Fanny Reyer: “Between the promotion of women’s cycling and the fact that I am very sporty, I wanted to achieve a real performance. »

Fanny Reyer at the Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges, arrival of the women’s Tour de France

Lepape-info: Fanny, you have taken up the challenge of the women’s Tour de France alone

Fanny Reyer: One week before the test, as the Australian Lachlan Morton did last year in the men’s version. I rode alone without assistance. I left Paris on Monday evening and arrived on Friday morning at the top of the Super Planche des Belles Filles with a few cuts to sleep quickly. I made a stop on Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the middle of a heat wave, otherwise I slept the following 3 nights between 3 and 4 hours each time with small breaks to eat. The goal was to do it as quickly as possible.

Fanny Reyer: “With my self-loading load, my bike weighed 18 kg, I rode at around 21-22 km/h on average on each stage since I was going on my own without a big break. »

Lepape-info: Why as soon as possible?

FR : Between the promotion of women’s cycling and the fact that I am very sporty, I wanted to achieve a real performance. When I launched the project, I quickly thought that the message would get through even better by completing the challenge in a fairly short time. I did the whole route by bike including the transfers between the stages of the Women’s Tour. They have traveled a little over 1000 km and I suddenly slightly over 1300 km. I am not at their professional level, I have been in cycling for only 2 years, I race in 3rd category. With my self-loading, my bike weighed 18 kg, I rode at around 21-22 km/h on average on each stage since I was going on my own without a big break.

Lepape-info: The final arrival at the top of the Super Planche des Belles filles was incredible this Sunday, we imagine that for you alone the moment was very strong?

FR : Already to review on television last week all the roads on which I had passed, I had the impression of living the moment with them. Sunday for the last stage I was there, it was phenomenally intense, the end of the race was monstrous. It was very strong to experience it live having done it a week before. For the record, at the bottom of this final ascent (with portions of slopes over 20%), I unloaded my bike because physically I didn’t feel like doing that with my bike that heavy. So I did not find it so difficult, I was at my own pace well helped in my opinion by the adrenaline to finish. I thought to dismount on the last ramp, it was not. At the time of seeing them borrow this slope, it was an impressive moment I lived it with them. I followed Annemiek van Vleuten (yellow jersey) and Demi Vollering (polka dot jersey) it was as if I was with them.

FANNY 2

Fanny Reyer: “Despite 3 weeks of the Tour for the men, people stayed in front of their screens and on the roadside for the girls, I experienced it live during the last stage. Proof that women’s cycling is not lost. »

Lepape-info: Did you get a lot of feedback after your solo challenge?

FR : When I started to communicate via my association WATT many people started to follow me live during my adventure, they answered my stories on social networks. The enthusiasm was quite crazy, many told me that they had lived everything from start to finish, I was very moved and touched by the messages. Having all this support, this support helped me enormously to finish.

FANNY OK

Lepape-info: The enthusiasm around the women’s Tour de France was a nice surprise for everyone

FR : We didn’t necessarily expect it to take so much. Despite 3 weeks of the Tour for the men, people stayed in front of their screens and on the side of the roads for the girls, I experienced it live during the last stage. Proof that women’s cycling is not lost. Despite some comments on the falls, we will remember the good sides of this women’s Tour and that it will evolve well.

Lepape-info: The WATT association that you founded is also another strong signal for women’s cycling to have its place in the pelotons

FR : When I started cycling 2 years ago I had a little problem in a peloton, I reported it and people wrote to me to suggest the idea of ​​starting something. I founded WATT to promote diversity in pelotons, a group for men who also feel uncomfortable in a peloton or who want to take over. Everyone is welcome. There was a big demand and we realized very quickly.

Fanny Reyer: “There are no more women than before, but the fact of accompanying them and putting them forward, they show themselves, they have always existed and are no longer put aside. Most of the girls we manage to pick up and who had trouble getting back in the saddle thank us. »

Lepape-info: The incident at the origin of the creation of WATT took place on the bicycle circuit of the Polygone du Bois de Vincennes (Paris)

FR : When I got out of confinement, I did a few first bike rides with friends. As I wasn’t driving too badly, they took me to this circuit that I didn’t know. I wanted to put myself in the fast group, one of the leading men told me to come with them because he saw me riding alone. This did not please another who was behind and who tried to take his place by pushing me with his bike. Since I wasn’t moving and I had my place, he ended up pushing me by the hand. I got out of the peloton, I didn’t fall but the act was very dangerous. I reported the incident on the networks with a little buzz within the Parisian cycling community, after I launched the association in November 2020.

Lepape-info: Many people have since joined the cause of this association

FR : Since this year, there is a club part with nearly 60 members and in general with the association we can go out for up to 150 people. The outings at an open, leisurely pace are very successful and all are done in a mixed way. There are no more women than before, but the fact of accompanying them and putting them forward, they show themselves, they have always existed and are no longer put aside. Most of the girls we manage to pick up and who had trouble getting back in the saddle thank us. At the beginning, they were afraid to come because they thought that we would not wait for them. In the end very often it is men who stay with them, who accompany them and suddenly they come back. We did “peloton” initiations precisely on the famous Polygone, the women were very demanding and they are delighted because they evolve at paces that they did not think they could keep. Getting back in the saddle to overcome fear and get back on the bike in a group is also very popular.

Fanny Reyer: “It’s not because you cycle to work that you can’t hurt yourself, that you can’t fall. We also target people who would like to educate themselves on a bike by having a good position, being able to ride safely. »

TEAM-WATT
The WATT-Team

Lepape-info: What are WATT’s long-term objectives?

FR : Basically, we would have liked it to be more of a club focused on performance by bringing together men and women equally. But we realized that it was difficult to seduce women with the performance side. For the start of the school year, we are in collaboration with the French Cycling Federation to get back in the saddle and target cyclosportive license holders. In the Paris region, no club offers this. For 2023 we will always have a “performance” team for those who are at the top, but the objective is to accompany people on cyclosportives, to plan training sessions, internships.

Lepape-info: You have been a great sportswoman from a very young age

FR : Yes, I have always practiced sport intensively, whether swimming, horse-riding, horse-ball and running. I have always thought in performance mode, to be on top of the top. My level in cycling is due to my sporting childhood, there are not too many surprises.

Lepape-info: How do you perceive the practice of cycling in everyday life in France?

FR : The practice of cycling includes what we do with our association but also the fact of getting on the bike to ride and use the bike as a means of transport other than the car with all the ecological considerations. We have to help people who have this gait, it’s not because you cycle to work that you can’t hurt yourself, that you can’t fall. We also target people who would like to educate themselves on a bike by having a good position, being able to ride safely, etc.

Lepape-info: Cycling in the city is still very dangerous?

FR : I saw it again just now with a family of 4 including 2 children without a helmet. There are rules to follow, just because you ride a bike doesn’t mean you risk nothing. There is still a lot of work to be done on prevention. With our association we also want to have this educational role.

Lepape-info: You are a very committed athlete with another association “Paris Plogging Crew”

FR : When I was running I saw waste on my way and I launched this association for the collection of waste which worked well but which ran out of steam a little. The more operations we did, the more people told us that they were disgusted by picking up other people’s waste. I keep this “ecology to the hilt” spirit when I’m on my bike sometimes I pick up things on my way. I try to find other projects like perhaps the ecological practice of women’s cycling. I live things to the full, I think people should allow themselves the time to carry out the projects they want to do. You have to believe in what you do and have a bit of audacity to live a life you want.

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