At the end of the effort and the sprint, the coronation. Frenchman Dorian Coninx succeeded his compatriot Léo Bergère as triathlon world champion by winning the grand final in Olympic format on the WTCS circuit in Pontevedra, Spain, on Saturday September 23.

“I did with what I had, what I had left,” the 29-year-old triathlete said by telephone to Agence France-Presse about the final four-way explanation. “This time I waited for the blue carpet [marking the finish zone] because I felt like I had started my sprint too early in Paris. But I thought I was never going to pass it,” he explains, referring to the German Tim Hellwig, second in the race.

Already third in the Paris test event in mid-August, the Isérois signs a revelation season less than a year before the Paris-2024 Olympics: “It’s crazy, it’s been a rise in power all year long, exceeds what I expected. »

Failure of two competitors

In a scenario as crazy, or even more so, than that which crowned Léo Bergère a year ago in Abu Dhabi, Dorian Coninx, fifth in the general classification before this final, took advantage of the failures of the British Alex Yee and the New Zealander Hayden Wilde , who dominated the entire season, before settling Léo Bergère in the sprint, fourth in the race and third overall.

“I suspect that it wasn’t so bad before the sprint, that there was a possibility of being world champion. But I didn’t expect it at all this morning,” says Dorian Coninx. “I was already happy to win the race, world champion, it’s the icing on the cake. The five minutes the officials took to calculate the scores didn’t even seem that long to me. »

Because neither Dorian Coninx nor Léo Bergère had their destiny in their hands: they had to hope to place other triathletes between them and the two favorites. Leader before this epilogue, Alex Yee (29th in the race) collapsed in the cycling part of this Olympic format triathlon (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike ride and 10 km run). As for Hayden Wilde (9th), he received a fifteen-second penalty for an illegal transition.

Change of training method

In addition to Léo Bergère’s third place overall, another Frenchman, Pierre Le Corre, took third place in Saturday’s race, showing that the French triathlon could respond to the meeting, one year before the 2024 Olympics. .

“This title will perhaps make things even more complicated”, analyzes Dorian Coninx, only winner of a WTCS stage in Olympic format at the highest level previously, in 2019. “I will have to take a step back, that I don’t get excited. »

After a last season marred by injuries and viral infections, this allowed Coninx and his bleached blonde locks to display regularity with four top 5s before this final. The result of a change in training method two and a half years earlier. “I do less very high intensities. Rather aerobic efforts, over time. I can handle them better, I feel less tired and in good shape. “. This was seen on Saturday, in Pontevedra.