Céline Périllon Alpe d'Huez

'Behind the scenes' with Céline Perrillon

Behind the scenes, episode 2. The Alpe d’Huez Triathlon involves a large organisation team every year but also depends on the support of many external actors who play a key role in the setting up of the Triathlon Festival. Among them, Céline Perrillon, from the Alpe d’Huez Tourist Office.

 

Who are you?

My name is Céline PERRILLON, I work at the Tourist Office of Alpe d’Huez. I hold the position of press officer.

I am native of the stéphanoise region and I have been living on the resort for more than 20 years.

In 2012, I took part in the Triathlon M relay where I did the cycling part. I have great memories of it. I registered last year to do it entirely… I trained mostly in swimming, my big weakness. A month before the event, I went swimming in deep water, in the middle of Annecy Lake to familiarize myself with this aquatic environment and there… panic attack in the water. I couldn’t see anything, I had no reference points. The water is not at all my element and my swimming level being too low, I had to give up… How disappointing!

 

How many editions of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon have you been involved in?

I’ve lived them all from the beginning, following the evolution of the organization.

 

How did you become an actor in the adventure?

My job is to promote L’Alpe d’Huez to the media… Triathlon is therefore one of the events that highlight the dynamism of the resort. We welcome journalists on site. It’s mainly the specialist press. The regional journalists are also present, it has even happened that they take part in the event and write an article from inside.

 

What is your function in the event?

To offer a good media visibility of the event, to offer a personalized, careful and professional welcome to the journalists present. For example, we provide the press with a motorbike and a pilot to cover the entire event, take photos and do interviews. We’re really there to make their job easier and to make sure they can report the event in the best possible way.

 

What is your best memory of the event?

I always get chills at the start of the swim, which is spectacular, but what I like the most is being at the finish line and seeing the expressions on the triathletes’ faces. There is a lot of suffering of course because it is a demanding discipline but also and above all a lot of joy and pride to have taken it all the way to the end.

 

Do you have an anecdote to share?

I suggested to a Belgian journalist who had come to discover the resort in winter to participate in the long-distance triathlon to do an immersive story last summer. He had already participated in the Alpe d’Huez L Triathlon but on a personal basis and especially in extreme weather conditions… I wanted him to appreciate the event and the beauty of the landscapes at their true value. He accepted our invitation, but it was very hot on race day. The journalist crossed the finish line and collapsed… he was immediately taken care of by the rescue team on the site. I accompanied him to his hotel. I felt really bad to have “embarked” him in this adventure and there he smiled at me and told me that he had loved the race and that his article would stop at the crossing of the finish line… (Article from Bazar Magazine)

 

From your point of view, from the heart of the organization and with your experience, what makes the event so special?

It’s really a triathlon festival. There are events for all profiles and all ages. I love the children’s event, especially the youngest. As tall as three apples, they can barely swim, their bikes are often too big for them. They’re too cute. They also often have to cope with the stress of their parents…

 

If you could, what would you change in the organization or the schedule of races?

I would do an event for dummies or an event that would be called “my first triathlon” with a more “accessible” format: 500 meters swimming, about 20 km cycling and 5 km running.

 

Where will you be and what will you do on July 30, 2020, the original date of the L Triathlon?

I will be on the resort and I will have a thought for this event that I love so much and also a thought for Cyrille and Laurence Neveu who organize these events with passion.

 

Céline Périllon Alpe d'Huez
Céline Perrillon (centre), is the Press Officer of the Alpe d’Huez Tourist Office


Maxime Gondoux Triathlon Alpe d'Huez

'Behind the scenes' with Maxime Gondoux

July is there. Summer is now well and truly on its way, and yet everything is different. While triathletes and the race usually monopolize the communication of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon during the weeks preceding the event, this year we have decided to present the event through a series of interviews with some of the people who represent our small community (not to say family) full of colour and diversity. We open this series ‘Behind the scenes’ with Maxime Gondoux, an essential figure of the race!

 

Who are you?

My name is Maxime Gondoux, I’m 28 years old and I was born in Saint Martin d’Hères in Isère. I am a professional service provider in the event industry since 8 years, specializing in volunteer management and logistics. Despite my attachment to triathlon I am not a triathlete.

 

How many editions of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon have you been involved in?

I have taken part in all the editions of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon… 14 editions!

 

How did you become an actor in the adventure?

I started at the age of 13 as a volunteer on a supply station and I directly enjoyed the relationship with all the participants (athletes, volunteers, organisers etc…) and the general atmosphere of the event. This first participation represents for me the symbolic beginning of my professional career. I continued as a volunteer for several years, notably as the person in charge of the Guard’s supplies, then in 2010 I became a trainee and since 2014 I have been a free-lance worker within the organisation team.

