Last season was Lucas Chanavat the best French sprinter, ranked 8th in the Overall Sprint World Cup ranking. Nordicmag.info sat down with the young skier from Le Grand Bornard to evaluate last winter and look to the future.
Lucas, what do you think about 8th place in the Sprint World Cup and 27th place in the Overall World Cup ranking? Are you satisfied with the last winter season?
Yes, I am very satisfied with the 8th place in the sprint ranking. It shows I could keep consistent shape during the winter.
The season before, you had finished in 92nd place in the Overall World Cup standing. You’ve made an impressive progress. What is the ground of such an improvement?
I think the progress I have made is mainly related to the full year of training I could carry out. The year before I was slowed down by an injury. I realised how big negative impact a year off could have. Additionally, I got better in understanding why it is important to train so much every year and why it’s crucial to accumulate training hours year by year. If I have to find a simple answer to your question, I think it’s the accumulated hours of training.
Last season marked your first ever sprint qualifier victory in Davos, your first ever podium shared with Baptiste Gros in PyeongChang. What do these two firsts mean to you?
The victory in the qualifier was my goal for the early season. I was very happy to achieve it in the second World Cup race of the winter. I think the success helped me to better apprehend competitions that followed. The podium with Baptiste in PyeongChang was different. The beginning of the winter was not ideal for our team. I really felt the podium in Korea was a team success and I felt that it was much more than 2 skiers that day.
You managed to crack top 3 in the sprint qualification many times last winter, you made to the final. What was missing to win the first World Cup race?
I was missing physical strength especially in the first races of the season. For the other races, I think should have to been more instinctive to succeed in the final.
You also took your classic technique to a next level. The work you’ve done seems to pay off?
I do not feel I took my classic technique to a next level. I’ve never had a preference of a particular style. However, I have to be continuously working on classical technique because I have an imbalance between my double poling and diagonal techniques.
At the end of the season you won the sprint race organised by Federico Pellegrino and then hold for a few moments the world record in 100 m Cross-Country skiing. Did you compete to have a little of fun?
Yeah, I had a lot of fun. This kind of format is interesting, it’s a show and it can be organised almost everywhere.
Unlike last year, French sprinters were less present on the World Cup podium. Was it a necessary evil before the Olympic season?
I don’t know if it was a necessary evil because we did everything to better than the previous winter. On the other hand, next season we will have the advantage of being less expected on the podium.
The course in PyeongChang seems to be fine for you. Are you looking forward to returning to Korea next February?
Yes, the track in PyeongChang fits me well. The courses are beautiful, difficult and we will have exciting races there. I am not looking forward to coming back. The reason is simple, I have to first get ready and I prefer taking things step by step.