IIt is difficult to escape the clichés. Brittany is rainy and windy. Brittany is a land of cycling. The Bretons gather by the side of the road to watch the Tour go by, like sheep to resist the wind, etc. “It’s almost folklore. Today, in Brittany, never have so many bicycles been sold and never have we had so few riders ”, puts in perspective Eric Guezo, elected to the Brittany Cycling Committee and national coordinator of the movement Take my wheel, which campaigns for a renewal of French cycling, “To reposition cycling as a major sport”.
Brittany, the eldest daughter of cycling? With seven Breton riders taking part in this 2021 Tour de France, including David Gaudu and Valentin Madouas, within the Groupama-FDJ formation, the statement seems irrefutable.
“It’s a slogan that is certainly based on mass practice, but on a distorted reality, with the magnifying effect on these seven runners, however tempers Eric Guezo, 58, former commander of the national police, originally from Vannes, and ex-pistard. Today, in Brittany, as throughout the country, cycling has become a sport like golf. Bikes are sold for 8,000 euros, sometimes much more, but the hopes that come out of the row are almost all children of cyclists. [Valentin Madouas est le fils de Laurent, coureur à la fin des années 1990]. This is both worrying and above all says that transmission takes place only in an intra-family circle. “
Chosen by the divine index
There are still many fetishes in Brittany, the closed bed (gwele kloz), “The church in the middle of the village”, dear to Marc Madiot, Christian Seznec and his Miko-Mercier jersey, father and son Madouas, Jean Robic, Louison Bobet, Bernard Hinault, the man of tight jaws and barks and with five victories in the Tour, or even, like cousins of whom we are almost ashamed, the Menthéour brothers, Erwann and Pierre-Henri, who were, in the 1990s, both victims and executioners of doping, so crazy, so endearing, so true.
Bernard Hinault is the idol that we come out of retirement, like this Thursday, June 24, on the occasion of the presentation of the runners to the public. A way of remembering that cycling was a religion here, as if the divine index had chosen it: “You are Bernard Hinault, and on this earth, the bicycle church will be built. The Lord had also said it in 1907 and in 1908 to Lucien Petit-Breton and to Jean Robic, the man with the leather helmet, who won the Tour of 1947.
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