Sebastien Chaigneau: “This victory is a consequence of hard working”

This french runner, form The North Face team, showed that he’s one of the strongest athletes of the beginning of the season and a truly candidate for the victory at the TNF Ultra Trail Mont Blanc 2012.

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How is to win a race like The North Face Transgrancanaria?
This is a very nice feeling and it’s a great pleasure, because beyond the fact of winning, I had a great time and It was just the end that has been a little difficult. I wanted to finish, because at the end of the race there is a lot of hard descent and lots parts of the road when you have nearly 100 km in your legs…it’s really difficult for muscles!

You are very involved in the race, even in the Training Camp. Does it make your victory more special?
Yes it does, because in addition to the race, and knowing the places, I know the people who live here and who do this. This playground is perfect for the training camp. Last year we were already doing this with Zigor and it was him who had won, and this year it is the opposite so it’s very good …
It’s really well organized and that helps recruit a little long in the sun and winter…

What differences make you win this time if you see the 2011 race?

The biggest difference from a 2011 winter is my work and preparation that I had last year, it was planned for the desert and therefore without elevation.
This winter I have worked well in view of progress and conditions of snow and cold, that makes me be even more strengthened. It also allows me to validate the various sectors and things in which I have worked. I still have a lot of work to do for me to be at the top of my game…

What was the hardest time in the race?

As I said before I think it was the last descent until the end of the race…it is difficult for the muscles. There are lots of small parts of very steep descents and has long hurt the muscle because of the shock. In addition it is the beginning of the season and there was long time I not been returned to the races for a moment. But it was very good and fun…

And what was the special moment?
I think it was the sunrise on the castled Nublo center of the island because it is a magical place with this light and it was incredible…

What is your opinion of the signs, because there is an issue with it and the disqualification of Emma Roca.
I think that there are two important things about this subject. The first thing is that Emma Roca was not disqualified from having a penalty, but only because in the crossing there was nobody to indicate that there was a score and went back.

And the second thing is that it is also a mistake from her part, even if the punishment is too harsh because she had done almost every kilometer. Perhaps the organization could have being more light in the penality if they would have known that just after their arrival. In my opinion, a penalty of 15 minutes was enough, and everyone would have meet this criteria.

Both of the winners –you and Fernanda- are The North Face runners. Did you expect this double victory?
Not really because initially there were a lot of other runners who were coming and that they were injured during the winter. We’re both satisfied with the results for us and our sponsors as this helps the start of the season.

How did you prepare for the race (training)?
In fact this may sound strange but I just made a few kilometers by foot during this winter and ski and physical preparation. I did between 45 and 70 km per week and cross-country skiing or ski touring. In addition to the difficult weather conditions it was necessary to work with snowshoes and with temperatures around -25 ° c…

What was your feeding plan in the race?
I was autonomous in that matter because the supply points were very far between each other. So I consumed energy bars, gels and drinks during the race.

Tell me about the new record. Did you work for it or it was an unexpected consequence?
Regarding the record in ultra trail I think it is difficult to predict anything because there are many things that can make you fail. It is actually a consequence of the work done, and it adds a little more to the taste of the victory…

Do you think that this record is improvable?
I think it is possible to do it in 12:30 on this course but only if you have good weather and physical conditions. Not to mention a good preparation.

What are going to be your next races of 2012?
I will do the Transvulcania, where there will be the very best trail runners from around the world. I’ll take the race as it has comes. Then I think to the Lavaredo and finally around the Mont Blanc.

Are you coming back to Spain in the next year?
I do not know yet because I am racing quite a lot and have to avoid making too many projects…

You’re going again to the UTMB. Without Kilian, do you see a “more open” race?
The fact of Kilian not going would probably change a lot of things for some riders but I think I’ll go over there with the same objective than other years. The victory is only a work consequence and not an end in itself. This is not one of my goals…

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