Triathlon: Frenchman Léo Bergère crowned world champion in Abu Dhabi

Léo Bergère, hatched in a year at the highest level, scored his first victory in a stage of the WTCS circuit. But winning in Saturday’s race was not enough for the French European champion, third in the general classification before this final stage of the season.

It was necessary that the number 1, the New Zealander Hayden Wilde, finish beyond the top 5, and that the N.2, the Briton Alex Yee, be pushed back from the podium. The scenario was realized each time with one place, until the last meters thanks to the Belgian Jelle Geens who blew third place from Alex Yee in the sprint. “Léo and the French Federation owe me one,” he smiled.

Paid strategy

Twenty months before the 2024 Paris Olympics, the France team’s aggressive strategy has worked wonders. Léo Bergère, accompanied by his compatriots Vincent Luis and Pierre Le Corre, rocked within a group of nine with more than thirty seconds ahead of his rivals at the end of the cycling section of this race in Olympic format (1500 meters of swimming, 40 kilometers of cycling and 10 kilometers of running).

The Blues had trapped as planned Wilde and Yee, less good swimmers, who could not sufficiently recover their delay on foot (4th and 6th).

season of revelation

This is the season of revelation for Léo Bergère, who has signed four podiums, including a second place in Leeds in the spring. Before his European title this summer, the French triathlete said he had had a “click” and had overcome a “small blockage” in particular thanks to his work with a mental trainer.

The results followed and gave him the confidence he lacked to adopt the aggressive strategy, signature of the French team. Like his first big victory at the highest level at the European Championships in Munich during a memorable French hat-trick, with Pierre Le Corre and Dorian Coninx.

After the disappointment of Tokyo last year marked by 13th place for Vincent Luis and 21st for Léo Bergère, the French team has bounced back. And Vincent Luis, seventh on Saturday, too: the double world champion ends his dark season with a fifth place in the general classification. Despite his tachycardia problem in the race in the spring which required an operation and his tearing of the aponeurosis of an Achilles tendon this summer.

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