welcome to the Canicross Worlds

They are named Pongo, Rocky, Gatsby, Playboy, Finn, Bibi, Balto, Ramses, Chico, Scooter or Scar. They are German Pointer, French Sheepdog, Border Collie, Greyhound, Golden Retriever. For a weekend, they participated in the canicross world championships, in Plédran in the Côtes-d’Armor. A little more than 740 athletes, more than 1,000 dogs, not counting the families, to participate in this high mass of competition where man and animal are linked (literally) in performance. On foot, by scooter (yes, yes) or by bike, in the undergrowth and over several kilometres, to have fun, perform and touch the supreme title.

Yesterday niche leisure, canicross “is democratizing today”says Antony Le Moigne, the most successful Frenchman, Zidane of the discipline. “We see it at the level of brands, organizational costs. When you see some major sports brands launching their own brand of canicross items, it’s not for nothing. There are canine and human athletes, the level is high. There is a real sporting dimension. » Some set excellent times over 10 km, train several times a week, are well ranked in prestigious individual races. There is even a duathlon world champion, triathletes… And adventurers. Especially one.

Maxim Chaya. Lebanese, he was invited to participate with Pepper at the cani-vt competition, the Bike-Joring. He is not a specialist in mud and duo racing. His thing is the mountains. Great explorations, high-flying mountaineering: the first Lebanese to climb Everest, the first man from the Middle East to reach the North Pole, one of the twelve people in history to reach both poles and climb the seven summits. His life is an adventure novel. So what is he doing in Plédran, near Saint-Brieuc where he slept for several days, with his 18-month-old dog?

He smiles. “I adopted a dog in March of last year: Pepper. Six months later, I was riding my bike with my guy strapped to my side. In front of my house, he makes me fall, without doing it on purpose. The hip is fractured, direction the hospital, where I find myself with three screws in this hip. There, I reflected, tried to find answers. »

He learns that with his young German shorthaired pointer, he was cani-vtt, without really knowing it. That there are official competitions. “At the hospital, I couldn’t have him with me. I told myself that we had to transform this experience into something positive. So with this kid, we decided that we were going to train well, I wrote to the ICF (the international federation) and we got an invite. Sponsors supported me (including Royal Canin, one of the biggest in the discipline). So we trained…

“If it’s trying for humans, imagine for the dog! »: welcome to the Canicross World Championships

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