Born in Vesoul in France in June 1988, Vincent Luis is regarded as one the fiercest competitors across triathlon’s Sprint and Olympic distances – evidenced by his two World Triathlon Series (WTS) titles and a Mixed Relay bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.
Renowned for his strong swim, Vincent can figuratively blow his opponents out of the water – he began his competitive sporting journey as a swimmer before turning to the multi-discipline challenge that is triathlon.
A two-time World Triathlon Champion and three-time mixed relay World Champion, in addition to that Olympic bronze, Luis is a regular podium performer on the international circuit and has become a sensation in the Super League Triathlon series, which suits his blistering quick swim to a tee.
Luis doesn’t take his success for granted though after suffering from heart issues early in his career. In 2013, prior to the ITU World Triathlon Final in London, Luis informed his physio that he was having trouble with his heart but told him to keep quiet and let him race.
The physio didn’t, he informed a doctor and Luis was put through a series of rigorous tests with a cardiologist. Those tests discovered he had Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome – an extra nerve in the heart – which forced him into surgery to save his career after his triathlon licence was suspended.
Career record and results
Luis began his triathlon journey in 2003 before taking the step into the professional ranks during the 2008 season – with instantaneous success on both the junior and elite stages. Victory in the junior ranks at the ETU European Championship in Lisbon in May 2008 was quickly followed by World Championship glory a month later over the Sprint distance in Vancouver.
The Frenchman then tasted elite level victory in July that year, triumphing at the ITU European Cup Olympic-distance event in Athlone, Ireland. Luis had to wait until 2010 to follow up his maiden success with a stunning display at the ITU European Cup event in Geneva, Switzerland.
2015 was a breakout year for Luis as he showcased his talents on the ITU World Triathlon stage. Six top-five finishes out of six events – including victory in Hamburg, Germany – were coupled with a second-place finish at the Rio Olympics Qualification Event. That consistency earned him World Championship bronze.
That 2015 season also brought Luis his first world title as part of France’s Mixed Relay at the Hamburg World Championship – a title he would lift again in 2018 and 2019.
Further successes followed over the next few years before Luis cemented himself as one of the best over the short distances with back-to-back ITU World Championship Series titles. His 2019 campaign saw him earn victory in Yokohama and silver in Hamburg, as he defeated Spain’s Mario Mola and Javier Gomez to claim the world title.
Vincent earned four consecutive victories between September and November 2020 as racing started to return following the pandemic – in Hamburg, Karlovy Vary, Arzachena and Valencia. The race in Hamburg was designated the only race of the 2020 World Triathlon Series, earning Luis his second World Championship.
Alongside his ITU success, Luis has been a regular on Super League Triathlon start lines since its inception in 2017 – regularly finishing on top of the pile in races and over entire seasons.
Two individual world championships, three mixed relay world championships and an Olympic bronze medal now adorn Vincent’s resume. Few would bet against him earning even more honours over the remainder of his career.
Vincent Luis at the Olympics
A three-time Olympian, Luis has certainly earned his successes on the grandest stage of them all. His first foray into Olympic competition game at the London Games – he finished a creditable 11th on his debut.
Hopes of glory escalated by the time the Rio Games came around in 2016 – that fantastic 2015 season earned Luis a place in the race, plus a realistic shot at the podium.
Vincent remained in contention for a medal throughout the race. He was part of the lead group – which included all three eventual medalists Alistair Brownlee, Jonny Brownlee and Henri Schoeman – through the opening two legs of the event before the front six broke away from him on the run. The Frenchman would finish in seventh place.
In the buildup to his third Olympic Games, Luis was almost unbeatable over the Sprint distance and was hoping to take that form into the Olympic distance event in Tokyo. It started well for the two-time ITU World Champion, who led the field out of the swim. However, he was unable to maintain that pace, struggling to make an impact on bike and run – his splits both outside of the top 10 as he dropped down the pecking order to finish in 13th. Injury had restricted his preparations, and against the very best in the world that was not something which could be overcome.
All was not lost, however, as Luis represented France in the inaugural Olympic Mixed Relay event alongside Léonie Périault, Dorian Coninx and Cassandre Beaugrand. Vincent anchored the team to a bronze medal with the fastest leg four time of the race.
A Super League Triathlon superstar
Vincent has become synonymous with success in the Super League Triathlon Series since the concept was introduced into the world of triathlon in 2017.
Across the eight races in Jersey, Malta, Mallorca and Singapore during the 2018 season, Luis earned five victories and two second-place finishes to lift the overall Super League Triathlon title ahead of Henri Schoeman and Jonny Brownlee.
Luis enjoyed further success in 2019 as he took the overall and swim titles as the Super League format developed. He also won both semi-final Enduro races in Jersey and Malta before taking the top honours in the Enduro final race in Jersey and the Equalizer in Malta.
After a year’s hiatus due the COVID-19 pandemic, Super League Triathlon returned in 2021 with Luis drafted to the SLT Scorpions in the new SLT Team format – which ran alongside the individual rankings. Luis ranked second in the swim and run jersey categories on his way to finishing fifth overall.
Vincent Luis and family
Vincent’s girlfriend is elite U.S. triathlete, Taylor Spivey and the pair share a home together in Girona, Spain. His sister Caroline meanwhile helped introduce him to swimming as a youth.
Vincent Luis gear
Vincent has a wide range of commercial deals in place with some of the biggest brand names in the sport. He lists Nike, Oakley, Aquaman, Skoda and Red Bull amongst as partners on his social media profiles.
On the bike, Vincent works with Specialized and uses the S-Works Tarmac SL7 with Roval Wheels and the S-Works 7 Vent footwear. The Frenchman couples his bike with an Evade 2 helmet and Oakley sunglasses.
Vincent boasts an impressive collection of Nike footwear for his running exploits.