Schoeman seals second in French Grand Prix | TeamSA - TeamSA

Schoeman seals second in French Grand Prix


By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s Rio Olympics bronze medallist Henri Schoeman heads for Hamburg and the next ITU World Triathlon Series event in a confident frame of mind after a solid second place in France.

Schoeman raced the French Grand Prix in Valence and was outsprinted for the win by fellow Olympian Vincent Luis of the host nation. He clocked 52min 26sec, just three seconds behind Luis.

The Durban-based athlete went into the Valence event on the back of some high-altitude training in preparation for Hamburg and beyond.

‘After I had a good block of work at a high-altitude camp in Sierra Nevada (2300m above sea level) I was excited to see how the body responds just a couple of days after coming down.

‘Similar to the Cagliari World Cup I felt a bit tired and sluggish, but could feel the fitness come through really strong. Although sluggish and tight, I was strong and fit and I had a very good race.

‘I broke away with Vincent on the bike and we worked well together to open a 50sec lead on the bike. We battled it out on the entire 5km run, where it came to a final sprint.’

And far from being despondent at defeat Schoeman is quietly confident.

‘Hopefully I can polish that up and freshen up come Hamburg in just over a week. I’ve just picked up a cold, so I hope it doesn’t get worse and I’m in good shape to race next weekend.’

There was also a mental boost for Schoeman. ‘My first experience of racing the French Grand Prix in 2014 was not good at all. So I’m also happy to change that in 2017 with a very good result and helping my team Sartrouville to win on the day.

‘Now on to Hamburg. I’ve raced there every year since 2013 and my best finish there was in 2015 where I came sixth.’