Growing up in the canton of Neuchatel in western Switzerland, Loanne Duvoisin spent her time either studying in school or playing in the stunning natural environment around her.
“Like many families in Switzerland, we did a lot of fun outdoor sports, especially mountain biking and skiing,” she said.
Not much has changed over the years for the 23-year-old, who is still in school and just rode her mountain bike to a big win at the 2021 World Triathlon Cross Championships in Spain.
“I am still a student, studying physiotherapy in Lausanne,” explains Duvoisin. “The school training is very intense and even more so with 20 hours of weekly physical training in parallel! There are days when it’s really hard to manage these two demanding projects at the same time, but it’s rewarding and I’m certain I’ll come out of this adventure stronger.”
Duvoisin has shown incredible resiliency already this season. A day after winning her first full-distance XTERRA in the Czech Republic in June, Duvoisin flew over her handlebars in a high-speed crash that was caught on camera during the short track race the next day.
“I suffered a concussion and a fractured hand, which slowed down my training a lot, and I had an exam session in July and a second one in August to prepare for,” explained Duvoisin. “It was already planned that I would spend my summer focused on my studies, but as a result of the big crash I didn’t do much training or racing.”
In August, Duvoisin got back on the bike at the XTERRA European Championship and finished ninth.
“It was a rather mediocre performance, but then the exams passed, and I had more time to prepare for the rest of my season. In September, I was able to go to the European Cross Triathlon Championships in better form (not yet perfect) and win the U23 title and came third in the elites.”
Her progression built from there and a month later, on October 31, she won a world title.
“In the end, you will understand why after all these ups and downs I was so happy to win the title at the World Championships in Spain,” she exclaimed.
Today, Duvoisin is focused on her next big athletic project, a daunting one, on how to beat Olympic gold medalist and five-time XTERRA World Champion, Flora Duffy, in Maui on December 5.
“My form was really good in Spain and what makes me even happier for Maui is that I still have a few weeks to fine tune my training,” said Duvoisin, who is preparing in Switzerland where it has been freezing outside but she has a secret weapon.
“I am lucky enough to be able to train in a center (MotionLab) where we can simulate the climate of Hawaii so that my body will be more receptive to the heat and humidity.”
As always, Duvoisin is analyzing all the data to find the answer.
“I am training hard for this race with my coaches, and we’re trying to optimize everything to have the best form possible. I don’t really have a goal in terms of results, but more in terms of personal performance, but it would be a lie to say that I’m going there just for fun!”