 

What is your function in the event?

I am in charge of the team of volunteers that is formed each year to make the event possible. The challenges of this position are mainly to find a sufficient number of volunteers upstream to ensure optimal organisation of the races and during the event to succeed in coordinating all the volunteers so that everyone can bring his or her contribution while ensuring a good atmosphere within the team.

This responsibility gives me the opportunity to work with a group of people who are all different in terms of experience and particularities, and to be at the heart of the action by coordinating the activities of the volunteers with the other teams (organisers, referees, first-aid staff). It is always a very exciting challenge to take up and it is a personal and professional enrichment for me.

The only drawbacks are that during the operational period (from setting up to taking-off), it’s a never-ending job: you have to be permanently available to deal with the problems inherent to an event and the management of such a team.

 

What is your best memory of the event?

Every year the best memory I have of the Triathlon is the finish of the last participant in Triathlon L. It is a moment when all the members of the organization, volunteers, exhibitors, spectators and athletes still present on the site come together and form a hedge of honour at the finish line to welcome the ultimate participant of the race. This is a very emotional and important moment for me because it shows how important and deserving each athlete is.

As for bad memories of organisation, I remember in particular 2011, when a large part of the long distance event took place under a deluge of rain and in the cold. It was an exhausting day for everyone.

 

Do you have an anecdote to share?

It was thanks to Triathlon that I met my girlfriend in 2015. She was part of our team and was assigned to hand out the bibs.  Since then, we have participated in the event every year, she as a volunteer in charge of protocol and I as a service provider. It has become a meeting whose dimension goes far beyond the professional framework. This year we should have celebrated on August 1st our 5th year together and our 6th edition of the Triathlon. It’s only a postponement.

 

From your point of view, from the heart of the organization and with your experience, what makes the event so special?

For me, what characterizes the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon is its friendly and family spirit. Every year, more and more athletes, volunteers and even service providers come to take part in the event with their family and/or friends. I think that over time the organisation has succeeded in creating this spirit by offering a week of races and activities open to all. As far as the volunteers are concerned, we try to create a team spirit by welcoming everyone at the opening night and then throughout the week all the volunteers on the Alpe d’Huez meet at the “Hot Spot” (the catering of the event) morning, noon and evening. Finally, we organize a closing party in order to thank all the teams and to share a festive moment out of the intensity of the race. We are a kind of family of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon and we get together every year with pleasure.

 

If you could, what would you change in the organization or the schedule of races?

For everyone’s safety and comfort, the ideal would be to be able to close all the roads to traffic. Unfortunately, this is not possible because the courses take some vital traffic arteries in the valley and it is impossible for the authorities to lock them for several days for the Triathlon.

 

Where will you be and what will you do on July 30, 2020, the original date of the L Triathlon?

I will be in Alpe d’Huez with friends who wanted to participate in the 2020 event as volunteers. We will enjoy the activities of the resort and certainly have a drink with Cyrille Neveu and Laurence Maire thinking about the beautiful 2021 edition that is coming up.

 

Maxime Gondoux Triathlon Alpe d'Huez


Inscriptions 2021 Triathlon de l'Alpe d'Huez

Alpe d'Huez Triathlon 2021: registrations open on September 14th

Inscriptions 2021 Triathlon de l'Alpe d'Huez

 

The date has been set: on September 14th at 8pm, registration for the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon 2021 will be officially open.

But the 15th edition, the most highly expected in the history of the race, has already gathered strength since the cancellation of its 2020 edition.

Indeed, more than half of this year’s registrants have already postponed their registration to next year! The event is therefore starting again on a promising basis to welcome 4000 triathletes from 26th to 30th July 2021. In other words; the number of bibs on sale on September 14th will be limited.

In addition, the organization is preparing some new features for this special opening and the whole team is already working hard to make the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon 2021 a reference. Stay tuned!

 

Notes to the 2020 participants:

– If you were registered in 2020 without cancellation insurance and you have still not requested the postponement of your registration to 2021 or your refund, here is a reminder of the options available to you: NEWS

– Triathletes with cancellation insurance in 2020 and wishing to participate in the 2021 edition will have guaranteed access to their race number (the organization will contact them directly to offer them a pre-registration), but must activate the refund beforehand, at the following link: Refund with insurance 2020


A message from Laurence & Cyrille Neveu

 

Dear Triathletes, partners, and volunteers of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon

 

The disappointment is immense, both yours and ours.

