Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Happened to Rocky Mountain? Jean-Yves Labonté explains

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Pierrick Naud winning stage of Les Mardid Cyclistes © Pasquale Stalteri
November 16, 2011 (Quebec City, QC) - Four former Rocky Mountain-Desjardins Valeurs Mobilieres road cyclists, Jordan Brochu, Jean-Samuel Deshaies, Pierrick Naud, and Philippe Nadon were in the news recently. The first three will be riding with Équipe EKOÏ.com/Gaspésien in 2012 while Nadon will be returning to college to study in a police program.

What was not clear is the circumstances under which Rocky Mountain-Desjardins Valeurs Mobilieres dissolved and whether Gaspésien raided the other team. Miroir du cyclisme contacted coach Jean-Yves Labonté to find out.


There had also been speculation that Rocky Mountain had withdrawn its sponsorship of the team as it did this fall for Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain MTB team (where Geoff Kabush and Marie-Helene Premont rode), but this was not the reason why the Quebec road team folded.


“It was me who called Stephane Tremblay of the Gaspésien team to offer him my riders,” Labonté informed us. “I’m having a few health issues and was not sure I wanted to continue with the senior team in 2012. But I will continue with my junior road team and with my Salon Info-Velo.”

Labonté continued that, “Brochu, Deshaies, and Naud were ambitious and wanted to race in the USA next season, so I let them go. They will be better off riding for a team with a bigger budget. My team has been a springboard for cyclists moving onto better things. On the Gaspésien team, three cyclists (Yannick Bédard, François Chabot, & Antoine Matteu) already come from Rocky Mountain. And who do you think got David Veilleux started? Who got David Boily started? It wasn’t Louis Garneau…”

“My junior team will have both boys and girls on it in 2012, but it’s a little early to make an official team announcement,” Labonté said. He did also admit to losing one of his sponsors, Desjardins, for next year.

And, surprisingly, Labonté told us that Miguel Agreda Rojas (with Garneau in 2011) used to ride for him, “shortly after Agreda arrived in Canada.” There has been animosity lately between the two and Agreda lodged a formal complaint with the FQSC against Labonté for alleged racist remarks made during the 53km Quebec Criterium Championships in Sainte-Agathe on July 31. Agreda won that race, but there was controversy over the role played by New Zealand racer Brett Tivers (Garneau) in that provincial championship. And to add to the controversy, Miguel Agreda and teammate Arnaud Papillon have since confessed to doping with EPO. Labonté claims to have suspected this long before the confessions.


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1 comments:

Change is good and innevitable. Might as well roll with it and make the best of it, not try to make our selves the best of it, I say.
''Labonté claims to have suspected this long before the confessions...'' Easy call after the revealed facts.

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