The World Series (WTS) has no memory. Regularly getting on podiums on inferior courses is not a guarantee for success. It often takes years for an athlete to acquire necessary experience to have success in WTS. Léo Bergère, former bronze medalist in the World Junior Championships in 2015 took his first start in a World Series last week-end. As if the challenge wasn’t already enough, he did it on an Olympic distance, and on a very demanding course. Yet, the triathlete from St Jean de Monts overcame these challenges and finished with an 11th place. The intern research team of Trimes as, by the way, confirmed us that it’s the best result for a French triathlete on his first OD WTS. After Tom Bishop, Trimes talked with the other revelation of this week-end.
How was your winter preparation?
I managed to have regularity in my training this winter, without injuries or big fatigue which makes me improve my global level. We have a very strong and united squad (Dorian Coninx and Margot Garabedian for instance) and each of us has given something in each other’s preparation.
A first World Series (WTS)…
This race level was brand new for me, so I didn’t know at all what to expect as a result. I wasn’t scared but I didn’t want to spoil my first opportunity in WTS.
I set myself some technical instructions to respect on the swimming pool and I could have set them up. For the second lap, I see that I’m in but the break is just behind. I try to take a few places for this second loop, even if I start to feel saturation… I already know that the bike start is going to be a determinant for me to be in the lead group.
Very soon, we see you in the lead pack and you’re even taking initiatives…
Yes, as soon as I get to join the lead, I know I have to position at any price in the first before successions of turns that extend the group not to be trapped in a break.
Quickly, I turned out to be in the front, but I’d rather be in the wind than suffer every relaunch in the back of the pack. In the second lap, in a long curve, I look behind and I see everyone five meters apart from each other, then we decide to do the forcing with Ben Kanute to do the break. A half-race, I start to pay my efforts and I decide to save myself a bit, and the gap with the chase pack is stable.
But weren’t you worried to do too much?
Actually, Abu Dhabi offered a bike course so demanding with lots of turns that I knew every single technical mistake would be payed the full price.So, that motivated me. That’s even what immediately created small breaks in the group.
It was also really exhausting for nerves, because I had to stay lucid and permanently focus not to leave, If I made faults.
And the transition…
I felt that the following half-hour was going to belong, because I’m already pretty tired! But efforts on two wheels allow us to put the bike with more than one minute and 10 seconds of advance. I know this won’t be enough to prevent the come-back of the best runners but the top 10 is playable. I handle the 1st lap not to explode for what’s following. The third lap has been very difficult and even I found a second breath, I dropped Polyanskiy to end up 11th.
And what did you feel about this result?
When I rossed the finish line, I don’t know exactly how many I am ranked but I know I filled the contract. I managed to set up everything I wanted to, I’m glad of it.
After the race, did some athletes came to congratulate you?
Yes, Vincent and Ben Kanute thanked me for the job on the bike, but mostly I received a lot of messages from those who followed the race live or on TV.
What should we wish you for the following weeks?
To carry on the races to come and a bit more of serious for college if I want to graduate this year!