Junior world champion turns pro

A steady progression key to French hopeful

Reigning junior world champion Johan Le Bon of France will start his professional career on July 1 with continental team Bretagne-Schuller, according to team president Joël Blévin. A deal has been struck with the promising Breton rider until the end of 2011, although many bigger teams have been following him closely.

"To bring up riders from our region is what we aim for," said Blévin. The team is sponsored by the regional council of Brittany. A press conference is scheduled to introduce the 19-year-old neo pro during the French championships in Saint-Brieuc (June 25-28).

Le Bon has heeded the advice of father Dominique, who was a professional himself for one year - 1984 - with the La Redoute-Motobécane team. He wants his son to develop progressively and not repeat his own mistake of moving too high too quickly and being forced to continue his career in the amateur ranks, like he did until 1995.

The younger Le Bon, who was European and world champion in the junior category, confirmed his abilities as an Under 23 rider after he recently won the world cup event held in Saguenay in Canada.

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