French para-cyclists off to a good start for Paris 2024!

Friday, 29 march 2024

The members of the French para-cycling team gave a particularly fine performance at the Track World Championships in Brazil, bringing home a crop of twelve medals. Three cyclists impressed in particular and demonstrated their great physical form five months ahead of the Paralympic Games Paris 2024: Alexandre Léauté, supported by Banque Palatine, Dorian Foulon, supported by Banque Populaire Aquitaine Centre Atlantique, and Marie Patouillet, supported by BPCE Financement.

Four medals for Alexandre Léauté 

In one competition after the next, Alexandre Léauté continues to add new medals to his collection! At the recent Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, this four-time medalist at Tokyo 2020 demonstrated his likely status as one of the leading lights of the French para-cycling team at the Paralympic Games organized at the National Velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines near Paris from August 28 to September 8.

This para-athlete from Britanny won four titles at the same velodrome at the 2022 World Championships. He did the same in Rio, first winning in the pursuit (as he did in Tokyo) and then in the kilometer race, once again breaking the world record in the process. Alexandre, who suffers from hemiplegia following a stroke at birth, also won the scratch race and the omnium in the C2 category.

We can’t extrapolate these results onto the Paralympic Games Paris 2024 as the competition configuration is not exactly the same – for example, the scratch and omnium events are not on the program – but 23-year-old Alexandre Léauté will certainly be one of the key assets of the French Paralympic Team. This situation puts him under considerable pressure but he knows that he can count on his team-mates, his family, his trainers and the coaching staff, a task he already managed to perfection in Rio de Janeiro. 

Foulon and Patouillet in top form

A para-athlete from Britanny like Alexandre, 25-year-old Dorian Foulon also excelled at the World Championships in Brazil. He won in three categories: the omnium event, the scratch race, and individual pursuit, a discipline in which he is the reigning Olympic champion but in which he lost the title at the previous world championships. This time, however, he managed to beat the Brazilian runner in the final in front of his home crowd. This augurs well for the Paralympic Games, considering that all the track racers he will be facing in five months’ time at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Velodrome were also competing in Rio. Having won three titles in four days, Dorian proved once again that he has the staying power to achieve fine performances in one race after another.

These world championships were also a triumphant moment for Marie Patouillet competing in the C5 category. It wasn’t enough for Dr Patouillet (she’s a GP in her professional life) to win the omnium event and scratch race. She also took silver in the 500m – a discipline in which she narrowly failed to reach the podium in Tokyo – and won bronze in the pursuit and another in the road race. As a result, Marie Patouillet, 35, came home from Rio de Janeiro with the promise of great things to come, and the confidence that she had performed well in this warm-up event for the forthcoming competition of a lifetime…