This week, on our paratriathlon article we would like to present one of our most talented athletes. Representing France in the TRI 4 Category, Yannick Bourseaux has been the World Champion in 2005 and 2006.
A crash on his bike during a training camp in 2004 wasnt enough to end his career as elite athlete. Being a member of French National Junior Team and French National Long Distance Elite team, he kept doing what was most important for him loving sport.
If you want to learn more about this incredible athlete check his website www.yannickbourseaux.com
If you have any additional question about ITU Paratriathlon please contact Thanos Nikopoulos
What made you decide to compete in Triathlon?
I competed in triathlon when I was an able bodied athlete so it was natural for me to keep on training and taking part in triathlon events after my accident! I love training and trying to do my best in races, that’s why I practice triathlon!
What is your typical training week?
I use to train about 15 to 20 hours a week a week. If I train more, my body doesn’t recover enough, I get tired and ultimately I can’t put together good sessions. Typically, I train twice a day. I swim about three or four times a week in the pool and one time in open water. I ride about 300km to 350km on my bike with one session on a wind-trainer and I run about 50km with one session on the track. I’m trying to have one day-off per week. This is my typical training week in summer., but in September, my training moves towards the winter season during which my main sport goals are biathlon and cross-country skiing International Paralympic Committee events.
What adaptations have you had to make to accommodate your disability for triathlon?
I swim only with my left arm and it’s not very fast! It’s a bit annoying, so I train a lot with little flippers called “Zoomers”. Because of these Zoomers, I can swim as fast as my friends who are elite triathletes and it’s more fun.
For cycling, I’m lucky because I can still use my right hand to brake and to change gears so I had no adaptations to make on my bike.
For running, I was using something like a strap gripping my arm onto my body. It wasn’t very comfortable so I changed the adaptation this year. I am still using the strap but I don’t attach it around my body so I can breathe easily.
What is the highlight of competing in triathlon so far?
My highlight as an able bodied athlete is my second place at the European Junior Championship in 1995 and the World Championship in Cancun the same year. We spent three weeks in Cancun for an international youth training camp. And were able to put in some good training and have some fun times.
In paratriathlon, my best memory is my first world championship title in 2005 in Honolulu. It was only one year after my crash and I travelled to the race with one of my best friends. We had a good time in Hawaii and I won the race with a big gap!
For winter season, my first race at 2006 Torino Paralympics Games will stay forever in my memory with many friends supporting me…
What are your goals for this season?
This season, I have three main goals in triathlon: the World Championship Series event in Kitzbhel and London and the long distance Alpe d’Huez Triathlon. Two years ago I ranked top ten at this race including the able bodied triathletes so I hope to repeat it this year! I won’t be able to be at the Gold Coast for the World Championship Series Grand Final because I am representing France in the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics Winter Games and I have to focus on that!
Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for individuals thinking about competing in paratriathlon?
Go training, try to do your best with you own capacity and be sure that you will love it!