Christophe Lévêque

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Christophe Lévêque
Personal information
Full name Christophe Lévêque
Nickname "The Flying Frenchman", "C-Dog"
Born (1973-02-11) February 11, 1973 (age 41)
Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis, France
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight ~86.8 kg (191 lb)
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Bicycle Motocross (BMX)
Role Racer
Rider type Off Road
Amateur team(s)
1990 MCS Bicycle Specialties (Europe)
1990-1996 Sunn/Chipie
Professional team(s)
1990-1996 Sunn/Chipie
1996-2000 Sunn/Nike
1998-2000 Specialized
2000-2001 Specialized/Mountain Dew
2002-2005 GT Bicycles/Speed Stick
2006 US Pro Bikes/Free Agent
Infobox last updated on
July 25, 2008

Christophe Lévêque (born February 11, 1973 in Saint-Ouen, Seine-Saint-Denis) is a French professional "Mid/Current School" Bicycle Motocross (BMX) racer whose prime competitive years were from 1990-2003. His nicknames are "C"-Dog with "C" referring to the first letter of his given name; and "The Flying Frenchman" for his technical skill on the track and his nationality.

Racing career milestones[edit]

Note: Professional first are on the national level unless otherwise indicated.

Started racing: 1987 at 14 years of age. He went to see a friend race one week. Christophe liked what he saw and raced a week later. He won.[1]

Sanctioning body:

First race result: First Place in 14 novice.

First win (local):

First sponsor:

First national win:

Turned Professional: December 1990

First Professional race result (France/Europe):

First Professional race result (US):

First Professional win (France/Europe):

First Professional win (US): In "A" pro at the ABA Fallnationals in Yorba Linda, California on October 27, 1991.[2]

First Junior Pro* win (France/Europe):

First Junior Pro* win (US): See "First Professional win (US)"

First Senior Pro** race result (France/Europe):

First Senior Pro** race result (US): Eighth (last) in "All Pros" (formerly "A" Pro) at the NBL Christmas Classic nationals in Columbus, Ohio on December 26, 1991 (Day 1).[3]

First Senior Pro win (France/Europe):

First Senior Pro win (US): At the non-sanctioned charity Fifth Annual Race Against Drugs at the Desert Hot Springs BMX track in Palm Springs, California. His competition included Eric Carter, Jamie Staff, Todd Corbitt and Todd Blaser in the main.[4]

Retired: Mid 2005 due to accumulated injuries, particularly a broken heel suffered in March 2004 that refused to respond to therapy. The ABA Silver Dollar National in Reno, Nevada on January 9, 2005 was his last "AA" pro race.[5] He came in fourth place.[6]

Height & weight at height of his career (1995–2006): Ht:5'10" Wt:190 lbs.

*In the NBL it is B"/Superclass/"A" pro (beginning with 2000 season)/Junior Elite; in Europe Superclass; in the ABA it is "A" pro.
**In the NBL it is "A" pro/All Pro/"AA" Pro/Elite men (all depending on the era); in Europe Elite Men; in the ABA it is "AA" pro.

Career factory and major bike shop sponsors[edit]

Note: This listing only denotes the racer's primary sponsors. At any given time a racer could have numerous ever changing co-sponsors. Primary sponsorships can be verified by BMX press coverage and sponsor's advertisements at the time in question. When possible exact dates are given.

Amateur[edit]

  • MCS (Moto Cross Specialties) Bicycle Specialties[7] (European Division): April 1990-August 1990
  • Sunn/Chipie BMX August 1990-December 1996. Lévêque would turn pro with this sponsor.

