Behind her big blue eyes and her genuine smile, Loana has desire and energy to spare. At only 22 years old, the youngster from Annecy already has an impressive record of achievements, and this is only the beginning!
Since 2016, she has been winning several medals at the French and European MTB cross-country (XCO) championships for juniors and then for U23s, until she was crowned U23 World Champion in 2020.
In 2021, she won 4 consecutive World Cup races in the elite category, thanks to a real fighting spirit, making her the favourite for the Olympic title in Tokyo. She finally finished in 6th place in XCO for her first Olympic participation.
Winner of the overall World Cup ranking and victorious in Les Gets in 2021, the Haut-Savoyard will experience her first Elite World Championships 45 minutes from her home. Unprecedented.
Hi Loana! After your collarbone fracture this winter, you have returned to competition perfectly. Did it make you feel better?
“Yes, my fracture is history. It is never ideal to break something, but in January I knew that it did not jeopardise my season. The first races allowed me to reassure myself but also to enjoy mountain biking. In the end, during my forced break, I missed not being able to ride outdoors.”
You had an incredible season in 2021 with your victory in Les Gets in difficult conditions! With hindsight, did you realise?
“I didn’t expect to experience that at all. It was incredible. My victory in Les Gets was a great moment. I was in my department, my friends and family were there, it was really great. The rain had made the course really slippery and I like that. After the XCC where I had some problems, I wanted to do well. Everything was perfect.
We can imagine that the World Championship in Les Gets has been on the agenda for a long time…
“It will be the objective of the season, that’s clear. I’m going to race my first elite world championship just a few kilometres from my home, in a resort where I used to come to ski as a child. I’m not sure that many athletes have this privilege. I know that the public will be there a massive public, it will be a great party.”