FFG is proud to sponsor Maximilien Drion

Very good results confirmed at the World Championships!

VAL MARTELLO WORLD CUP

Val Martello, in South Tyrol, is one of the regions of Italy where German is the main language. A sprint and an individual race were waiting for us. My feelings at the time of approaching these competitions were not excellent because of I had some stomach aches that bothered me for a few days. But I was counting on my motivation and determination to make a difference.

During the sprint, I made a good qualifying run but to my surprise I only achieved the 29th time of qualifying! In Flaine, I had the best time… Fortunately, it was enough to go to the next round. To motivate myself and wake up, I even went so far as to put snow in my neck. In 1/4 I made a good race, but unfortunately, I made too many mistakes and finished 5th in my quarter and got a 21st place as final rank. A little disappointed but my feelings would not have allowed me to do much better that day.

The next day, the individual race was a great one. The weather was perfect and the course very technical. The sensations were a little better. I make a quick start to get straight into the rhythm. At the top of the first of the 3 climbs, I thought that I might have started a little fast and that I would pay for it on the next climbs. But it was the other way around, until the end of the race I managed to keep a high pace and take back some competitors to finish in a very nice 14th place! I was really happy with that!

 

 

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN ANDORRA

The World Championships are held every two years and therefore each athlete had ticked off this event for a long time hoping to be at the top of his form. 4 races were proposed: the sprint, the relay, the vertical, and the individual. I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the relay because you have to be 4 racers, but the other three races were more than enough for me.

I had set myself an ambitious goal before these championships: to be in the top 10 in all 3 disciplines. In the sprint, I pass the qualification without any problem and then I won my quarter final. So, I’m in the semi-final final and I’m sure to finish in the top 12. The level is extremely high, and fatigue begins to be felt. I finished 5th in my semi-final, which is not enough for me to go to the final, but it allows me to get an excellent 10th place!

After a day of rest took place the vertical. I knew the course by heart because I got my best results there: 3rd at the European Championships in cadet in 2014, 2nd in the World Cup in junior in 2017, 1st in the World Cup in U23 in 2019. On the morning of the race, I immediately noticed that I was having very good sensations. I did my best to stay calm and focused and not get carried away by the excitement.

   

   

I made a good start and quickly put me in the top 10. Halfway through the race, I pointed in 8th position and told myself that if I could manage to keep that position until the finish, I would be super satisfied. A few hundred meters from the finish, I see that I was quickly getting closer to the riders in front of me. I made the effort to join them and then after a few seconds, I told myself “and why not…” I started running with the skis on my feet, I passed two Italian competitors and saw a Spaniard about 20 meters ahead. Without cutting my effort, I join him, pass him and without turning I back I go straight to the finish line. If you’ve done the math, you’ll understand that I just finished 5th at the world championships! A few seconds after the finish, I can’t believe it, it’s amazing! The emotions are immense. I had tears in my eyes for the few next hours…

The world championships are not yet finished, there is still the individual race, the most important race of the championship because it represents the best what ski-mountaineering is. Unfortunately, bad weather conditions forced the organizers to change the route. The course was much less exciting but the most important thing for the athletes was to have a race to be able to express themselves on.

I did a good start, but soon I saw that I couldn’t keep up with the best athletes. So, I dropped a little in the ranking, but I fought till the end to get the best result possible. I’ll finish 17th. Summary of my results: 10th in the sprint, 5th in the vertical and 17th in the individual.

TEAM LONG DISTANCE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

 

A few days after my return from Andorra, it was already time to leave. Direction Arèches-Beaufort, the site of the legendary Pierra Menta race. A course of almost 3500m of vertical drop awaited us and the best teams in the world were going to compete there for the title of long distance world champion.

As a Belgian, the difficulty for me was to find a teammate… I managed to motivate Gauthier Masset, a Belgian who also lives in Vercorin in Switzerland to race with me. Even though there was a small difference in level between the two of us, I was really happy to do this race with him and I look forward to making more in the future.

There was also another Belgian team present in Arèches. So, we were 4 Belgian riders, it was really great to share this experience with them.

@360dsm