Professional[edit]

  • Sunn/Chipie BMX: August 1990-December 1996
  • Sunn/Nike: January 1997-August 1998
  • Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc.: August 1998 – 2000
  • Specialized/Mountain Dew: 2000-December 2001
  • GT Bicycles/Speed Stick: January 2002-December 2005
  • USProBikes: January 2006 – Present

Career bicycle motocross titles[edit]

Note: Listed are District, State/Provincial/Department, Regional, National, and International titles in italics. Only sanctioning bodies that existed during a racer's career(s) are listed. Depending on point totals of individual racers, winners of Grand Nationals do not necessarily win National titles. Series and one off Championships are also listed in block.

Amateur[edit]

  • 11 times French Champion

Association Francaise de Bicrossing (AFdB)

La Fédération Française de Bicrossing (FFB)

Fédération Française de Cyclisme (FFC)

  • 1994 Superclass and Supercruiser Champion of France

National Bicycle Association (NBA)

  • None

National Bicycle League (NBL)

  • None

American Bicycle Association (ABA)

  • None

United States Bicycle Motocross Association (USBA)

  • None

International Bicycle Motocross Federation (IBMXF)*

  • 1989 15 Expert European Challenge Cup VI Champion
  • 1990 17 Expert & 16-17 Cruiser World Champion.

Fédération Internationale Amateur de Cyclisme (FIAC)*

  • None

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)*

*See note in Professional section.

Professional[edit]

Association Francaise de Bicrossing (AFdB)

La Fédération Française de Bicrossing (FFB)

Fédération Française de Cyclisme (FFC)

  • 1991, 1992 French Supercross National No.1

National Bicycle Association (NBA)

  • None

National Bicycle League (NBL)

  • 1997 Pro Class Grandnational Champion
  • 1997, 1998 National No.1 Pro
  • 1998 Pro Open Series Champion*

*Generally speaking Open races are not recognized as a title class due to the lack of points awarded and the diluted competition since it is open to racers of lesser skill as well as those with skills that are top ranked but on rare occasions a sanctioning body would hold special race series opened to all pro riders junior or Senior.

'American Bicycle Association (ABA)

  • 1991 "A" Pro Grandnational Champion
  • 1995 "AA" Pro Grandnational Champion
  • 1998 National No.1 Pro
  • 1999 "AA" Pro US Gold Cup Central Champion
  • 1999 "AA" Pro Grandnational Champion
  • 1999 National No.1 Pro

*One can argue that one title is missing here. The 1995 National No.1 Pro, for the fact that Lévêque actually had won the title based on the points total alone. The controversy involved with the title is that it went to the points runner up Gary Ellis. The actual points winner, after soundly defeating the competition in the 1995 ABA Grand National was the Frenchman, Christophe Lévêque. However, he was not awarded the title nor the automobile prize that went with it due to an obscure rule in the ABA rule book that you must be an American citizen to win the ABA No.1 Pro title. One had to wonder why did they let him race and collect points throughout the season in the first place if this was the set rule. Despite the flagrant violation of common sense, the rule stood since, according to another ABA rule, you cannot change the rules during a race season. Consequently Lévêque was disqualified and Ellis was rewarded the title. This non-foreigner rule was revoked almost as soon as the 1995 season ended. Lévêque however did know about the rule in advance of the Grandnationals, as did his sponsor Sunn-Chipie but raced the ABA national circuit anyway. After his non-win, Sunn-Chipie treated him as if he did win the ABA National No.1 Pro title anyway and awarded him a bonus.[8] The ABA in removing that regulation helped open the gate for a flood of non-Americans to win the title of No.1 Pro ever since. The title of ABA National #1 Pro has been held by non US citizens six times beginning with and since the 1996 season, including twice for Lévêque, in 1998 and 1999. Ironically given its much greater international connections, the NBL National #1 Pro title has been only been in foreign hands for four times in the same time period.

