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Echoes

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Re: Cycling Farmers
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2019, 22:03 »
http://www.ciclismointernacional.com/corredores-a-seguir-en-2016-ii-miguel-angel-lopez/



My Spanish is broken but Miguel Angel Gomez Moreno has impressive strength that he inherited from his father, Santiago, a peasant who doesn't just work the land but also cuts down trees. (comments by Rafael Acevedo, his coach in 2015)

His French wikipedia page says that he comes from an underprivileged farming family.

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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

    Echoes

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    Re: Cycling Farmers
    « Reply #31 on: March 31, 2019, 16:38 »
    David Menut is a rider coming from an agrarian milieu.  :)

    http://creuse-agricole.com/actualites/cyclistes-et-issus-du-monde-agricole-route-vtt-et-cyclocross:PFPRAJ5Y.html

    This is an article from 15 July 2009 on "Creuse agricole et rurale", so 10 years ago when he was just a 17-year-old junior rider.

    Headline says: Cyclist Coming from the Agricultural World

    David Menut, the son of a farmer based in Saint-Christophe, has a very busy life between road cycling, mountainbike, cyclocross and studies.

    His mother, Pauline, says that he often misses school classes, for example on Friday when he has to leave for a race or on Monday morning when he had to come back late from a race on Sunday.

    He was to finish secondary school one year after that article was published and practiced the three cycling disciplines mentioned in the headline. So he was worn out. That winter he took part in all the cyclocross Coupe de France events, World Cup events and French nats (he was 29th). He was then building up for the MTB nats (a couple of days after the article).

    The "Creuse" département is in the Limousin region, Saint-Christophe is a bit South of Guéret and North East of Limoges with a distance.

    Mountainbike and cyclocross were his first passions but he was more and more tempted by road cycling. There are more financial means on the road, races are huge and there are more opponents and more teams. He actually raced a few years on the road with BigMat Auber and Armée de terre but when Armée de terre stopped, David was an amateur again with his original club "Creuse Oxygène Guéret", which is best known as a mountainbike club (Belgium's Jens Schuermans is currently racing for them) and which was founded by his uncle Alain Menut. So last winter David had to bounce back in cyclocross and was 3rd at the Cyclocross Coupe de France.

    His uncle initiated him to cycling at age 5 when taking him for rides on Saturdays. Back at the time of the article David is the one to mentor kids who start riding.

    His parents are not cycling passionates but are supporting him. His father Jean-Claude is raising "Limousine" cows in Saint-Christophe. His mother is a "nursing assistant" (I think that would be the correct term or "nursing auxiliary"). She loved seeing him do some bike trials but he didn't like it.  :lol

    David also used to help his father at the farm but already then in 2009 it was harder. During those 2009 summer holidays he had to cycle and couldn't help him.

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  • Echoes

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    Re: Cycling Farmers
    « Reply #32 on: May 25, 2019, 10:57 »
    I've stumbled on an interview of Marc Madiot, dating from last November. Madiot was present at a press conference in the Aveyron organised by his co-sponsor Groupama. It's an agrarian département in Southern France, hence he would talk about his own affinities with the agrarian world with the frankness that he's known for.  :D


    Quote
    I'm the son of a farmer and I'm proud of it. If I had to go on a demonstration for farmers, I'd do it. Their cause is very dear to me. I'm very committed to it. I know their world. They are hard-working people but neglected by public and political authorities whichever they are. My father was a trade unionist and so am I. So perhaps this part of me is emerging. I shouldn't say that but when I see peasants demonstrating alongside the roads during the Tour of France or blocking the race, I'm smirking. I'm a peasant at heart.

               https://www.centrepresseaveyron.fr/2018/11/15/marc-madiot-je-suis-fils-de-paysan-et-fier-de-letre,4862590.php


    In his book, Madiot found it natural that Hinault didn't have to apologise after punching a demonstrator at the 1984 Paris-Nice. Sadly for that demonstrator, he was not a farmer, he was a worker at the La Ciotat shipyard.  :lol

    Joke aside, I'm still so fond of his interviews.  :)
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Echoes

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    Re: Cycling Farmers
    « Reply #34 on: July 14, 2019, 23:08 »
    Thanks Drummer, it's really an interesting article. Too long to translate but I may share with you the main ideas (in my humble opinion). Was he really in a breakaway lately?

    It starts with a quote by Frederik himself:
    Quote
    Farming and cycling are two radically different worlds

    The Backaert family owns the holding « De Sint-Michaëlshoeve » in Michelbeke, a small village in the entity of Brakel, just before the Berendries.

    Farming in that area is very hard and several farmers received warnings (orange or red cards), meaning that they had to stop with organic fertilisers [which means they have to use chemical fertilisers or what ??? It's absurd!] and there are problems with the erosion of their soils. Their holding is about 800m away from a natural area, as well. It's not a coincidence if there were farmers' demonstrations on the road sides of the spring classics in 2017. The prices are very high for the landowner and the workforce is very expensive. It's getting real hard to compete with Poland or even with France.

    Christian, Frederik's father, is 67 and milks about 80 cows. He's not optimistic for milk farmers in Flanders
    Quote
    Either we work on a knife edge for the global market or else we work for a niche market

    The family chose for the second option. So they had to get away from the easy sales for the industry and opt for the short circuits and direct sales. Of course the products had to be top quality. The farm diversified. It now ranges from raw milk, butter, buttermilk and quite a lot of cheeses: young cheese, semi hard cheese, half old cheese and even cheeses with aromatic herbs (says the mother, Christine). They also sell yogurt, which is crucial . If they can't sell it they are done. The farm is really in the middle of the village, which of course helps.
    Quote
    It's a lot of work but it's worth it

    They have also transformed a former barn into a place to welcomes buses and groups of visitors, like that group who combined visiting their farm and the archeological museum of Velzeke, which not far away. However since the noughties, organised visits are much less frequent than used to be.

    The cheeses are made of raw milk, they don't pasteurise. Food hygiene has to be impeccable.


    I skip to the chapter dedicated to non dairy production: 25-30 hectares of maize/corn, 15-20 hectares of potatoes, 8-9 hectares of beans, 5 hectares of sugar beetroots, 3-4 hectares of bere (6-row barley), 2 hectares of field beet/mangold.

    The prices for potatoes are desastrous this year, which those who opted for free market feel powerfully. The Backaert family has potato hangar with can contain 1,000 tons of potatoes but it's a risky market because you can never predict what the eventual outcome would be.

    Frederik Backaert has raced 108 days in 2017 !!!! This means he didn't have much time to give a hand at the farm. 108 days must really be make him one of the most active in the peloton that year.  :cool

    Frederik has made studies at a school for agriculture in Roeselaere (Roulers is the name in French, which you can see in the article). He could take the farm over from his parents but it's a real hard job. He's considered using a milking robot but using a robot doesn't mean less work.

    For the moment he's fully dedicated to cycling but relativises about it. In cycling you are quickly famous but also quickly forgotten and then he recalls the ill fates of some farmboys like him: Igor Decraene and Stig Broeckx [let's make things clear here though, Stig is, thank God, still alive  :) and Decraene's passing away had nothing to do with cycling practice].
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