Cyclo 2002

The Frenchwoman Laurence Leboucher took away the world title of feminine cyclo-cross, on Sunday morning, on the circuit of Zolder, in Belgium. The German Hanka Kupfernagel, the titleholder, ended 2nd in more than one minute of Leboucher.

Presentation: " I am 29 years old, I live in the Sarthe. I measure 1m61 for 48 kg. "

Let us begin with your world champion's title acquired in Zolder, did you think of having a chance to take it?

" Not, in no way. I went there especially not to return a medal in chocolate. I thought that Kupfernagel would be harder to beat. I was afraid of the departure because the ride lasts only 40 minutes, it is thus the stress in the entrance of railing because you have the pressure. Then, I saw that, technically, I was better that two others, I joined them in the ascents when it was necessary to give knocks of pedal. When my advance reached 10 in 20 seconds, I said to myself that I pedalled for the title. And win in front of 56000 spectators (among 60 Sarthois), it was a big emotion. "

What is the title which most moved you? 1998 in MOUNTAIN BIKE or on 2002 in cyclo-cross?

" in 1998, I cried on the podium, what I did not make this year. But, they are two different sensations and I appreciate so much both titles. " The season MOUNTAIN BIKE is soon going to begin, in what runnings are you going to participate?: " I am going to begin with Paris-Roubaix MOUNTAIN BIKE then the Europe Cup XC in Belgium. This year, I shall participate in the Cup of world, Europe and France. For the tests of mass, I shall be certainly from the Cliff of Azure but not in the tests of mass of March because I need to unwind after my season of cyclo-cross. Otherwise, I shall be from the Mess tin Trophy because the test takes place at home and the course is really pleasant, we please. "

And what are your objectives?

 " I am going to try to make the World cup completely to win it, I miss two runnings to my prize list and I give myself two years to take away this test by waiting for the Olympic Games in 2004. "

If we speak to you about Athens, it evokes you what ?

" It is a dream to go there but also to pick up a medal. I have already three Olympiads and the purpose in itself is to obtain a medal. For the colour, we shall see during the running and the circumstances. "

What is the future of your team Team MTB 72 in 2002 ?

 " the future, it is Lucie Garnier and me even. We are in expectation of financial partnerships because without means, we cannot be far well. With my friend Stéphane, we invested in 2001 but I cannot continue as it during years. "

Of what do you think of bikers which pass on the road ?

" it is certainly due to the situation of the MOUNTAIN BIKE. There are certainly the other sensations to run the Tour de France for example and the road is more media than the MOUNTAIN BIKE. "

And you, do you intend to cross the step?

 " if I was a boy, I would tempt my chance on the road but I would make it only if I had chances to win runnings. "

Exactly, how you do see the future of the MOUNTAIN BIKE generally and that of the feminine MOUNTAIN BIKE ?

 " I think that you should not separate both. We are in a bend for the MOUNTAIN BIKE, it is necessary to see again the concept of organizations in particular the Cup of France. It is necessary to make a concept for the mass (ride with classification as cyclosportives, with a diploma according to its category) and the elite (shorter circuit to mediatize better the MOUNTAIN BIKE because it is easier to broadcast a circuit 5 km MOUNTAIN BIKE than a circuit in the 18 km Alps). The objective of the runner amateur and high-level is really different. "

What role do you play at Commençal, do you participate in the development of the range?

 “ Yes, at the level of the cycles of cyclo-cross but I have not big thing to be added for the cycles of MOUNTAIN BIKE. That of the cyclo-cross will be a little modified next year. A pilot has to be of use to it: to develop the material. "

Will you dedicate yourself one day to the raids long distance?

 " No, because we cannot make everything! To participate in the World cup and in the tests of long distances is not compatible. We are not machines and after Cups of world, France, Europe, the Cliff of Azure, we have heights of it legs! After JO maybe but not for the moment. "

Have you already chosen the date when you will stop the cycle?

 " For the MOUNTAIN BIKE, it will depend on my results in 2004 but I shall make certainly the season 2005 in cyclo-cross and then it will be necessary time to leave the place to the young people. "

And after the cycle, which do you plan to make?

 " for the moment, I have a post (LEARNING RESOURCES CENTRE) with the Post office. They have to propose me a post after my career but I would like to stay in my sport. Maybe spend the sporting teaching profession because we have opportunities for the high-level athletes. I wish to share to the young people with my high-level experience. "

How did you begin the cycle and at which age?

 " I began in 16 and a half years, not before bus I had no cycle. I saved to buy one to myself, my first cycle was Peugeot Mont Blanc in 2340 FF bought in Alençon. I had at the beginning a license FSGT then I signed my first license FFC in 1989 and I won the championships of France this year there. I came to the MOUNTAIN BIKE accidentally in 1988 during a running organized near to me by the conductor of the Post office, I had won at the scratch in front of the boys. In the time, the MOUNTAIN BIKE was not my priority. It was necessary to wait for 1993 so that I redo of the MOUNTAIN BIKE. We suggested me running for a mark, I participated in Paris-Roubaix MOUNTAIN BIKE and I won ! In 1994, I broke myself the wrist in May, I made of the road to return and during the feminine Tour, I took myself a tree on the back. It was a bend and my career really began in the MOUNTAIN BIKE in 1995. My accident forged me the character because I am crossed next to the wheelchair. "

What is the racing cyclist whom you admire most and why ?

 " It was Bernard Hinault because except him, there is not a lot who made me dream. Otherwise, Julie Furtado in MOUNTAIN BIKE because it represented an American dream. "

Have you a club of supporters ?

 " It has been created in December (Fan Laurence Leboucher club - 3 rue A. Berget - 72000 Le Mans - 02 43 88 22 76), it already counts about fifty members. In the cyclo-cross, the Belgians have all their fan-clubs and in France one is a little late but it catches (Guillaume Benoist already has his fan club for example). "

The word of the end

 " you should not hesitate to come to ask me questions about the runnings, I shall be there to answer you. "

Vélo 101