hand, the next World championships of cyclo crosses do not constitute one of its priority objectives, even if she will go to the Low Countries with ambitions. Interview.

Cycle France: Laurence, what feeling it gets it to be the first crowned woman Champion of France of cyclo cross in the history of the cycling?

Laurence Leboucher: " It indeed is always to write the first line of the prize list of a test. It will be the reference for later especially that this title was awarded in the year 2000 to a symbolic date of the History. I appreciate moreover the cyclo cross. This type of test offers us a more direct contact with the public than in MOUNTAIN BIKE. The courses are also shorter and we are never but shielded from a fall or of one flat. In the final, it Leaves a room for manoeuvre reduced enough face to face opponents. "

Cycle France : You dedicated your title to Pascale Ranucci. Who was for you the national trainer of the Ladies?

LL: " Pascale was above all a friend. I know her relatives. In the last Cliff of Azure we had partied together. A mutual confidence united us. When we taught me her disappearance, I was sad in it, to believe. I had still seen her three days previously in the evening the Champions of the FFC and we had given ourselves produce you to Manosque to evoke the season because this evening there we had had enough no time to speak to itself. It is too stupid!



Cycle France: At the end of January, you will compete for the first World championships Ladies of cyclo cross What will be there your ambitions?

LL: " We go to see. I do not know too much where I am situated with regard to the international hierarchy. Be that as it may, I shall give the maximum of me even in the day D, even if I did not dedicate too much specific training to the cyclo-cross this winter. Jean Yves Plaisance brought back to me that the Dutchwomen prepare this objective for a long time but personally, I did not peel the results of the girls during the last stages of World cup of cyclo cross. We also said to me that Kupfernagel, the German, worked hardly. I do not see whom she is. I know that it is an excellent road, but that set apart... Everything can arrive in the daytime of World championships. Nevertheless, I have an advantage with regard to my opponents. This Mundial does not constitute one of my big objectives of the season and I am going to approach it without the slightest pressure on me. I have to lose nothing I... "

Cycle France : we say that the circuit of Sint Michielgestel is very rolling and little technical. This point worries you it ?

LL: " When that rolls hardly the course becomes necessarily technical. We arrive fast on the obstacles, the boards, and it becomes technical When we make physical efforts, we make more easily errors. But I admit that I would have preferred a more technical circuit because physically I am not still 100 % of my possibilities. I am not still at the top of my shape. "  

Cycle France: What do you think about the arrival of the ladies in the cyclo cross?

LL: " I think that it restores life in the discipline. It is always better to add a category rather than to abolish one! We repeated these last winters when the cyclo cross was a speciality in loss of speed, when the MOUNTAIN BIKE competed with it... We were nevertheless able to see to Manosque that not bad of bikers were engaged for these Championships of France of cyclo-cross. Now, it is them who constitute the mass in cyclo-cross the winter. It comes true at the level national is like the regional level. The boys welcomed well us, us the girls. Most make of the MOUNTAIN BIKE and one are already next to them the summer. They were not thus shocked to see us arriving this winter on cycles of cyclo cross, especially that we were not ridiculous. Like, an example, during the regional championships, when the police commissioners stopped me in the term of the duration of the feminine test, I occupied the fifth Junior mass place. That means that we have our place in this discipline And then the MOUNTAIN BIKE, the BMX, the track and the road awarded champion's title of France, the only speciality in which it was not made, it was the cyclo-cross. ". 

Cycle France.: If you become World champion of cyclo cross, which value will you acquire as such?

LL: " If I win in Holland, the shirt and the title will have so much value as another world champion's title. I was World champion of MOUNTAIN BIKE and I know what that represents. If I win cyclo cross, I shall savor more still the victory than during my coronation in Canada in 1998. When we become World champion for the first time, we do not realize what arrives. We really realize it only when we lost the shirt. The only matter that I shall add about produce you of Sint Michialegestel, it is that this day there I shall try to make the most tactical possible ride... " 

Cycle France.: This winter, you seem to be again imperial as in 1998. That is it crossed in 1999?

LL " There was a conjunction of a heap of circumstances which made that I did not work last year. First point, I cut more than a month during winter and it had never arrived at me previously. I took advantage of the life, the small flat there small restaurants by this, without forgetting the desserts. I needed to release me after my title because I had made the profession as ever during all year. I also changed team and I had to learn English, not that of the school but the one who was going to allow me to manage within my new training. In March, I was indeed but I had to start the too fast training. I obtained results with the national on the road. I participated in the escapees with the runners of regional series. And then during my first journey in the USA, I enlarged. I did not any more manage to get back. We noticed that an old thyroïdien problem had just woken up. I continued to train while it did not go. 99 was not a magnificent season but I have no regrets. We learn more in the defeat that when the victories are linked. There, I put everything in flat and I drew up balance sheet which was led. Only interesting point of this year: I preserve my champion's title of France of cross-country while I was not the strongest. I win at the profession. It is can be for me the victory which has most value. That will remain a big collection in my career... "



Cycle France : the major meeting of the year 2000 is fixed in Sydney. Already think you of the Olympic Games?

