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Pushing the Limits With Thibaut Dapréla

Jul 122021

After a devastating injury at the French Cup, Dapréla pushes the limits and conquered Les Gets. We sat down with him to hear the full story... 

Thanks for taking the time, Thibaut! You’re now sitting on the top of the leaderboard after your sensational win at Les Gets. How does it feel?
It an amazing feeling, after Leogang I was second and it was already very good for me, but now after Les Gets, first is a dream come true and I will try to keep this dream going until the end of the season.
 

How hard was it to push yourself to be the fastest after your injury at the French Cup?

It was a really tough week, I had to do many things to try to be in shape for the race run, so it took a lot of energy, but my determination to mark some points was high so I forgot the pain and tried to push my limits.

You had very little time to heal and recover as well, right? How was dealing with that timeline?
Yes, I had three full days, because on Sunday I got out of the hospital. It was tight timing but with my doctor and the people who take care of my body all year long, we managed to do the best we could in a short time, it was a real mission.

Was this your hardest injury so far?
It was for sure the scariest, but recovery was quicker which is good. The worst was my knee last year, which took three months to heal.

From your perspective, what exactly happened when you crashed at the French Cup?
I was a bit too slow to jump between trees, fell short on a root and went over the bar.
 

The tongue laceration sounds especially scary. Was there a lot of blood?
It was crazy and very painful. I don’t really know about the blood, but I think yes because when I saw my white kit it was all red.

 

How quickly did the medical staff get you out and into treatment at the hospital?
The medical staff did an amazing job. They were quick, and the helicopter came fast to bring me to the hospital.

Were you scared that you may have a concussion?
Yes, because I crashed on my neck, so we didn’t know if I had a broken cervical. I also had pain on my knee. But in the end, I was lucky.
 

When did you decide to still go for it at Les Gets and what did the doctors and coaches say?
I decided on Sunday evening because I was with my doctor, and he said if I felt ready nothing serious was preventing me from racing.
 

Is there a mental technique you use to get over fear and unleash the beast in such a situation?
I don’t really know; I was just extremely focused on the process to recover and to feel ready that it was almost natural to me, and my mind was automatically in war mode.

Now you’re heading into the four-week break and then to Maribor. Are you still dealing with aftereffects from the crash and what is your process for training for the next World Cup?
Yes, a bit, I need work on my neck and cervical because everything is tight. I will take a week break to recover and enjoy the summer, and then back to work before the French Championship, and few hard weeks of training for the second part of the season.
 

Thanks for doing this champ! Your story will be a real inspiration to our readers!

You welcome with pleasure!

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