CC Étupes: “We’re going to get out of this bad streak” – News

CC Étupes didn’t have the best start to the season in their history and that’s putting it mildly. As of April 4, the Doubiste club has one win, two podiums and twelve top 10 finishes, only one of which is not in all categories, and Gwen Leklenche finished 7th in the Bédat (national elite). In the Coupe de France, the orange-and-blacks have so far completely passed, as they have not scored a single point in three rounds (see rating). “It was very, very difficult… We have no excuses. We clearly missed it again”– sports director Melvin Roullier blows after the Boucle de l’Artois, the third round of the competition. “We went into a negative spiral after our failure at the Pays d’Aix Grand Prix and we’ve had a hard time recovering ever since.”.


Thus, after the first two points-deprived rounds in Aix-en-Provence and then during the Vienna Classic, Melvin Roullier could not imagine repeating such a scenario for a third time in the Pas de Calais. “I didn’t expect this because two weeks before, at GP Criquielion, over 190 km and in class 2, practically with the same team as in Artois, we raced from 0 km to the end, with the guy in front, ( Dillon) Corkery until the last kilometers against the guys from Conti Pro. And Gwen Leklensh finished in the top 20. It was interesting, and in these conditions, to be honest, I was not ready for us to go through this way.. Unfortunately, for three days Erbaton experienced a real nightmare. “We were in our place by the clock. (Dillon) Corkery, our best card on Saturday, fell and gave up in the morning. Mateo Le Four took a break after 20 terminals when he came for instructions from the car and never saw the peloton again… In the afternoon Louis (Louvet) didn’t take the right one due to uncertainty when Mateo pushed him to start. . Two terminals later, Louis had a puncture and Mateo gave him his bike. Mateo finished a minute late when it was our main card for the Sunday round. We stopped at three…”says the former winner of the Grand Prix de Perenchy (1.2), in disbelief in the face of such a series of difficulties.

“Sometimes we were unlucky, but you can also say that physically we were a little lower. We are looking for solutions, but so far we have not found them. However, we have a group that gets along very well, riders who are very good on paper.”, – considers Melvin Roulier, who is racking his brains. The quality of the labor force can not be doubted for a minute. Vice versa. Thus, the reason for the current lack of results is probably due to a lack of confidence in the group, which will only increase as events progress, because in February the season started properly. “We responded to those present from Boucles du Haut-Var. We had a very good time there. We won the Onjon Grand Prix ahead of Wagner, SCO Dijon or AC Bisontine. We were able to start fighting in the Vienne Classic, even if we couldn’t realize our idea… We have strong guys, a guy like Hugo Theot was able to finish second in Paris-Mante in class 2, for example, in October last year. It’s not nothing”.


But doubt crept in. “We came to the Aix Grand Prix to win. We left empty-handed, but otherwise we put pressure on ourselves.”. To the point of wondering if the group would be affected by the virus. “From the very first stage, the riders had health problems. Mononucleosis that disappears in two weeks, abnormal blood tests… There is something we can’t explain. Victor Bosoni, Hugo Theot, Remy Verloo… All these runners have been cut.”. Melvin Roulier himself has begun to doubt his work in recent days. “It’s really not funny. You wonder if you are doing the right thing, if the conditions in which you put the riders are right. I make money knowing that things will get better with time. I don’t give up and focus on my work. We’re going to get out of this bad reservoir!”.

On Saturday evening, at the end of the two half-stages of Boucle de l’Artois, staff and riders chatted for over an hour. The young 20-year-old Mateo Le Four spoke. With wet eyes and a tense voice, he mustered up the courage to speak the words that came from the depths of his heart. The club does a lot for us, we have to pull ourselves together. We don’t recognize ourselves in what we’re doing now.”, in fact, would have been a prominent Espoir runner. Words to try to remobilize the troops. After all, the season is still long. “This speech did me good”acknowledges Melvin Roulier for DirectVelo.


Although the group is in a quandary, now try to get up. And it will probably start with simple things. “We have to have fun on the bike, it will go through the attack, it’s time to return to the place. Recently, very strong, harsh, but important words have been exchanged. Now we will turn the knife between our teeth there and show everyone what we are capable of. For my part, I will do my best to help them and turn this spiral together with them. I believe it. We will find solutions together. There is no reason why we can’t do it, why they can’t do it. Talent, they have it. Everyone needs to remobilize.”.

Perhaps the most difficult thing remains: psychological relaxation to convince yourself of this. “The level this year is, of course, very high. When I see that in the final of the last stage of Artois, 40 more guys are ahead, despite the profile … It’s impressive. It’s super consistent. But we can play with the best of course! We are below Vendée Yu, but not others.”. In these not very pleasant times, Melvin Roullier could count on the support of his predecessor Boris Zimin or his former sports director of VC Rouen 76 Jean-Philippe Yon. “Boris reminded me that things can turn around quickly and that he, too, has had some not-so-funny moments in the past. That without Axel Zingl sometimes it would be hard too. And there is no Axel Zingl every five minutes…”.


The Alsatian turned pro last January and has just achieved his first big boy success in Vitré, in the Coupe de France Pro. As for the Coupe de France N1, Franc-Comtois has nothing much to do this year. “I read an interview with Morgan Lamoisson who recalled the bout where CC Étupes and Vendée U fought to win the Coupe de France in 2017. (read here). Everything that seems far away today … “. But for now, who cares, after all. “It’s all over for us, but fortunately it’s not just the Coupe de France in a season. We are going to start again with some very good races, the Ardennes circuit on Wednesday, then the Tour du Loir-et-Cher, Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs. Also not far from home will be Dijon-Ausonne-Dijon with the Artois group. And the guys will show what they have!”.

It doesn’t matter either, because the most valuable job of a training club like CC Étupes, which has since seen so many brilliant runners turned pros, is first and foremost to accompany young talents exactly on their way to a high level. . And Melvin Roulier knows that future great riders can be on his team. “As for the recruitment, we were not mistaken, I have no doubt about it. After that, of course, we make the choice of learning. We have a lot of young people, only two are unreliable. We don’t have 27 or 30 year old guys who run the show and can give us big points in the Coupe de France like some other teams, it’s a choice. We have started a new cycle. The main goal is to train even if you are not a reservist for a professional team. It takes patience, some young people need time.”.

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