The world changes quietly, by imperceptible shifts until the day we suddenly see a new face. Sport and its practice are no exception to this phenomenon of emergence, which requires its institutions to adapt to shift. For sports federations, the erosion of the number of licenses must sometimes be interpreted in depth, as a reflection of a new habit. Historically, sports in France were relatively exclusive and based on the principle of annual affiliation. However, it seems that this model has lived and that athletes are now more “distant”, becoming consumers piecemeal of various sporting events: a mountain bike raid this week, a triathlon the next, then a track the next, etc.
Knowing this development, the French Cycling Federation maintains a policy of general transformation. Without giving up performance (which remains its central mission as a “delegated federation”), to which, however, it is rapidly reduced, it aims to develop all cycling practices (sports, leisure, prophylactic, etc.), in order to assert its undeniable expertise in this great movement of social transformation, which puts the use of the bicycle back in the foreground. So in this spirit facing the service offering, the JRC has become an operator of bicycle accommodation – the Atout France approval obtained in 2021 officially makes it a travel agency.
Former professional runner Pierre Idjouadiene is in charge of this service, which is divided into two parts. ” We have developed stays for minors and stays for adults, he details. With the Academy courses, we want to promote the six cycling disciplines road, cyclocross, mountain biking, track, BMX running and BMX freestyle among young people aged 10 to 17 years. » About twenty courses, naturally supervised by qualified teachers, are planned during school holidays, in formats of 3 to 6 days. As for the offer for adults, the catalog contains a dozen courses and, above all, very varied formulas.
Pierre Idjouadiene, who is in charge of stays at the JRC, wanted to “meet these neo-practitioners whom the JRC knows little about. (DR)
Beginners or experienced: stays for everyone
In fact, the offer is aimed at both neophytes and very good level cyclists in search of performance. The neophyte courses are oriented about the discovery by bicycle of a territory and a heritage – cultural, gastronomic. Bicycle excursions are more like trips, supplemented by a few simple technical tips, for example on how to approach a descent or how to behave in traffic. At the other end of the spectrum are “package race” stays, at the top of which is a “Preparation Course for the Stage of the Tour” (one week of intensive training placed one month before the deadline, including recognition of the course and personal training plan.)
” In all cases continues the former professional runner. It’s a matter of giving participants the benefit of all the federal expertise: experienced guides, perfect logistics, the presence of a professional mechanic to take care of the bikes, a physiotherapist, possibly national trainers. For courses related to an event. »
Meet the “neo-practitioners”
It is a leisure stay of a rather special kind, which opened the catalog last week. Not only was it dedicated to Gravel – and to the intimate exploration of the sublime Mont Ventoux and its surroundings – but also to meeting a community not known to the JRC, which is typical of these new cyclists who practice far from any federal framework. .
A couple of figures or “influencers” had therefore been invited to the occasion. So Jean-Marc Peuch (aka “Ima Su”), leader of the FB Gravel Bike France group, or “Monsieur Phal”, “late cyclist”, whose Youtube channel Fashion Wheel is a hit. ” We wanted to know them and consult them, justifies the Idjouadiene. It was up to us to take the step, to set in motion the dialogue and a common reflection. We do not arrive with our big clogs, but with the idea of knowing what we can bring to each other. Or not. »
What looked like a cultural clash on the starting line actually only gave rise to three days of carpooling on a magnificent track and no doubt to the first exchanges whose echoes begin to be heard here.