Bastien Tronchon, an angel's face with a touch of mischief, a 21-year-old "youngster" who is starting his professional career with the team this year. He won his very first race, so quickly that he made a name for himself before the spectators even got to know him. To put things right, we went to see him at his home this spring, to give him the opportunity to introduce himself to the team's fans.
If you had to describe yourself to people who didn't know you, what words would you use?
I'd say I'm generous, manic ... um ... not very sociable? Well, at first glance, eh, not very sociable! What else can I say? I love nature.
What do you do with your time off the bike?
I'm a student already. That takes time! 😬 Family, too. I'm close to my family, so what little time I have with them, I like to spend with them or my girlfriend. Otherwise, I like to do activities with adrenaline. I like anything that's a bit "crazy". Cars, via ferrata, anything that's a bit "risky". And adrenaline can also be found on a bike...
What about studies?
I'm in my final year of STAPS at Le Bourget. Normally, I do my bachelor's degree there and then I finish with STAPS and I'm thinking of continuing with dietetics, but on a distance learning basis. That way, I won't have to worry about training, courses, races... Because last year, it was a bit too much with cycling.
What's important to you in a cycling team?
That the team listens to riders, I think, and that everyone takes pleasure. That even in pain, everyone takes pleasure. I think that's the most important thing, because when you're having fun, I think you progress a lot faster.
What's your cycling background? At what age did you start?
I started at the age of 9 at the La Motte-Servolex club (in Savoie). The club at La Motte is very family-oriented, and there are always outings with friends on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I quickly got a taste for cycling thanks to that. [video: Bastien opens his memory box].
And then, with some good performances, I was able to join the U19 team at the AG2R-Citroën training center, where we were always pushed to the top, always in a good dynamic. Then it was on to the U23 training center.
When I joined the pros, I always found a family atmosphere. There's never been too much adversity between the guys on the team, and that's what's so nice about it, because we don't go to war with each other.
What are your career goals? What would you really like to do?
I don't have that many races that I'd dream of winning in particular because all the races are beautiful in the pros, but I just dream of winning. Just the feeling of winning, I think it's crazy. It's crazy. I want to win as many races as possible. After that, of course, victories in France, in the Tour de France for example, are something special.
Do you discuss this with other riders ?
Um...no. They often talk about how they won, but they don't explain how they felt or what was behind it. We rarely talk about it.
The modesty of victory?
Looking even further ahead, what would you like to do after your career? Have you ever thought about that?
Yes, I've already thought about it: I dream of opening a café! A café in the style of a "café du cycliste" or a "coffee shop", but still open to everyone. And in the region, there are some near Annecy, but not really around Lac du Bourget. I hope that by then, there still won't be any. 😅
What's your fondest memory of riding a bike?
I think it's my victory in Burgos. My victory in Burgos last year, my first professional win. I wasn't there for that at all. I wasn't expecting it at all. I knew I was in good shape, but it was my first race with the pros. I was amazed when I saw the guys next to me at the start. I think I'll remember it for the rest of my life. When I still look at the pictures, I get the shivers.
Is there a KOM you're holding that you don't want to let go of?
Haha, yes, there is one, it's in Aix-les-Bains. There's a bump between us called the "Poggio". And there's a KOM, which I've really fought hard to get. I think it'll be a while before I beat it, if I ever do. And for those of you reading this, if you want to try and take it from me, you can go and try your luck!
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