Posted by Editor on 10/20/16
Rio Olympic mountain biker Leandre Bouchard has signed with the French-based UCI mountain bike team BH-SR Suntour-KMC for two years (2017-2018). Until now, Bouchard has raced for the national team and Cyclones d'Alma, a regionally-based squad from his home town of Alma, Quebec.
We spoke with Leandre about his new team for next year.
Canadian Cyclist: Have you be talking to the team for a while, or did it begin after the Games?
Leandre Bouchard: I have been looking for a [pro] team for a long time, and after great results this season, the conversation started to get more serious and my agent [Roger Filion] made the agreement this Fall.
CC: Up until now, you have been racing with a domestic team and your World Cup program has been with the national team. Will your racing program change now?
2016 Cairns World Cup
2016 Rio Olympics
LB: Yes, now I will be able to do more races in Europe, as well as all the World Cup circuit. As you said, until now I have raced with the national team, and they have a good program, but sometimes it doesn't cover all the World Cups. With my new team I will be able to race all of them.
CC: Are you still going to be based in Canada, or will you move to Europe for the season?
LB: I will still be based here in Canada.
CC: So do you have an idea of what your race program will be yet?
LB: The main goal will be the World Cups, which start in May next year. So I will do some races earlier in preparation, maybe in Europe, and some US Cup races. We are still working on the program for next year, but the primary focus will be the World Cup.
CC: This team is primarily French, so will that make it easier for you?
LB: Yes, communication will be much easier for me because it is my first language. That will be great, because [while] I can work in English, this will be easier, to work with my team mates.
CC: You are now stepping up to the professional leagues; full time with a salary.
LB: Yes, that has always been a dream for me, to become a professional. Last year I was able to focus on cycling for the Olympics, but now, with the pro status, I can focus on cycling for the entire year.
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