 

In the face of prevailing pessimism and always aware of all the obstacles that lay ahead, we have tried so hard to push through these last few weeks, to keep moving forward. Some may have seen it  as stubbornness or over-optimism. However, we have been following the one clear principle from the beginning of this pandemic to not make any decisions based on potential or hypothetical situations. Above all, we believe that hope will always endure. Whilst being realistic, we have always erred on the side of optimism, and we defend that decision. This is out of respect to the triathletes, as well as our sponsors, our volunteers, and of course all our community. This is the Alpe d’Huez spirit. ‘If there’s a will, there’s way’.

From this experience we are seeking to see the positives. For example, we have taken great comfort in the solidarity and kindness from so many people. Thank you to all those who sent us little (and long!) messages of support. Empathy and patience are the virtues that COVID-19 has thrust upon us, and which we will need now going forward more than ever. We now have an unexpected amount of time to prepare for our 2021 race; to perfect the changes which we will have to introduce from this year, and to decide on the best way forward to tackle to impact of the pandemic on the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon.

 

The adventure continues, thanks to you.

 

Take care,

 

Cyrille and Laurence Neveu


CANCELLATION of the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon 2020

The organizers of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon have to cancel the 2020 edition of the race, planned for the 27th to the 31st July 2020. This decision has been taken in consultation with the relevant authorities following the last press release from the French Ministry of Sports in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond the disappointment, this suspension exposes the organization to many difficulties. But it will try to overcome these with the willingness to move forward and the innovation capacity that characterizes it. In this way, we are already thinking ahead to the future, to the next edition planned for the 26th to 30th July 2021. However, for now it is imperative that we manage the current crisis as best we can.

 

The cancellation of the event means we will put the following measures into motion regarding all those signed up for the 2020 edition. Below are the proposed options depending on the individual athletes situation and wishes.

 

For those triathletes who took out our cancellation insurance during their registration:

  • A full refund will be offered, if requested before 24th July
    • The cancellation insurance taken out for 2020 will not cover the 2021 edition
    • Once they have been reimbursed, the triathletes will have a guaranteed place for the 2021 race if they wish to apply, which will be held until the 31st October 2020.

APPLY FOR THE REFUND

Your booking code can be found in your registration confirmation email (contact us by email at [email protected] if you can’t find it).

2021 BIB RESERVATION

For those triathletes who did not take out our cancellation insurance during their registration:

  • You may transfer your registration to the 2021 edition. Your place in the race will be reserved until the 31st October 2020.

2021 BIB TRANSFER

  • You may request a 70% refund, in accordance with our race guidelines, to be requested before 31st October 2020.

APPLY FOR A REFUND

OR

  • Athletes who haven’t signed up for cancellation insurance may transfer their bib to another triathlete AFTER having transferred their registration to the 2021 edition. This can be done over email at [email protected] before 31 March 2021.

 

IMPORTANT:

Athletes who have neither requested a refund nor transferred their registration to the 2021 edition by the 31st October 2020 will be automatically reimbursed from 1st November 2020.

The organisers are always available to answer any questions at [email protected]. All emails will receive a response, however due to the volume of emails currently in our inbox please bear with us! Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Daniela Ryf bike Alpe d'Huez

RENAULT: alongside the organization and the triathletes


It is in difficult and uncertain times that we recognize our best allies. Renault, alongside the triathletes and the organization of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon since its beginnings, revalidates its historic support for the event. The entire range of the diamond-shaped brand will once again be at the heart of the 15th edition, but it is the electric models, headed by the new Renault Zoé, that will take centre stage. In the current circumstances, the organisation of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon and Renault want to convey a little hope to all the triathletes and their families by showing their solidarity.

A partner at the heart of the organization

“The trust with the Renault group and Renault Auto Dauphiné has been built up over the years and is growing from edition to edition! This partnership has become the keystone of the organisation: the fleet of Renault vehicles enables us to solve our various logistical problems during the preparation, the running and then the closing of the triathlon. We share the same vision of the event, sport and the environment. This is the driving force behind this collaboration. “explains Cyrille Neveu, race director. For the 15th edition, the organization will use nearly 20 vehicles, taking advantage of the full brand range to carry out its various missions.

The Renault Zoé opening the festivities

0 noise. 0 emission. 0 loss of time. What if the New Renault ZOE was the real winner of the Triathlon? The electric city car will be the opening car of all the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon events. With its 395km WLTP autonomy and agility, it is the official car of the 2020 edition. In addition to the Zoé, participants will be able to discover the world of Renault in the Expo Village open from Monday 26th to Friday 31st July. But as of today, the respective teams are working on the implementation of new actions to boost this historic partnership and create new activities for all during the Triathlon ‘Festival’. Keep your fingers crossed, and stay tuned!

