By Aurelien Rey
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The Manchois cycling family is in mourning. Raymond Lebretonone of his most illustrious figures, died this Saturday August 6, 2022 at the age of 80 years oldfollowing a pulmonary embolism.
Born August 29, 1941 in Vassy (Calvados), Raymond Lebreton went on to grew up in Le Becquet, in the Cotentin. He fell in love with cycling after receiving a racing bike as a gift.
At the time, my idols were Louison Bobet, Jacques Anquetil and André Darrigade. I was far from thinking that one day I would be the latter’s teammate during a Tour de France.
First license in Barfleur in 1957
His first training sessions were on the roads of Val de Saire. “That’s how I was spotted by the club of Barfleurwhere I took my first license in 1957“, said Raymond Lebreton in 2016.
The young Tourlavillais was gifted, to the point of “winning all the races in which he participated”, underline Eric and Géraldine, two of his three children.
His military servicebetween 1961 and 1963 in Algeria then in Chad, slowed its progress, but not that much. “His superior liked cycling, so he allowed him to train from time to time,” confides his daughter Géraldine.
Substitute at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964
On his return to France and the Channel, Raymond Lebreton joined in 1964 Periers Sports, the flagship team of the time in the department. The same year he won the Price of the Saint-Laurent, in Montpinchon.
Also in 1964, he was selected for the French team for the Tokyo Olympicsbut only as substitute.
I was disappointed, but still proud to have been selected. I secretly hoped that one of the starters would wake up sick the morning of the race… I didn’t even attend the opening ceremony. This is my big regret.
In 1965, Raymond Lebreton joined the prestigious amateur team of theAC Boulogne-Billancourt (ACBB)with whom he won the French company championship.
On the Tour de France in 1966
The Tourlavillais signed in 1966 his first professional contract with training Kamome-Dilectawhich included in its ranks the reigning world champion André Darrigade.
He played that year his only Tour de Francewhere he was disqualified after arriving out of time during the 16e stage.
Raymond Lebreton continued his professional career with the team Tigra-Grammont-De Gribaldywhich he joined in 1967.
During his time with the pros, in addition to the Tour de France, the Manchois participated in particular in the Tour of Italyto Tour of Spain and at Tour of Luxembourg.
Return to amateurs in 1969
At the age of 28, in 1969, Raymond Lebreton decided to return to the amateurs, still at Périers Sports. He continued his career there until 1978, before becoming sports director of this same team for several years.
Never far from the cycling world, the Tourlavillais continued to follow the races in the Cotentin.
He often saw his friends, former cyclists like him, like Raymond Delisle, whose death affected him a lot, Thierry Marie, Johanny Lalanne, the Durel family, etc.
He also had beautiful remains, as evidenced by his victory in 2011 in the ordeal of the elders at Martinvast.
The announcement of the death of Raymond Lebreton this Saturday August 6, 2022 aroused great sadness within the Manchois and even French cycling family.
La Presse de la Manche offers its sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Raymond Lebreton. A last tribute will be returned to him Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.at the Cotentin crematorium in Brix.
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