United States Bicycle Motocross Association (USBA)

  • None

International Bicycle Motocross Federation (IBMXF)*

  • 1991 Superclass 24" European Challenge Cup VIII Champion
  • 1991 Superclass 24" European Champion
  • 1991 Superclass 20" World Champion
  • 1992 Superclass 20" & 24" European Challenge Cup IX Champion
  • 1992 Superclass 20" Silver Medal World Champion
  • 1993 Superclass 24" European Challenge Cup X Champion**
  • 1993 Superclass 20" & 24" European Champion
  • 1993 Superclass 24" World Champion
  • 1994 Superclass 20" European Champion
  • 1995 Superclass 20" World Champion

Fédération Internationale Amateur de Cyclisme (FIAC)*

  • None

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)†*

  • 1995 Elite Men World Cup Champion
  • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 Elite Cruiser World Champion

*Note: Beginning in 1991 the IBMXF and FIAC, the amateur cycling arm of the UCI, had been holding joint World Championship events as a transitional phase in merging which began in earnest in 1993. Beginning with the 1996 season the IBMXF and FIAC completed the merger and both ceased to exist as independent entities being integrated into the UCI. Beginning with the 1996 World Championships held in Brighton, England the UCI would officially hold and sanction BMX World Championships and with it inherited all precedents, records, streaks, etc. from both the IBMXF and FIAC.

**This was the last European Challenge Cup
†The UCI World Cup Series was a purely UCI event, not IBMXF.

Independent Invitationals and Pro Series Championships

Notable accolades[edit]

  • Won the 2001 ABA Golden Crank award for Pro of the Year.[9]
  • During one of his bouts of injury he started an international BMX distribution company, US Pro Bikes in 2003.[10]

Significant injuries[edit]

  • Broke wrist riding for recreation at Sheep Hills on or around January 5, 1995.[11] He flew back home to France to have surgery on his wrist. He raced a few large events in France before returning to the United States.[12] He was back racing at the ABA Winternationals in Scottsdale, Arizona on March 18, 1995.[13]
  • Injured shoulder at the NBL Summer Nationals in South Park, Pennsylvania on July 20, 1996 He slipped his pedals coming out of the first turn over a jump that was at the turn's exit, flying over the handlebars and slamming his arm and shoulder into the dirt. He was scheduled to be laid up six weeks, but he was determined to make the NBL grands exactly six weeks later.[14] This was not to be since he ended up missing both the UCI World Championships and the NBL Grandnational.[15]
  • Hurt back at the ABA Fall Nationals in Perris, California in late October 1998. He was laid up for five months.[16]
  • Separated his shoulder in a crash during the third AA pro main of the ABA Grandnational in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 28, 1999.[17]
  • Hurt his back at the NBL Easter Classic National in Sarasota, Florida on Friday, March 29, 2002. After a few weeks attempting to rest it on his own, he flew back to his native France for treatment. He was at first confident of a relatively quick recovery;[18] instead it led to several back surgeries to repair and then eventually replace a ruptured disc. He was out for the entire season.[10] He returned to racing in mid-2003.
  • Broke foot at a no-clips race in France in early October 2003. He was laid up until the 2003 ABA Grand Nationals.[19]
  • Broke foot, shattering his heel in March 2004. Was laid up for eight months, due in part to complications in the healing process, until the ABA Grand Nationals on November 23, 2004.[20] This would ultimately prove to be a career-ending injury due to its refusal to respond to physical therapy.[5]

FAMILY MAN[edit]

Happliy married and have two beautiful children. Wife: Mikim P. Leveque, anniversary February 24, 2005. Son: Jordan Reed Leveque born December 21, 2007. Daughter: Zéa Jaden Leveque born November 10, 2009.

