Happy New Year to you. What can we wish you?
Quentin Lafargue: Thank you. Happy New Year to all my followers and supporters! May 2019 bring you happiness, good health and a lot of success!
This year starts with a 12 day practice in Noumea (New Caledonia). Isn’t it an ideal spot to prepare the 5thWorld Cup Round in Cambridge (New Zealand)?
QL: Many people were jealous when I said to my family and friends that I was leaving for New Caledonia on 2nd January. We were lucky to enjoy Noumea for this training. It gave me time to adjust to the time difference and recover from the trip. We enjoyed the very pleasant climate of New Caledonia (French territories close to New Zealand) before our departure for the 5thWorld Cup Round in Cambridge 10 days later.
You started this new round with team sprint. You were tired during the qualifying rounds, can you tell us more.
QL: on the 1stday I take part in team sprint. As we usually do, we are 4 cyclists for 3 during the race so that we can alternate during the competition. Coaches decided that I should enter the competition during the qualifying rounds. I felt good during the 3 lapses either on the first one, or the 2ndone behind Sebastien or in the last lapse. In the end we get the 2ndbest time of the qualifying rounds.
For the rest of the competition rules are the same. The best time finisher takes part in the final. Michael had the best time during the 1stround so he took part in the final to get bronze. A small final won by the French Team and 1stmedal for France. I was not on the podium as the rules allow only final runners to be there.
On the next day you carry on with Keirin. You are the only cyclist to reach the big final after repechage! How did you get through the 3 races?
QL: We started very early. Qualifying rounds were at 9am which means warm up at 7am. I couldn’t leave during the day. Qualifications have been difficult, very promptly I realized during the sprint that I would make it in this round so I finish the race with minimum efforts to keep energy for repechage.
Somewhat frustrated, I started repechage in better conditions. I decide to take control of the race as I like and know how to do. I won the race and reached the ½ final. This race boosted me up and gave me confidence for the rest of the day.
During the semi-final, I decide to take control so that I do not end up fighting at the back. I finished 2ndand reached the big final.
3 Keirin competitions this year and 3 finals (2ndat the French Championships and 5that the European Championships), does it give you confidence?
QL: I felt better and better for the final. During the final round, I was very quickly in a positive position. I take the lead 2 lapses before finishing, another cyclist follows and carries on his effort and overtakes me. At this point, I know I have 1 and ½ turns to go. I need to keep control of the distance from this Canadian so I can pass him on the finish line. It’s what I do. But in the last curve, I feel Dawkins, the New-Zealander coming back. He benefits from the descent at the exit of the curve and he overtakes me. I thrusted my bike on the line and get a silver medal. On the spot, I have regrets. Quickly I see the positive side and enjoy this podium that I’d been wishing for some time.
I feel happy with such results and I feel confident. I go back home to France ready to prepare for the World Championships in Poland (Pruszkow).