Tell us about TDS 2018 and 2019 - how did those races go?
My back-to-back TDS wins were amazing! The first year I wasn't expecting that at all so it was great. The second year I was keen to do well because I was more expected, and as the course had changed it was not the same race. I was a little afraid of the distance / elevation ratio but in the end everything went well. Like in 2018 I had to fight with two, then a competitor (Hilary Allen) until the end and that's also what made me very happy with my race. Holding on mentally and getting past the pain and the doubts gives me a lot of pleasure.
Tell us about how training and racing has gone this year, with Project Carbon X 2 and WSER?
Finally, this particular year gave me the opportunity to try new things, and in particular the 100km road. I loved this experience! I intend to start over (PCX3?). In fact this road project not only brought me a little novelty in terms of training and destination (I had never been to the US before this year… now I have been there three times!), But it was entering also perfectly in my schedule for the year. My main goal for the year is the UTMB and, together with my coach, we especially wanted to focus on training, on flat speed. Indeed, having grown up in the mountains, I am more comfortable on a steep climb, so I wanted to work on my weak points, namely the flat and the low-technical descent. That’s why I built my calendar for the year and therefore prepared for PCX2 and WSER, two races that seemed, at first glance, not for me at all.
Why UTMB this year? What excites you about UTMB? Makes you nervous?
Having already done the TDS twice, it seemed logical to me to switch this year to the UTMB, which is for me the hardest thing when it comes to Ultra Trail. If I had to make just one wish for my athletic career, I would choose to win the UTMB (and the Western States, and the Hard Rock! Lol!). For me, this is the biggest international meeting in terms of density, and it takes place right next to my home, in my mountains! All this effervescence and this very great desire to do well make me very excited and very anxious.