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Cycling.  Erwann Menthéour: “I thought I was unsinkable…” – Cycling


48 years old, isn’t it a bit young to release his biography?

The original idea was not an autobiography. With the publishing house (Solar), we had asked for a “ghostwriter” (ghost author) but the end result did not suit me at all. So I stuck to it. It took two and a half years to write it. There was a cathartic side to telling your own story, something that did both good and bad. In fact, it was a bit as if I was in a street, that I passed in front of a cinema where the film of my life was shown. As he was violent, I wanted to go into it. It was after the disappearance of Pierre-Henri (his brother, Editor’s note) and after my second wife left me. In a way, I needed to come to terms with my past.

You say that this bio was necessary …

Yes. For several years, I have sold a lot of books, I have participated in many TV shows and people have often wanted me to take on the role of the model that I am not. So I wanted people to know who I am, with my contradictions, with my imperfections. People feel like they know me, they don’t. Now, in the light of my career, they will be able to judge me. They will be surprised. I wanted to shed light on what I have worst so that we know what I have best.

Why this title “Resistant”?

Because I am still standing. Nevertheless. Even though I have experienced great joys, I have won a lot of money, but I have also had my share of suffering to the point of despair. I ended up getting over it.

You write that you have greatly disappointed the little boy that you were …

I have always had a romantic vision of the world in which I live. I would have liked to be a hero, invincible, irreproachable. I have been fallible and let go a hundred times. I also tell myself that unconsciously, I have often created conditions of failure to bounce back.

The first chapter of “Resistant” is devoted to your brother. His disappearance (in April 2014) was an earthquake …

Pierre-Henri was my great love, my hero. Before he passed away, I felt immortal. I had part of myself amputated. We had a real passionate relationship. Imagine, two Menthéour together (he smiles). I think about him every day. Before his departure, we experienced moments of extraordinary intensity.

On the other hand, you are not tender with your father …

He imprinted something very authoritarian on our lives, it left a lot of traces. He had several dreams, they were made by proxy. I would have liked him to tell me that he was proud of me.

You only briefly talk about your cycling career. Why ?

Because I rode my bike to look like my brother and to please my dad. The bicycle has never been the most important.

When you talk about your musical career, you get a taste of something unfinished …

What I experienced is still quite amazing. In 2003, I got spotted by a star producer (Guy Chambers) and mine (Max Guazzini), who was the boss in France, didn’t let me go. Even though I have experienced great moments in music, it remains a huge frustration.

At that time, your ex-wife was fighting the disease. Throughout your journey, we realize that you have not been spared …

I often wondered what I had done to deserve this, I implored the sky several times. As if a pulse of death was returning. I have always had the tragic feeling of life. It is also what allowed me to move forward.

The fitness company Fitnext, which you founded in 2010, almost precipitated your downfall …

I thought I was unsinkable. But, after losing two loved ones and after my wife left, I suffered a nervous breakdown in 2014 when my company was growing. Three years later, by wanting to internationalize the technique, it accumulated bugs and lost 80% of our customers in three months. She ended up failing. I dived, I was distraught. I wanted to join Pierre-Henri. Today, I have the impression of being a miracle worker.

Exactly, what become of you?

I have recreated a home, I’m going to be a daddy of a little boy. I am in the process of setting up a group of which Mentors magazine is the first branch. I have never been so happy.

* “Resistant, what I owe to the child that I was”, Erwann Menthéour, Solar editions.