As the 2023 cycling season draws to a close, women’s cycling bids adieu to one of its stalwarts, Sandrine Bideau, who has announced her retirement. With a career spanning over a decade, Bideau leaves an indelible mark on the sport, characterised by gritty performances and a resilience that young riders can aspire to.
Sandrine Bideau embarked on her professional journey in 2008 with the French team Vienne Futuroscope. Over the years, she donned various jerseys, representing teams at Continental and non-Continental levels like Team Pro Féminin Les Carroz, DN 17 Nouvelle-Aquitaine, and eventually finding a home with St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 in 2018. Her lengthy tenure with St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 was highlighted by the team’s acknowledgement of her contribution. “With us since 2018, Sandrine Bideau has been a cornerstone in the evolution of our Women’s team. She will be retiring this winter, so thank you very much ‘Dobby’!” the team expressed.
Her list of achievements is a testament to her calibre. The pinnacle of her career perhaps came in the form of the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche in 2012, where she claimed a stage win. Bideau showed her versatility by also excelling in one-day races, like the Tour du Gévaudan Languedoc-Roussillon Féminin in 2013, where she took second place. Moreover, her consistent performances in French national championships over the years underline her durability and prowess.
But numbers only tell part of the story. Sandrine Bideau was special to her team because of her tenacity, ability to ride through adversity, and unwavering commitment to St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 the last few seasons. Teammates have often spoken highly of her leadership and mentorship qualities, both of which will be sorely missed in the peloton. Her exit raises the curtain on a generation of riders who’ve contributed not just through victories, but by elevating the sport’s profile through their professionalism and conduct.