She brilliantly won the 10th edition of the race. She is an amazing cyclist who is in love with triathlon and we may have the opportunity to see her in Rio Olympic Games this summer on time trial competition... Ladies and Gentlemen, we are glad to propose you a short interview with Emma Pooley!
Question: What did represent your win last year in Alpe d’Huez?
Answer: Winning Alpe d'Huez was probably my best result in triathlon. It's certainly the most high-profile race I've won. I was already world champion at Powerman duathlon, but once you add in the swimming... I struggle a little more to get to the front! So I have great memories of Alpe d'Huez and I'm really proud of that win because it's such an iconic race and it's been won by really amazing athletes.
Q: How did you train for it?
A:I spent 3 weeks training in Morzine in the Alps, thanks to some friends who invited me to stay with them. I wanted to try to specifically simulate the race conditions; not just the mountainous bike course, but also the run at altitude.
Q: You already knew Alpe d’Huez before your win. What about climbing it in race conditions?
A: I think it's a pity that there's not a women's Tour de France and so, I never got to ride a real women's race with mountain stages in the Alps, but in 2012 I did take part in the Haute Route sportive, which included a time trial up Alpe d'Huez. So I already knew how much it can hurt! Actually, I find race conditions easier for a climb like that because the motivation is unquestionable. And for the Triathlon, there were so many supporters cheering. When Chrissie Wellington cheers you on, it's like a dream come true!
Q: If you had to give only one tip or advice to any participant of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon (Long Distance), which one would it be?
A: Make sure you have appropriate gearing for the steepness of the climb. And practise descending as well as climbing!
Q: You’re now focused on Rio. How is going your preparation? Did your last years as a triathlete improve or change your cyclist profile?
A: I'm happy with how my training is going and I think I'm still improving at triathlon; but, of course, all the running and swimming does take off the top end of cycling fitness. On the other hand, I do enjoy it a lot. It has allowed me to be a happier athlete; and a happy athlete is a fast athlete! If I'm selected for the Olympics in Rio for the time trial (it's far from certain, selection takes place in June) I will reduce my run and swim load to improve that. But right now my focus is on duathlon and triathlon: my early season goals are Powerman Malaysia and Rapperswil 70.3. And I'm really looking forward to trying to make improvements on last season.
Q: You seem to enjoy a lot triathlon. Will we have a chance to see you again in Alpe d’Huez one day?
A: Yes, I really enjoy the sport of triathlon. I especially love how inclusive it is and meeting people of all levels at races. If I'm selected for the Olympics in cycling, it will be just a temporary "holiday" from triathlon; I will be back straight away! And to be honest, if I'm selected for Rio, that will be sad in one way because it's not really possible to do the Triathlon EDF Alpe d'Huez directly before the Olympics. So if I fail at Olympic selection, the silver lining of the cloud will be returning to Alpe d'Huez this year! And if not, I'll be back in 2017 for sure...
Thank you to Emma Pooley for this interview.
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