A third medal for Lloveras-Ermenault at the Tokyo Paralympic Games

It should have been their first Paralympic Games medal. Alexandre Lloveras, suffering from a retinal disease called Leber congenital amaurosis, and his driver Corentin Ermenault, finished 4th in the individual pursuit on the track in Tokyo. Already on the spot, we had heard of the case. But this Friday, the confirmation fell that the Polish cyclist Marcin Polak having tested positive for EPO on May 19, July 31 and August 2, 2021; he will undergo a four-year suspension and the Polish duo that the visually impaired athlete formed with Michal Ladosz will be removed from the Games list.

This offers a bronze medal to the tricolor duo. “I began to doubt, as the Poles appealed, sighs Alexandre Lloveras, who will be 22 on June 26. In itself, I don’t know if I feel satisfaction. It’s clearly not the emotions we should have had. But at least justice is done. »

“We will always regret not having had the podium on the track. At the same time, maybe this huge initial disappointment was beneficial to get the gold medal? We are not going to rewrite history”

What is crazy is that the Lyonnais heard the news by chance. Because his cousin studies in England, and follows a little the sport. “He was the one who sent me an article and a message of congratulations”, is surprised Alex Lloveras. Corentin Ermenault having, from Tokyo, switched back to the valid environment, they exchanged voice messages. Satisfied, without being elated by the announcement of what will be, not the first, but their third joint Paralympic medal. In Japan, the associated duo at the end of 2020 then found the resources to win a bronze medal in the road race and, above all, the Paralympic title in the time trial. “We will always regret not having had the podium on the track. At the same time, maybe this huge initial disappointment was beneficial to get the gold medal? We are not going to rewrite history”offers Alex Lloveras.

Especially since the duo has therefore dissociated since. Even if he could meet this weekend, if Corentin Ermenault, present in Brittany, goes to greet his former teammate who will compete in the French Para-cycling Road Championships on June 11 and 12 in Ploërmel. In Morbihan, Alexandre Lloveras will officially begin his collaboration with his new driver, Maxime Gressier, who was a reserve for the professional Sunweb team in 2017. “We started on Tuesday, and it’s going really well”smiles Alex Lloveras, who had first begun his preparation with Yoann Moreau, until the latter announced to him that he was leaving the project because of professional and personal concerns before the start of the international season, and in particular the European Championships.

Maxime Gressier is 24 years old, he comes from Dunkirk, has experience both on the road and on the track. “We are going to do weeks of internship, large blocks of work where we will have time to take automatisms and progress, projects Alexandre Lloveras. He will return to Lyon at the end of June, before going shopping with his club. Then at the end of July for a new week of training before the World Cup and, above all, the Road Worlds in Canada (mid August). » It will then be time to think about the Track Worlds scheduled for the Saint-Quentin ring in October. What if it was also the opportunity, in front of the French public, to present this famous Paralympic medal to Alexandre Lloveras and his pilot at the time, Corentin Ermenault?

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