Three Years Later, Sebastien Spehler PCA - CSL Neuf-Brisach Finds The Jersey Of The French Team

Three years later, Sebastien Spehler PCA - CSL Neuf-Brisach finds the jersey of the French team this Saturday 6: am at the world trail running championships. On the rocky ramps leading to Penyagolosa Castellon province, Spain, the Thannenkirchois hopes to create a surprise.

Three Years Later, Sebastien Spehler PCA - CSL Neuf-Brisach Finds The Jersey Of The French Team

Sebastien Spehler may be one of the very best trail specialists in France, but this weekend he will only celebrate his 2nd selection in Blue. The last one dates back three years and has not left him an unforgettable memory, the Alsatian having forced to abandon in Annecy, the host city of the 2015 Worlds.

In the Spanish province of Castellón, the PCA - CSL Neuf-Brisach athlete hopes to do much better this Saturday and why not triumph in Penyagolosa, at 1813 meters above sea level, where the arrival of the 2018 world championships will be judged, at the end of a formidable 85 km route 4900 m of elevation gain and 3690 m of elevation gain. Interview.

Sebastien, how did you prepare for these Worlds?

Since my success a month ago at Trail Sainte-Victoire 60 km, I have only been training. I loaded the boat, at the rate of 200 km and 8000 m of elevation gain per week. I started with an internship from April 9 to 15 with the French team, in Cantal. Then I came back to Alsace, where I have my habits on the heights of Ribeauville. And there, I concluded my preparation by ten intensive days in Bormes-Les-Mimosas, because there, the heat and the rocky grounds correspond well to what awaits me between Castellon and Penyagolosa, where the Worlds will dispute Saturday.

<Over eight hours of racing>

Why did you choose to load your sessions at this point?

Because the course that awaits us is for the beefy, It leaves no room for any slack. But it's okay; I cashed out pretty well. I feel good, despite a few minor sores and a lot of aches on certain days. I also have a toe that worries me a little; it creates apprehension. But I think it’s going to be okay, especially since I feel like I’ve taken another milestone lately. That's what the training numbers say anyway. But those are numbers.

You are talking about a tough course. What do you mean?

Let’s say it will favor the complete runners. The route offers a series of small bumps, like a mountain stage of the Tour de France cyclist in away. I think I can be comfortable with this type of circuit, but the problem in Castellon is that there is no tree, no shade. It is the one that will best manage the heat and the stones that will prevail. The start will given at 6: a.m, and the more we climb, the cooler it will be. But the organization is talking about 8:10 ’of racing for the best, so we will inevitably arrive at one of the hottest hours of the day. Fortunately, this is a variable that I manage better and better over the years.

Are you revengeful after your retirement in sad circumstances in 2015?

I would lie by saying that I don't think about it at all anymore, this episode still trotted in my head for a little while. Two years ago, for example, I probably would have declined my selection. There, I just want to have an excellent race to turn the page finally. But I have nothing to prove. And if something happens to me in the race, it will be entirely my fault, and it will be my responsibility.

Are you surprised that you are not among the favorites?

That doesn't mean anything; I still won the Grand Trail of Templars in October. But it suits me very well to be considered a simple outsider! laughs Afterward, I would like to surprise you. A podium is possible, for sure.

And victory, you think about it?

No one is unbeatable, even the Spaniard Luis Alberto Hernando, who will no doubt be highly motivated at home. So why not? I just celebrated my 30th birthday; the time is right. That said, I still see myself celebrating my 40th birthday by trail running.

Leading two-thirds of the way, Spehler was unwell 12 km from the finish, before learning of the death of his grandmother a few hours after his retirement.

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