Philippa York spent the recent Tour de Romandie with Cyclingnews, producing a series of articles and podcasts. Here, she catches up with French time trial champion, and the nation’s next big hope, Pierre Latour.
Now in his fourth year as a professional, AG2R La Mondiale’s Pierre Latour has steadily risen to the forefront of French cycling. Quite often in the past, young hopefuls have been burdened by the expectations of a nation waiting for the next Bernard Hinault or Jacques Anquetil.
France has a proud history of Grand Tour winners, but managing the pressure of being labelled a future champion hasn’t always been easy for riders – such as Jean-François Bernard or Laurent Jalabert – who at an early age have been labelled as potential Tour de France winners.
PL: I knew it was possible to win it, and I was in great form. And I find that it motivates me even more now that I’m the TT national champion: I want to do well. It pushes me to try harder.
PY: Vincent Lavenu, AG2R’s team manager, is known for developing riders from his local Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Is that something that you hoped to be a part of as a youngster growing up there?