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Joubert Withdraws from Coupe de Nice

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Oh dear, readers, what is becoming of the men's field this season? World Champion Brian Joubert has withdrawn from Coupe de Nice because he has not solved his blade problems, according to IceNetwork. Joubert recently lost the French Masters to Alban Preaubert.

"Alain Giletti [the 1960 world champion, who has been Joubert's master blade sharpener for the last seasons] has come to Poitiers [Joubert's home rink, in the South-West of France] the day after I returned from Orléans," Joubert recalled. "He admitted that he had sharpened more hollow because he thought that it would be good for me, so we had to redo the whole thing to have the blade flatter."

So much for the official version of the case. In private, however, Joubert is also quick to recognize that his own personality also plays a role into his withdrawal. "When everything is going alright, when there is no problem, it is just impossible to stop me," he explained. "But, then, when there is a tiny sand stone that comes in my way, nothing goes right anymore."

Joubert is very candid but I'm surprised he would admit that the problem is somewhat in his head. Might be time for one of those sports psychologists. The article states that Joubert is going through blades to try to get back his comfort on the ice. I hope he's ready for the Grand Prix competition, Trophee Eric Bompard.

The article also included a bit of Joubert's reaction to Stephane Lambiel's retirement:

The news broke during the press conference introducing the upcoming Trophée Eric Bompard, the fourth stage of the senior Grand Prix: Stéphane Lambiel had just announced his decision to stop competing.

The elite of French skating was gathered in the Eric Bompard's most glamorous store, almost at the top of the Champs Elysées. Joubert remained stunned when he heard the news. He did not want to believe it at first, even saying in laughter: "If he quits, then I quit." "What is happening to them?" he wondered right after. "This is simply incredible," he later commented.