Post BMX career[edit]

BMX press magazine interviews and articles[edit]

  • "Double Interview: Christophe Leveque & Brian Foster" BMX Plus! April 1996 Vol.19 No.4 pg.66 two separate non-interactive interviews with the pros Foster and Lévêque.
  • "The New NBL #1 Pro Speaks" BMX Plus! December 1997 Vol.20 No.12 pg.42 Mini Interview of the 1997 NBL pro No.1 Lévêque.
  • "Inside the Pro's Bikes" BMX Plus! July 1998 Vol.21 No.7 pg.93 Article about the racing machines of Lévêque and John Purse.
  • "Specialized Signs Chris Lévêque" BMX Plus! January 1999 Vol.22 No.1 pg.92
  • "The Pro Upset of the Year...Christophe Leveque: ABA & NBL #1 Pro." BMX Plus! March 1999 Vol.22 No.3 pg.28
  • "The French Invasion" Snap BMX Magazine May 1999 Vol.6 Iss.3 No.31 pg.40 Joint interview with fellow countryman and racer Thomas Allier.
  • "Q&A: If you could race one race over again, which would it be?" Snap BMX Magazine December 1999 Vol.6 Iss.10 No.38 pg.42 Single question interview asked of Lévêque and four other professional racers including Randy Stumpfhauser, Michelle Cairns, Neal Wood, and Jamie Lilly.
  • "Christophe Leveque" Snap BMX Magazine January 2000 Vol.7 Iss.1 No.39 poster back
  • "Interview: Christophe Leveque" Transworld BMX April 2003 Vol.10 Iss.4 No.78 pg.50
  • "The Flying Frenchman Calls It A Day" BMX World December 2005/January 2006 Vol.1 No.1 pg.7(Premier Issue)

BMX magazine covers[edit]

Note: Only magazines that were in publication at the time of the racer's career(s) are listed unless specifically noted.

Minicycle/BMX Action & Super BMX:

  • None

Bicycle Motocross Action & Go:

  • None

BMX Plus!:

  • March 1991 Vol.14 No.3 in virtual tie in inside of Brian Foster in middle and Dave Cullinan (4) in foreground outside.
  • November 1991 Vol.14 No.11

Bicross Magazine & Bicross & Skate (French publication):

Snap BMX Magazine & Transworld BMX:

  • Snap March/April 1996 Vol.3 Iss.2 No.9 (15) in first place ahead of John Purse (8) in second and Neal Wood (23) in third.
  • Snap BMX Magazine May 2001 Vol.8 Iss.5 No.55 This was the last issue of Snap before it transformed into Transworld BMX.

Moto Mag:

  • None

ABA Action, American BMXer, BMXer (The official ABA membership publication under two name changes):

Bicycles Today & BMX Today (The official NBL membership publication under a name change):

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Double A Marketing 1999 interview.
  2. ^ BMX Plus! February 1992 Vol.15 No.2 pg.22
  3. ^ BMX Plus! April 1992 Vol.15 No.4 pg.18 (race results)
  4. ^ BMX Plus! May 1992 Vol.15 No.5 pg.48
  5. ^ a b BMX World December 2005/January 2006 Vol.1 No.1 pg.7(Premier Issue)
  6. ^ ABA.com 2005 Silver National results page.
  7. ^ BMX Plus! September 1988 Vol.11 No.9 pg.28
  8. ^ BMX Plus! April 1996 Vol.19 No.4 pg.66
  9. ^ bmxtreme.com article
  10. ^ a b Pro profile page of Double A Marketing site
  11. ^ BMX Plus! May 1995 Vol.18 No.5 pg.32 (photo caption)
  12. ^ BMX Plus! June 1995 Vol.18 No.6 pg.4
  13. ^ BMX Plus! July 1995 Vol.18 No.7 pg.34
  14. ^ BMX Plus! November 1996 Vol.19 No.11
  15. ^ BMX Plus! December 1997 Vol.20 No.12 pg.42
  16. ^ bmxtreme.com september 19, 1999 interview
  17. ^ Snap BMX Magazine March 2000 Vol.7 Iss.3 No.41 pg.74 (photo caption)
  18. ^ Transworld BMX August 2002 Vol.9 Iss.8 No.70 pg.29
  19. ^ Double A Marketing news site from 2003.
  20. ^ GT Bicycles site.

External links[edit]