the secrets of former cyclist Luc Leblanc on his depression

Luc Leblanc, ex-cyclist and French world champion, confided in Parisian on the occasion of the release of his book. The 56-year-old runner has experienced difficult episodes in his career. He returns in particular to an episode of depression during which he considered ending his life.

He was a cycling star. Champion of France in 1992 then world champion in 1994, Luc Leblanc gave himself up to the Parisian during a difficult period of his life. Between depression, scams and doping, the former runner frees himself from his demons in a book entitled “The important thing is to stay alive”. It’s not a trivial title. Overwhelmed by his dark thoughts, he went to the forest one day with the idea of ​​getting it over with:

“That day, I took my rifle and I went up into a wood, he explains. (…) I put the barrel of the rifle under my throat. (…) Then I I thought of my two children and my family. Finally, I put down the gun and went back down to my village,” he says.

This event occurs in 2003, five years after the end of his career. The incidents accumulate in stride. Because of a bad financial advisor, Luc Leblanc is subjected to a tax audit and accused of being a cheat. Yet he never profited from his winnings. His associate disappears overnight and cheats him out of all the money raised during his career.

Today, at 56, the former RMC cycling consultant for more than ten years explains that he lives on “right-to-left contracts”. He is looking for a permanent job and has a very specific idea: “Come back to the middle and take care of young people and training. I know how to prepare future champions without grilling them too early for the high level.”

The tragedy of his childhood

“My relatives told me it was time to tell my suffering. I had a hard time, I received my share of unfair jokes”. All his life, “Lucho” has faced ridicule for his walk. This leg, which will handicap him for life, testifies to a disastrous day. In 1978, then aged 12, Luc Leblanc was the victim of a car accident with his little brother, who would not survive it:

“The driver has only had his license revoked for two months. And I still and always ask myself a question vis-à-vis my little brother: why him and not me?”

Luc Leblanc also recounts in his book the very bad relationship he had with his teammate in the Castorama team, Laurent Fignon. The only time he wore the yellow jersey on the Tour de France, in 1991, Fignon attacked him knowing he was the victim of a craving. He also remembers his black year as world champion, in 1995, when his change of team will turn into a fiasco, the team being stopped at the end of June and the season of its leader, Luc Leblanc, stopped in mid-July after a problem. to the sciatic nerve.

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The specter of doping at Festina

Finally, since there is a prescription, 25 years after stopping cycling, “Lucho”, who ended his career right in the EPO years, confided in some doping. He recounts how he came under pressure from his team, the mighty Festina, on the 1994 Tour, four years before the affair that would affect the team:

“I was at Festina at the time and I went to see our doctor. I told him that I did not understand the transformation of certain teammates. He explained to me that if I wanted to follow, I had to do like them. Otherwise, I was finished.”

Luc Leblanc agreed to take a little (…) to reduce fatigue in my body. I didn’t want a dose that would have made me stronger. It was, however, a terrible case of conscience. A great psychological violence”, he admits. He knows that he will still be criticized for talking too much, but he says he needs to tell everything.

Elise Artigau with Nicolas Poincaré and MM

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