It's very difficult to choose a memory among those collected in 10 years as a speake and more than 25000 triathletes welcomed on the finishing line…
Then I shall say, generally speaking, all these athletes who get through this event: the debutants of this sport who challenge themselves on the short distance or the duathlon, the most experimented ready for the Long distance and of course the children, beginners or not, giving their all during the different races.
To become "Finisher" in Alpe d'Huez, it is often at first many sacrifices to accept, weekends in family or with the friends postponed by a "later". Then there is this tension and this fear in the bike park at Verney's lake, even more powerful for the Long distance triathletes, before the great challenge. The arrival at T2 after sometimes many hours of effort and the running loops with the support of the family, the friends and the public in general before the delivery: the characteristic blue carpet of the finish line.
It's a mixed moment of joy, smiles, sometimes tears, with the satisfaction of the accomplished duty.
It is when I like to talk with them, these anonymous athletes or these famous champions, to congratulate them, to ask them for a few words and to allow them to share their happiness before "to change the world " with their friends.
This is the way, from the winner to the last one, welcomed like a hero, often at night, supported by the other heroes of the week: the volunteers and their smile, present during 5 days, whatever the weather (sometimes rainy).
It is all these people who make the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon! "
" I am lucky to be here since the really beginning of the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon (I worked eight years in the Tourism office), and even when it was only an idea in Cyrille Neveu's head. So there's infinity of memories and anecdotes I can remember. Racing facts, for example, as when I saw how Yves Cordier put down Marcel Zamora in the ascent of the Alpe d'Huez. Very symbolic! Even if obviously both had very different objectives at this time.
But it is really on the finish line that we live the most intensive moments. Every triathlete has its own reason for participating in the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon. There is a story behind every person. What I love in Alpe d'Huez is that people knows that it's going to be real tough. There is an authenticity and values which Laurence and Cyrille Neveu knew how to preserve.
I remember a very touching finish. It was on the 2012 Long distance, on the end of the race with Christophe. We amused the public trying to maintain a good atmosphere. Then, about ten Dutch approached. They waited quietly, with a rather solemn air. A 50-year-old lady then appeared in the final straight. They all began crying and giving hugs to each other, welcoming her after the line. Obviously, I inquired. This triathlete explained to me that 5 years ago, she suffered from a breast cancer, and had promised to herself to make the Long distance Alpe d'Huez Triathlon in case of cure. By crossing the line, she simply put the word "end" word on her disease.This story perfectly expresses the values and the drama of the event. Living and sharing these life instants, this is why I am a speaker."