Luc Leblanc gave a poignant interview to Le Parisien on Thursday, on the occasion of the release of his book Moi, Lucho. The important thing is to stay alive, published by Solar. The 56-year-old former cyclist indicates that he almost committed suicide in 2003, five years after the end of his career. "I was at the end of my rope, in the middle of a depression," he explains. I had gained 20 kg and was under a tax audit while I had been the victim of a bad financial advisor. »

"I took my rifle and went into a wood," adds Leblanc, who lived near Pau at the time. At one point, I sat by a tree and put the barrel of the rifle under my throat. Finally, after weighing the consequences of his action, this father of two changed his mind: "I put down the gun and went back down to my village. »

"I drooled"

Wearing the yellow jersey on the Tour de France in 1991, champion of France 1992 and world champion in 1994, Luc Leblanc, professional from 1987 to 1998, had a rich career during an era marked by doping. "My relatives told me it was time to tell my suffering. I drooled, I received my share of unfair jokes, "says Leblanc.

Now settled in the North, the former rider has squandered his earnings by the fault of bad choices and bad encounters and admits to living "contracts on the right or left". He also talks about his bad relations with Laurent Fignon and Richard Virenque, the two French stars of the peloton at the time, and his use of doping.

"I was at Festina's at the time and went to see our doctor. I told him I didn't understand the transformation of some teammates. He explained to me that if I wanted to follow, I had to do like them. Otherwise, I was finished. I agreed to take a little before the Tour de France [1994, finished in 4th place with a stage victory in Hautacam] to reduce fatigue in my body," he admits.

"I didn't want a dose that would have turned me into stronger. Yet this was a terrible case of conscience. A great psychological violence, "continues Leblanc, marked for life by a road accident in 1978, which claimed the life of his 8-year-old brother, and left him with after-effects on a leg.

  • Cycling
  • Sport
  • Doping
  • Suicide