• Sprints to first ITU World Cup win in Australia

    I claimed my first ITU World Cup win with an electrifying sprint in Mooloolaba, just pipping reigning champion Brad Kahlefeldt and another Frenchman, David Hauss, on the line in the first major event of the 2012 season. ( March, 2012).

  • Winner in Geelong (AUS) for the ITU Continental Cup.

    After shadowing with Will Clarke (GBR) on the last lap, I managed to kick away with the finish line in sight. ( March, 2012).


    After 2011, I won again in Wanaka for the Contact Tri Serie in Wanaka over a strong Kiwi field. (january 2012)


    After 2009, I won my 2nd national title. I am really pleased with my victory, it will give me the joy to lead into the Olympics as the French Champion! (September,2011).


    I answered the London call and secured my spot for the next Olympic Game by finishing 6th and 1st French in the Olympic Test event(August,2011).

mercredi 15 juin 2011

Back on track after health scare

Words by John Whiting and photos courtesy of Mike Heydon
Full Article on

French triathlete and adopted Kiwi Laurent Vidal is back on track and hungrier than ever before.

It comes after weeks of testing and countless visits to health specialists following a scare during the Sydney leg of the ITU World Championship Series.

During the Sydney race Vidal blacked out while in the lead pack and momentarily lost consciousness, prompting huge concern from medical staff.

"Within two seconds I moved from being in the lead pack and feeling great to collapsing,” Vidal said.

"I guess the feeling was a bit like when you stand up too quickly after a day in front of the computer and then waking up a few seconds later like after a sleep.”

It wasn't the first time the 27-year-old had fainted while exerting himself, so once back home doctors ran him through the full range of testing to try and find a cause.

During the gruelling testing process he stayed in hospital for over a week and upon completion his results were sent off to the best specialist in France for analysis.

Then, finally, the full story became clear.

"I have to be honest I was quite nervous when I went for the second time in nine months to the hospital. I had a full heart check-up including MRI, electrophysiology, stress testing and 48 hour Holter monitoring.

"I wouldn't wish it [testing] on anyone, firstly because the feeling of the unknown of your health is not nice but also for the pain of the electrophysiology. That was a tough one, they opened my femoral vein and put cables through it until they reached my heart and then sent electrical impulses to my heart while I was on a drip of drugs (a sympathomimetic).

"From that the doctors tell me I am not suffering from any disease or any dysfunction but from what they call Neurocardiogenic Syncope. It is an over adaptation of the vagal nerve and in some circumstances this nerve is causing a sudden drop in blood pressure and eventually I collapse.”

Vidal's condition is not a sickness and not dangerous for his overall health. It is frustrating however, as doctors are unable to determine why it happens or provide a sure-fire cure.

"So the good news is that it's not a sickness and it's not dangerous on the health side. But as you guess it could be pretty dangerous in a traumatic point of view during racing (bike crash for example).

"It is a rare problem but there have been athletes reported with it. There are some risk factors - as an athlete I know I push very hard during racing, I train for this and my mind is ready to go super hard while I compete.

"Without a bunch of little factors added to each other, this problem wouldn't happen. That is exactly what I am working on with the specialist. I am now doing a weekly test to check where my autonomic nervous system is. On the treatment side there is no pills to take but many little changes in my everyday life.”

Vidal is the partner of New Zealand's top ranked female athlete Andrea Hewitt, and the pair split their time between Christchurch and Sète, France.

He stole the spotlight earlier this year with a thrilling win at the Wanaka round of the Contact Tri Series, defeating a world class field in front of a huge crowd.
 Vidal refers to himself as "51% French, 49% Kiwi” and has a huge fan base here in New Zealand, which has become his second home.

"I really enjoy being in New Zealand almost half of the year. I think, eat and drink Kiwi most of the days.

"New Zealand is in my life now and I am very respectful about it. I have met great people in New Zealand and I still do, so I am happy if any Kiwis support me because I am really proud to be part Kiwi. My English is not perfect but I am good at using the Kiwi slang - mean as!”

Vidal is now back in full flight and announced his comeback to the ITU circuit with an impressive 12th place finish at the Madrid round of the World Championship Series.

The race was dominated by Great Britain's Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan, but Vidal showed the fire was back with the fifth fastest run time of the day (30min 40sec).

"Finishing 12th in Madrid is feeling like a victory after the last seven weeks. I ran one of the fastest times chasing down the breakaway. My hat off to the Brownlee brothers.

"During the past month I have been forced to really think about what was happening. I never thought about giving up but that made me realise that problems like this don't happen only to others.

"Now, I have to live with it and at the end it's always the same question....

"Are you ready to dare to challenge? Guess what, challenges don't scare me so I am back on tour with the same motivation and an extra bit of anger.”

Look out world, Laurent Vidal is back!
LVinEnglish © 2011 | by Laurent Vidal, in collaboration with blogger