 

 

Renault Alpe d'Huez Triathlon 2020


Alp

Alpe d'Huez Triathlon 2020 Vs COVID-19: update

Bike Alpe d'Huez Triathlon 2020

As things currently stand on Wednesday 15th April, the 15th edition of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon will go ahead as planned from the 27th to 31st July. This will be the case until you hear directly otherwise from the organisers. The health of our athletes and of all the Triathlon community remains the priority of the course directors, but there is not enough precise information yet to justify a cancellation of the event. The organisers are continuing to work pending new guidance or official restrictions. However, we are committed to being as transparent as possible with our participants on the consequences of a possible cancellation, but also on the plans for the event if the course continues on the planned dates.   

IF the fifteenth edition of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon takes place:

  • The time cut-offs for the cycling section will be extended
  • Participants will be able to transfer their registration to another person (between the 1st and 30th June). The organisers will give further details on this procedure at the end of May.
  • For the Triathlon L, a shortening of the swimming and running sections is being considered as a possible option.
  • Those registered for the Triathlon L with not be able to transfer their registration to the Triathlon M.
  • Participants cannot transfer their sign up to 2021 (Except in special circumstances, eg. an athlete from abroad cannot get to Alpe d’Huez because of border restrictions)
  • Participants can ask for refunds according to the following criteria
    • 100% refund for triathletes who signed up for cancellation insurance when they registered (must apply for cancellation before 24th July).
    • 70% refund for triathletes who did not sign up for cancellation insurance when they registered (must apply for cancellation before 10th July).

IF the fifteenth edition of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon is cancelled:

  • The race will not be pushed back to a later date in 2020. Full cancellation of the event will be announced no later than 31st
  • All the registered triathletes will be able to transfer to the 2021 edition if desired.
  • Participants can ask for refunds according to the following criteria
    • 100% refund for triathletes who signed up for cancellation insurance when they registered.
    • 70% refund for triathletes who did not sign up for cancellation insurance when they registered.
  • All participants will be informed by email of the official cancellation, with details of next steps depending on the athletes chosen option.

 

As always, all of our team are at your disposal to answer any questions or queries over email ([email protected]). Our inbox is very full at the moment, as you can imagine, but every email will receive a reply. Thank you in advance for your patience!


Victor del Corral 2019

Victor del Corral is back (with a good advice)!

Victor del Corral bike Alpe d'Huez Triathlon

It’s Victor del Corral’s turn to take part in our little video interview! The double winner 2011/2012 of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon L explains to us how he lives his confinement at home in the Catalan Pyrenees. He also reminds us of the basic rule to achieve a great race at the end of July at the top of the 21 bends… If we are lucky enough to celebrate the 15th edition.

How is going your confinement? How do you stay motivated?

I go through different states, actually. I’m enjoying my family even if it’s difficult with two young children to be confined for so long. I can train more or less well because I am well equipped except for swimming. I can run, do home trainer and gym sessions. So I work on strength and a little bit on speed. The only problem may be the volume but I think I can get in shape quickly once it gets back to normal. So I’m not too worried, I maintain my level and I even think it will be good for me. But the level of motivation varies from day to day. I remain motivated to train, there is the desire, even if the hometrainer sessions can be boring. But sometimes you wonder if there will be races or not this season. Is it worth the effort if there is no competition? It’s the doubt that makes my motivation waver from time to time, because preparation remains associated with the race, and without it, it doesn’t make sense.

What does the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon mean to you?

For me, this is my first major international victory in a long-distance triathlon, so I have a lot of affection for this event. I have participated several times, and I hope to continue coming for a long time to come. It’s a tough, beautiful race, like few long-distance triathlons and that’s where its character comes from and the bond it creates with the triathletes.

What advice would you give to a beginner about the L Triathlon?

I think it’s always the same one! You have to be careful and manage the effort. Even if swimming is rather easy, even if the first part of the cycling circuit is good and the rest of the circuit goes well, you have to arrive strong at the foot of the Alpe d’Huez to climb the 21 bends. Myself, I consider that it was my mistake last year, where you can win or lose the race. The difference is here. In conclusion, you have to keep your strength, be in control throughout the race to climb the Alpe d’Huez correctly and enjoy the difficult but beautiful run. Otherwise, both the ascent and the running part can become hell!


