Pierre Le Corre expressed his pleasure at lifting the Long Distance World Championship crown at Šamorín on Sunday, in what were anything but easy conditions.
The Frenchman took victory in Slovakia by two minutes, 14 seconds from Florian Angert, with another German, Frederic Funk, completing the podium a further 11 seconds back.
Pushed all the way
“I am so happy to win,” said Le Corre in his post-race interview, “that was a really hard race, especially on the bike.”
“I tried to hold on to the German guys, they were pushing me far, so I was at the front the first 15km then I tried to hold on with them, then I couldn’t follow on the last 25km.
“I tried to stay consistent and I knew at the end of the bike I was just 55 seconds gap to have, then I knew I could make it today.”
Despite his exemplary efforts on the run, it wasn’t plain sailing for the eventual winner.
“I wasn’t feeling so great on the run, I was bit worried as I had some cramps so I was trying to pace myself.
“But yeah, I was really happy to take the lead on the first 4km of the run so, yeah, it was amazing today.”
‘Toughest course I know”
Florian Angert described the conditions in Šamorín as demanding, as he relied on a strong bike split to take home the silver medal.
“I am so tired, I just told Frederic [Funk] it’s maybe the toughest middle-distance race you can have, I mean it is called a long distance race but it was the PTO distance this year.
“The course is just so demanding, especially today with the strong winds, the swim was choppy, then it was 40km with a tailwind then turnaround and it was a headwind all the way back – the wind was super strong.
“I wasn’t able to get clear of Le Corre that early, only after I think 55k on the bike and then he was only one minute down.
“I knew he won the medal last week in Munich at the Olympic distance race, so he’s definitely a fast runner and I’m not that fast so I knew that he would catch me but yeah, I just tried to be consistent on the run and happy to win silver.”
“This is maybe the toughest course I know, so it was amazing race.”
Making the best of it
Angert’s compatriot Frederic Funk completed the podium line up, with a miscalculation on the swim setting the German back early on in the race
“The issue on the swim was staying on the right too long, the left was just way faster today, but I thought the right would be fast , but the buoys were just too far on the left so we had a long way to go.
“So yeah, it was a big gap after the swim and I had to go really hard on the bike to catch up to get to the front but I couldn’t close the gap to Florian.
“Also, I only caught Pierre Le Corre 10km before the finish off the bike, and of course it was really, really windy out there and really tough.””
“I’m happy with my performance though, I was alone all day and then on the run it is just always so tough with the wind, basically 3km of each loop was straight into a headwind and in the second half of the run I woke up a little and I was happy I could keep third place up until the finish.
“I really don’t know why this course is so hard because it is so flat it should be fine, you just have to pace yourself.
“I don’t know, I think it’s the wind that makes it really hard so you really have to stay conservative throughout the race, leave some energy for the second half of the run and I think I did that well today.”