Jean-Marie Leblanc has closed out his directing career in Burkina Faso. The 62 year-old Frenchman is best known as race director of the Tour de France but was asked to oversee the Tour du Faso one last time, a race the ASO started organizing in 2001. After 88 kilometres to Ouagadougou in Sunday's stage 11, Leblanc ended his days on the road.
"This closes a loop for me," said Leblanc from Africa in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I started with cycling like it was an adventure, I continued with cycling as a profession and I will end with cycling as an adventure. This is cycling with lots of courage and resistance, fundamental cycling, but good. The Burkina Faso is a poor country. And with respect to hunger, cycling seems like a plus.
"The ASO came here in 2001, and now my colleagues always asked to return," continued Leblanc, who spent five years racing as a pro, starting in 1967. "Because, here you have the sense of doing something good. And I am proud to end my career here, a long way away from stage lights."