LL: " No, I do not think of it at the moment. It is still far the September. You should not too much get into a panic. That is going to come as one goes along. Naturally, the Olympic Games are in a corner of my head but without as far as it turns to the obsession. It is necessary to be selected first of all. I always leave the principle that we are never selected by virtue of one's office. Then, it is also necessary to work. If we go to the Games without "working", it is of use to nothing. My objective is to return a medal. I think to have the potential. I was already World champion, Champion of Europe, I won stages of the World cup of MOUNTAIN BIKE, the Olympic Games it is not harder than these tests there The main part, it will be that everything is well in the daytime J: the head, the legs and the cycle. The circuit in more pleases me. It is a true slide. That does not stop rising and coming down all the time as to the Mountain Ste Anne. The times of recovery are counted. I really appreciate this kind of course where everything is made in the wear. The tactics will be also dominating. It will be necessary to show itself sly, to run as on the road and to possess a good experience. "

Cycle France : Let us imagine that you became Olympic champion of MOUNTAIN BIKE in Australia, what sports dreams could feed again for the continuation ?

LL. " Olympic champion or not, I shall still continue the cycling during four years. I was already crowned World champion of MOUNTAIN BIKE and it is not for it that the World does not motivate me any more. If I listened to, I would aim at all the races, at all the victories. I have of May to slow down. But as I begin to age a little, I am wiser and the experience says to me that it is necessary to select peaks in a season, not to make everything at 100 %. When we are young, we have difficulty in putting itself in sucks it, this thing there, we like to win. I always like so much the feeling that gets the victory, but I select more. Even if it is still hard for me. "



LEC.: You nevertheless added a supplementary objective to your season 2000 by putting your candidature in a selection for World championships on road to Plouay. Why?

LL: " That, it is the dream which can become reality, I hope for it at least. Plouay, it is the World championship which I want to live. I imagine that it is going to be the madness with all the public who will move. I lived the World on road of Stuttgart and I remind myself that there were three spectators' rows. There was the Swiss who made a barouf of hell with their bells. I had nineteen years old in the time and this recollection remains very strong. But I think that, for all the competitors, Plouay will be even stronger.

If I am selected for this running, I otherwise claim to give nothing a help to the team. The girls who make of the road all year long are priority on me. But I also know that at the Ladies, if today we do not run in team, we cannot hope big for matter. At the international level, it is necessary to run welded. Jeannie Longo needs to be supported during World championships to make forehead in front of Lithuanians, of the Russians and of the Italians France is capable of running in team. He is not right there. If we need to regain prestige of the feminine cycling, it is there, to Plouay, that it is advisable to make it. Me, I best wishes on road are victory obtained in team with Sophie Eglin Hosotte at the Middle of August Breton and with Sandra Temporelli in the Tour of the Drôme in 98. There, it was true journeys of team. "


France Cycle.: Exactly you speak about Sandra Temporelli it is your rival on a cycle and nevertheless in the life it is your friend. Is this a little bit paradoxical step ?

 LL: " On a cycle we are rival. Later, we manage to be friends. It is the strongest who wins, here is everything, I do not make her the mouth if she beats me and conversely. It is as runner's role, for me it does not limit to press on pedals. We have to represent the other matter for the sponsors who engage us. The communication, the public relations, it is also our duty. And so it is necessary to behave when we are racing, professional cyclist besides... "

France Cycle: Last question Laurence is about what you can speak to us of your asses ?

LL: " How you know that, you ? Yes it's true, I have two small asses. Galopin and Galopine who are going to have the small year the year 2000. Asses, it is cool, it saves lawn mower! They are of Cotentin with the white cross on the forehead. It is my relatives and my uncle that take charge of it when I am on the journeys. I am even going to tell you an anecdote which the only one Sandra Temporelli and the doctor of the team of France know. In 98, when it was still alone, Urchin ( in english ) tended to bite. Some days before the World in the Mountain Ste Anne it bit me both thumbs. Because of that, I had the same bankrupt to change my handles of gear XTR against grip shifts. But I saw in May saying in my team that I had to operate so a review because of a bite of ass. I had the crazy evil during a week. Fortunately that passed. But I was hot on this blow there!

 From Hervé Bombrun
La France Cycliste, January of 2000