Zone3 départ Triathlon Alpe d'Huez 2019

5 tips for tackling the Alpe d'Huez Duathlon 2020

Alpe d'Huez Duathlon start in Bourg d'Oisans

It’s a classic. Each year, we offer you some advice on how to get the best out of the Alpe d’Huez – Bourg d’Oisans Duathlon. With 20% growth expected in 2020, this is the format that is expanding the most among the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon events. The 12th edition includes a change in size (3km to be exact): the second run is lengthened from 2.5km to 5.5km. So here are a few clues to be at the top on July 28th. (photos by Cyrille Quintard)

1 – The preparation of the Alpe d’Huez Duathlon: no secret…

Climb, climb, and climb again. To perform well on this event, hit the hills, but especially try to practice on long climbs. Training in the mountains will give you a real advantage on the day. If you don’t have the opportunity, and you live in a desperately flat area for those looking for a percentage, don’t panic! There are specific training methods if you investigate a little. In any case, integrate well this principle: this race requires a very special effort, so your preparation must adapt accordingly. Get out of your habits!

2 – First run in Bourg d’Oisans: do not fall into the trap

The first run of the Alpe d’Huez Duathlon perfectly sets the tone for the race. Usually taking place in the very hot weather (WARNING: the start is brought forward to 15.00 instead of 16.00), and climbing towards the foothills of the town, this 6.5km introduction is much more demanding and difficult than it seems. Unless you want to be at the forefront, be conservative and don’t succumb to the euphoric start of the other participants! You’ll have plenty of time to make a difference later on.

Alpe d'Huez Duathlon run in Bourg d'Oisans
Alpe d’Huez Duathlon first run takes place in the streets of Bourg d’Oisans in the valley

3 – Second run at Alpe d’Huez: the big change

The best runners will finally be able to have a good time with the new layout of the second run. The loop covers almost the entire circuit used for the two triathlons, and therefore includes the famous last bends of the Col de Sarenne. This changes everything, as the last 5.5km long race will now have to be well managed, whereas it was more of an agonizing sprint before. On the bike, it is now essential to keep energy to complete a solid race.

4 – Nutrition: hydration and energy at the heart of performance

In 2019, heat records were broken in Oisans during Triathlon Week. The conditions during the Alpe d’Huez Duathlon proved to be very difficult for the participants. Hydration is a fundamental aspect before, during and after the effort. Be rigorous, all the more so as the circuits leave little pause for recovery! Note that the Hydrixir drink from our partner Overstim.s will once again be available at the aid stations. Your health is at stake above all. Similarly, on such a short format, think about your immediate energy sources to maintain a good level of intensity. Establish your nutrition strategy and test it before the day.

5 – The material: don’t make mistakes

The dry ascent of the 21 bends that await the participants of the Alpe d’Huez Duathlon implies a good choice of gears. If you are not well accustomed to this type of effort, plan a 38X25 development or even a triple plateau for beginners. You may not have the use of it, but in case of a hard blow, it allows you to continue your ascent while trying to recover. Also, remember that two transition parks require two pairs of shoes! Plan ahead to make the most of this extraordinary experience.

Alpe d'Huez Duathlon bend nº3
Keep smiling. Alpe d’Huez Duathlon is super tough, but it’s an amazing experience


Romain Guillaume Alpe d'Huez Triathlon 2019

Romain Guillaume at the start of the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon 2020

Victoire Romain Guillaume 2019

Romain Guillaume is back. On July 30th, the frenchy will be at the start of the Alpe d’Huez L Triathlon for the second time, with a title to defend and some pleasure to take. The jurassien explains ‘his’ Alpe d’Huez, and answers our absurd interview “Dog or cat?”, the opportunity for you to discover why this triathlete is so appreciated by all.

Why to come back to Alpe d’Huez?

After winning the L in 2019, it is logical to think that I am coming back to defend “my title” but my motivation is quite different. I want to come back to have fun on a course that I really like. I am a professional triathlete, but above all a passionate person who loves to participate in beautiful races and live intense moments in a good atmosphere, and this event is simply what I like!

The Alpe d’Huez for Romain Guillaume

An atypical race! The swim is superb, the bike is difficult but landscapes are stunning and running at high altitude is a great challenge too! Being able to climb the 21 bends in race conditions is also a fantastic experience, even if it hurts! 🙂

Romain Guillaume’s advice for the Triathlon L

Even if it may seem obvious, I think that approaching the race by thinking that it starts in the Alpe d’Huez climb is a good thing! It’s very easy to push too hard in the first few kilometers on the bike but the climb of the Alpe d’Huez can be very difficult if you get burned out beforehand! I know it very well; I had to pay for it in the previous edition. Even though I won the race, I really struggled on the 13 kilometres of the climb!