World Triathlon Podcast #72 with Leo Bergere

by on 23 Feb, 2023 04:53 • Español
World Triathlon Podcast #72 with Leo Bergere

The 2022 World Champion Leo Bergere heads back to the UAE in the coming days for the 3 March season opener WTCS Abu Dhabi, site of that famous win in November that saw him earn both his first WTCS gold and a dramatic world title.

It was another phenomenally consistent year for Bergere, who twice found himself on the podium alongside both his title rivals Hayden Wilde and Alex Yee, but not above either – until the Championship Finals. World Triathlon caught up with the 26-year-old in Girona in early February, and you can hear the full interview on the latest podcast via Spotify, Apple and Google.

“I’d been looking at Hayden and Alex on top of the podium and I was like, okay, I must find a way to be there in the next couple of races and I will do absolutely everything I can to achieve that,” said Bergere from his temporary base at Vincent Luis’ house in the Girona hills.

Achieve it he did, the French team working together to help the breakaway stick even with the likes of Wilde and Blummenfelt powering on the chasers. Now, with the prospect of a Paris Olympic Games and talismanic Vincent Luis back on top of his game, the French camp is buzzing with what the next 18 months may have in store.

“We had five days of meeting with the French Federation and yeah, I must say that the confidence as a team is building and that’s something important. It’s important when you see other teams lining up as well in the strong group mindset. We are building it, but naturally… we are not searching for anything. So that’s, that’s even better.”

It was a spirit that was evidenced in Abu Dhabi but will surely be tested as the prize of one of three potential places on the Olympic start list draws ever closer. The title defence gets underway on 3 March in the city where last year finished, on a different-yet-familiar, sprint-distance circuit, as the athletes blow away the cobwebs of the off season.

“Racing on the Formula One track is something pretty cool as a triathlete. Coming back to racing with the sprint distance will maybe allow us athletes to continue a little bit our winter. I spoke to Hayden a bit, to other athletes, and I think a lot of us will try to include Abu Dhabi in the winter block because we, we had such a short winter. If we are targeting certain races a little bit later in the year, like the Test Event, it’s not the smartest thing to be the strongest in Abu Dhabi.”

Regardless of any mind games or strategies were discussed through January and February, there is no doubt that the competition will as be fierce as ever when the athletes line up on Yas Marina on 3 March. The pool of talent has rarely looked deeper, the podium rarely harder to call, either race-to-race or at the end of those all-important Finals in Pontevedra. 

“If you want the world title, you have to be clear with yourself. There are some good battles ahead with Kristian and Gustav coming back, and we all know that they are heavyweights on the strategy, on the dynamic of the race. It will be really interesting to see how we can deal with that.”

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