By Jean-François Quénet in Varese, Italy
Despite being 40 years of age, Laurent Brochard has been inspired by the announcement Lance Armstrong will return to professional cycling and now the Frenchman is also tempted to return. Brochard, the last Frenchman to win the World Championship title in 1997 in San Sebastian, Spain, will be watching this weekend's race in Varese, Italy closely as he hasn't lost any of his passion for cycling.
"I haven't stopped for three years," Brochard noted, despite being three years older than Armstrong.
Brochard was forced to quit at the end of last year, after breaking a collarbone. The Tour of Poland accident saw the Frenchman sustain his firs broken bone in a 16 year-long career. Following the accident he wasn't offered a new contract by Bouygues Telecom, the last team he rode for between 2005 and 2007.
"I don't want to enter into any polemics with the team," he told the Ouest-France newspaper, but he's obviously still bitter that he didn't get the chance to continue racing. Until January this year, Brochard had hoped to find a potential employer but none of his discussions resulted in a contract.
Brochard kept doing some sports activities and returned to his first sport: running. He recently completed the 10 kilometre Alençon to Médavy in Normandy in 34.20, despite training only once or twice a week.
"Some directeurs sportifs know that I'm still able to ride, they have my number, they're welcome to call me," he said.
The former professional is so keen to return to cycling, he is rumoured to have contacted team managers himself.