Win the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc six weeks after triumphing over the Hardrock 100. Here is the incredible and unprecedented challenge that François D’Haene launched this summer. A completely crazy challenge for anyone who has already started a race. But nothing impossible for someone who already has one of the finest achievements in the discipline.
To put all the chances on his side, the trail runner from Saint-Julien did not hesitate to cut, several days after his victory, in Colorado in mid-July. In his cocoon of Arêches-Beaufort and in Corsica, François D’Haene first breathed before putting on his sneakers at the beginning of August.
On foot or by bike, he gradually intensified his preparation in order to be ready on August 27, the day of the start of the Ultra trail du Mont Blanc. A race that he will try to win for the fourth time, after having triumphed in 2012, 2014 and 2017. But for that, he will have to get rid of the 170 km on the program (and 10,000 meters of elevation gain!).
Competition side, François D’Haene should find a few sizes. Starting with Xavier Thévenard, even if the three-time winner will go a little into the unknown after a difficult year. Another heavyweight, Pau Capell, already a winner in Chamonix in 2019, but more than uncertain after having undergone an operation a month ago. Also watch out for the Americans Jim Walmsley and Tim Tollefson, not to mention the Russian Dmitry Mityaev or the Spaniard Pablo Villa. In short, facing the Beaujolais traileur-winegrower, there will be heavy things. Very heavy.