Europe 98

    Laurence Leboucher,
    Europe champion.


On August 13th, Laurence Leboucher confided in the hebdo Orne: " for these next championships of Europe, if I feel well, if the circuit pleases me, I shall make naturally the maximum and I shall go profoundly but I shall not take risk considering the meetings to be followed " (EDITOR'S NOTE: finale of the world cup and the world championship). The circuit thus pleased her and the biker young person of Saint-Léonard-des-Bois was crowned champion of Europe, on Sunday, August 23rd, in Belgium, at Aywaille. " I felt well. Physically, it is the shape. And the circuit was well convenient for me with long ascents, field kitchens. As for the descents, I made a lot of progress, they did not bother to me. In these conditions, I left from the beginning, then I managed the ride notably by assuring in the descents not to burst. ".

2 ' 54 " beforehand...

Result: a first place in front of the Norwegian Gun Rita Dahle with 2 ' 54 beforehand... " That was easier than I thought, indeed. I notably distrusted Italians This meeting, I took it as a test, to place me with regard to my opponents before two big competitions which are going to enclose the year. ". And what a season will have made the member of the Cycle Union Alençon Damigny! Here is henceforth world second, and always second in the classification world cup.
A performance never realized by a Frenchwoman in this discipline that is the cross-country. Until this year, not the French only one had taken away a test of world cup. Laurence took away two. On Sunday, it is almost the consecration with this first international title. Almost, because Laurence Leboucher, always hypermotivée, will not content himself with this success. " I indeed hope to make something in world championship. The World cup is not either ended. ".

 The more she adds the titles to high level, the more her determination increases. " That really gives envy to surpass itself always. Then there are supporters also, more and more numerous. It is so comforting and encouraging ".

98 Europe podium t

In every stage, she takes confidence in her, more and more convinced that nobody has real reasons for frightening her. " Let us say that on this level henceforth, some people, girls are capable of winning. In particular a test as world championships, because the competition takes place on a day. Everything can arrive, for the better, as in May.

After his European title, assailed by phone calls, congratulations, interviews, Laurence already had the spirit turned to her next meetings: " that terribly pleases this title, but everything is linked and goes very fast. I resume the plane on Friday. The training continues... You should not especially loosen and to keep the rhythm... Hardly the time thus to celebrate its victory... " We a little celebrated that with Christophe Dupouey (EDITOR'S NOTE the winner man of the .championships of Europe, him too French). We were allowed go to eat some chips and to drink a little champagne... You should not especially begin again this week. The holiday, it will be at the end of the season. And we shall celebrate, because there were many of the good things.

And as she already confides it some weeks ago " I have to lose nothing more now. Whatever I made my season will have been magnificent. Whatever I made from now on it will be bonus for me. ".

Well, here is Laurence Leboucher fixed! This title demonstrates, after its first two victories in section of the world in May and July, That the Norman vététiste takes off to big knocks of pedals towards the summit.

" I am better physically, psychologically, technically. I am more afraid in the descents, I am indeed in coasts. I want to get closer to the best in the big meetings. I give myself until 2002 ".

Ouest France (24/08/98)

Le Maine Libre (25/08/98): Laurence, tell we your European weekend...

Laurence Leboucher: since the beginning of July when I had not seen again them, I expected to find my very strong competitors. I had overestimated them. Besides from my first recognition of the course, I felt that that could be my ride.

M.L.: You arrive with about 3 minutes beforehand on her. 2nd, the Norwegian Gun Rita Dahle...

L.L.: Since the beginning of season I had not taken departure in my account. I took this risk to Aywaille to test me before the world tests of September. From the first bump, I blew up small groupes and took 15 in 20 seconds. My tactics consisted in leaving in front of to approach the technical phases in head and impose my rhythm in the descents, my weak point, on a course where we could double with difficulty. My time beforehand increased regularly and I really dug the distance on the last tour (on a total of three, each of some 9 km, editor's note).

M.L.: This success is revealing of your progress...

L.L.: Since my accident in 1996 (hoarse collarbone, editor's note), I was afraid in the descents. My wastes of time in these portions there were too important for hoping for an international podium. This year I managed to overcome my fear and if I do not still win of time in the descents, I limit considerably the damages.

M.L.: To what do you attribute this progress?

L. L.: in the qualities which I already had, naturally notably my mental and my rock-climber's level. And in my work also. I entraine me from 10 to 20 hours a week, I continue to go shopping on road and, to win of the flexibility in these famous descents, I even worked on bicross.

M.L. And the results followed...

L.L. Yes. I am for two 1st and a 2nd place in tests of world cup there. With my success in championship of Europe, it makes four international podia, among which three on the highest walking.