Braud & Lacroix: "The goal is an Olympic medal!"
As we will not see World Champions Francois Braud and Sebastien Lacroix during the Summer Grand Prix, good thing Nordic Magazine caught up with the two Frenchmen and talked about the pressure of being World Champion in an Olympic season, the summer training and the national competitions in France last weekend.
How was your summer so far?
Lacroix: It was good. The training worked well, we had a lot of courses and made many jumps in Courchevel. We will now move a little more abroad, to Planica and Oberstdorf and the training will continue with hard sessions now. It's a little tiring but essential!
Braud: I agree, everything is going well. Like Seb said, we made many jumps in Courchevel but now it's time to change the hill. It was good to put on the competition BIB this past weekend in our national Summer Grand Prix because we will not go to the FIS Summer Grand Prix this year.
So the audience will not see that much of you this summer?
Lacroix: Yes, that's true. The next competitions after this past weekend will be the joint French and Swiss championships in October. Other than that we'll be at Prémanon next weekend for the French roller-skiing championships. It will be quite interesting to face off with the other disciplines!
For the last time, the summer contest in Chaux-Neuve had to take place on the small hill. Starting next year, the big HS118 hill will be ready to host jumpers also in the summer time. Are you looking forward to being able to jump a large hill "around the corner" in summer?
Braud: Yes, we are definitely looking forward to that. In France, we only have Courchevel as a large hill. It will be really great to be able to jump in Chaux-Neuve which is so much closer.
Lacroix: It's a 5 hour road trip every time we want to train right now. Soon we will be able to also have half a day of jumping training, in stages. It will be quite interesting to be able to work with these facilities in the summer time. It is also of real interest to us as this is the hill where our home World Cup is hosted and so we will have some advantage compared the foreign competition, being able to jump here all the time.
We could feel you almost wanted to have this summer's competition on the big hill already!
Lacroix: Yes, it still needed some coverage for the landing area in some places but I was joking with the Organising Committee, it's no problem, we can jump over the holes! Next year, the hill will be ready and the summer competition can take place there which should also chance things for the better in terms of the audience.
Next to working on the hill, you have also been training for the cross-country part, pushing the physical shape...
Lacroix: No, we have not done anything this year! (laughs) Yes, sure, we also had weeks with large training volumes. We have been on the bike quite much when we rode one stage of the Tour de France...
Braud: … Well, you have done that!
Lacroix: It was a good time, definitely difficult because we did not have that many training kilometres in the legs but the goal was to finish it and have fun. Other than that we have been roller-skiing and running while enjoying the nice weather this spring.
Winter is coming with the Olmpic Games in Sochi on the horizon. Are you already in the Olympic spirit?
Lacroix: I am preparing as if this was a normal season. I trust my coaches that they will have created a training program which will ensure we are in top shape next February as they did with the World Championships this year. I will take one competition after the other without focussing too much on the first results this winter.
Braud: The Olympics are both - very close and very far away. After the season we've had this winter, it's clear we want to return from Sochi with something. We will prepare for that and do everything to reach that goal.
Lacroix: We have to face it: we are the World Champions and we will inevitably be expected to succeed. The goal definitely is an Olympic medal!
Interview courtesy of Nordic Magazine
Find the full interview (in French) here: