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Luc Alphand, born in Briançon, won the Skiing World Cup’s overall Crystal Globe in 1997, before embarking on a second career in motor racing, in which he has already excelled, having won the Dakar race.
“Since I finished doing competitions, I now travel for eight or nine months a year, but it is still the part of the world I know the best. I was born in Briançon and grew up in Serre-Chevallier. I love going back there to recharge my batteries and consider myself really lucky to live in this environment. I love the Vallouise valley, for example. It is in this area that I have made beer with my brother since 1999. Last year, I started to do Randonée skiing, with sealskins. These are the days I love, like when I do enduro-sport in the summer. I’d go so far as to say that in this region, we have our own very specific identity: I feel like I belong more to the Southern Alps, in other words, I’m more “Provencal” than “Savoyard”. I also like the isolated aspect of this region. The nearest motorway is 100 kilometres from my home and not everyone has that privilege.
I remember the first time I went to watch the Tour, on the climb towards the Izoard pass. My aunt took me and we got stuck somewhere and had no choice but to wait for the race. A few hours later, the riders arrived, but heading downhill! Later, I was lucky enough to spend a stage in Christian Prudhomme’s car, and thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle. I do about 5,000 km a year myself and I know what it’s like climbing all those mountain passes. So, whatever you might say, I have enormous respect for the suffering and commitment that this demands.”