Tour de France. Yoann Offredo: Who is hiding behind the costume of the rising consultant? – Tour de France



Tour de France 2022

On the terrace table, within walking distance, an electronic cigarette and a small piece of wood. When he receives us at his home in Essonne, a few days before the big meeting, he is stressed. “I have the impression of finding myself with a big goal as before, I sleep badly, I have problems eating. Today I only drank a coffee … ”.

After three participations as a runner (2017, 2018, 2019), Yoann Offredo has since started his third Tour as a consultant for France Télévisions. The first two were in the cabin of Paris, covid obliges. This 109th edition is the first in the sector.

In the evening, although the instruction was to have fun, I ate grated carrots …

Francilien knows this concern well. He has been doing it for years. Let him juggle that hypersensitivity that “makes his life rot”. “He always had this character on the edge. In races that didn’t interest him, he didn’t necessarily make an effort. But when he came to see us before a race telling us he wanted to vomit, we knew he was fine,” he says. Benoît Vaugrenard, who saw him arrive as a neo-professional in 2008 at the Française des Jeux, and was his teammate until 2017. and his departure from Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

In this low period of the early 2010s for French cycling, Yoann Offredo was considered a great hope. A status he admits to having struggled to take on, pointing to a lack of confidence in his abilities. At the 2010 Grand Prix de Plouay, at the age of 23, he was named leader of the Française des Jeux. Experienced Sandy Casar, Anthony Geslin and Benoît Vaugrenard immediately put themselves at his service. “I saw these team captains driving for me and I was very worried. I was so scared of doing something wrong that I went to tell Marc (Madiot, that day in the car) that I wasn’t feeling well, that I wasn’t I had to do … ”. He will finish third.

To get rid of “this constant fear of not being up to par, to disappoint others,” he says he has sometimes done too much. “I was working, crazy stuff. When my coach asked me to do five hours, I did seven. In the evening, even though the instruction was for fun, I ate grated carrots.”

Before becoming a runner, he studied finance. There too, the same reflections. “I made my review sheets in five copies. Since I had too many, I gave them to each other ”. The same today, on France Télévisions? “When I was a runner, I never looked at the bike. Now I try to watch as many races as possible. I read the press, I get as much information as possible.

Vaugrenard: “Yoann is a real character”

Yoann Offredo lights the e-cigarette as well as he is. The shaded terrace overlooks a large long garden in the middle of which is a slide and a playhouse. The boy is sometimes disconcerting. Without a filter, he speaks very fondly of his emotions, of this hypersensitivity that torments him.

“He doesn’t have a filter. He never had one. Still, he’s not a big mouth. He says what he thinks, different from the others. Yoann is a real character. In today’s cycling you need people like him to get out of the mold. “This shocking frankness is fully part of Offredo’s ‘character.’ It’s not uncommon to find him on France Télévisions in the process. ”I already wanted him. He wanted that, ”says Stéphane Rossetto.

The latter has known Yoann Offredo for twenty years. Together, they shared victories among young people in Ile-de-France, nights at agricultural schools in the depths of Brittany among fans and escapes on the Tour de France. With, as a high point, this trip for two people on the road to Chalon-sur-Saône, in 2019. Rossetto is not surprised by this duality that characterizes the character. “He is someone who seems confident, but he is not at all. In the air, it can sometimes be lush, when it’s almost the opposite. When he arrives well dressed, he gives the impression of overflowing with confidence, but no … ”

When I hear the ringing of the headphones, I forget about everything.

“Once the race starts, when I hear the ringing of the helmet, I forget everything”

At the age of 35, Yoann Offredo has the impression that he has already lived “a summary of life”. Ballasted by a recalcitrant ankle after a tendon transplant, he has to finish his career in 2020, after twelve years with professionals (he says he still takes painkillers). At the same time, she divorced. A chain of events that make him fall into depression. “They say that the retirement of cycling is like a small death. I died for two years. ” He had to relearn a daily life without a bicycle, get used to the shared custody of his two daughters, aged 9 and 5. With, always, the fear of “not being a good enough father.”

After this period of “flat encephalogram”, and the time of help, Yoann Offredo claims to have regained some serenity. He resumed cycling, two to three outings a week. Those who would have liked to “sometimes receive phone calls when things were not going well” also intend to form an association to support and advise former runners in their recycling. My added value is that I was suspended (in early 2012 he received a one-year suspension for three misplacement), that I suffered serious injuries. I went through these periods of doubt.

This relief that “hates so much”, tries to control it as much as he can. Runner, he said he managed to “transcend” once in the race. He is now trying to reproduce the same model in the air. “Once the race starts, when I hear the tinkling of the helmet, I forget everything.” At that moment the emotions come out.

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