France’s two-time World Triathlon champion, Vincent Luis, says he wants to focus on the Ironman 70.3 World Championship next year. After competing in the Professional Triathletes Organisation 2020 Championship at Challenge Daytona last December (he finished eighth after receiving a two-minute drafting penalty), Luis says that he’s keen to try his hand at an even longer half-distance race and try to qualify for the worlds in St. George.
“I did not really have in mind to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, and then I watched St. George,” he says. “Gustav [Iden] did really well. Kristian [Blummenfelt] unfortunately had a flat, but I think he was going to also be on the podium. So yes, it gave me some inspiration. I’m going to race for the win or at least a podium and I hope there’ll be a qualifying slot. If I can secure it earlier, I’ll go for it.”
Luis is taking things so seriously that he travelled to Morgan Hill, California to do wind tunnel testing with his sponsor, Specialized, to dial in his aero position.
“I want to optimize everything,” he says. “In the wind tunnel we noticed a few things: my front end is really narrow, so for comfort we’re getting my elbows just a little wider, maybe one or two centimeters. We lowered my saddle a bit, too, to avoid any glute tissues. We tested different helmets, we tested different little tricks that work or don’t work. But the thing that we learned the most is I have to spend time on my TT bike, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I also need to dial in my nutrition and my hydration for the next few weeks. It’s going to be all about making sure I can handle the distance, but also that my body can sustain the energy and the power if I want to race at 100 percent.”
In a press release from his Bahrain Endurance 13 team sent out today, it’s not clear where Luis will try to make his 70.3 debut, but he does say that he’ll be looking for a flat, fast course. He’s also looking to focus on next year’s World Triathlon Championship Series and the Super League Triathlon Championship before setting his sights on the 70.3 worlds in St. George. He is also hoping to compete for France at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
For now, though, his sights are set on going longer in 2022: “I really want to make sure I prepare and I’m ready for 70.3 Worlds,” he says.
He’ll also be focused on making it to Paris as part of the French Olympic team.