13 things you should know about Titouan Carod
Titouan Carod is considered as one of the most talented pilots of his generation and could well be one of the big players in cross-country racing in the seasons to come. The Frenchman cracked the top 10 of the World Cup on four occasions last season - his first in the Elite ranks – and finished fifth in Stellenbosch earlier this season. Such results could go to someone’s head but the young rider remains humble and discreet. Here are a few facts to help you get to know him a little better.
The French language is known for its words with a silent end. Carod is an exception. In fact, the final D must be pronounced: [kaʁɔd].
Titouan Carod is very interested in material and mechanics. “I have a university degree in mechanics so I like to spend time working on my bike and testing new products and technologies. It makes a real difference in our sport so it’s definitely worth the time anyway.”
2. World Champs
Carod already achieved a World Championships podium. It was in Saalfelden, Austria in 2012 in the Junior category. He shared the podium with Anton Cooper (Gold) and Victor Koretsky (Silver).
Motocross racing is Carod’s favorite off-season activity. “I’ve always been interested but my parents defended me to ride a motorbike. I finally bought one three years ago and I fell in love with it straight away. I own a license and take part to at least one enduro race every year.” On top of the fun about riding motocross, Carod sees it as excellent training for racing cross-country. “It’s great for core training and to practice speed and obstacles anticipation; it helps me a lot.”
4. Bad Loser
Carod admits being a bad loser: “I hate losing; I hate not achieving my goals, even when playing board games. I also hate being wrong. Does it mean I have a sh… character??.. (laughs)”
5. Femoral Neck
Carod’s young career was put to a hold in 2013 after a serious BMX crash. “It was early April, the day after the first French Cup of the season. I crashed heavily and broke my femoral neck. I couldn’t put my foot on the ground for three months and could only ride my road bike six and a half months later. It was tough, both physically and mentally but in retrospect I‘m convinced that it helped me a lot for my career. It gave me an extra motivation.”
Every win is celebrated with a glass of Carod wine. In fact, Titouan’s parents own and run 65 sqm of vineyards and produce “Clairette de Die”, a natural sparkling white wine from the Rhône Valley region.
7. First World Cup Win
Carod’s first World Cup win happened in 2015 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada. Freshly crowned U23 French Champion, he dominated the race and rode the second half solo. Since then, Carod cherishes the Canadian venue where he also scored another U23 win as well as his first Elite podium ever (4th in 2017) after battling at the front with Nino Schurter.
Carod has been working with the same coach since he was 15. "Thomas Lejeune comes from my area and started giving me training advices almost ten years ago. He isn’t a professional coach; it’s his passion and he doesn’t want any money for it. He now lives on the other side of the country so we don’t see each other very much but we actually don’t need it. A few words are usually enough.”
9. Start Line
The wait on the start line and the tension that goes with it is Carod’s favorite racing moment.
10. Home Loop
A lot of Carod’s specific training is done on his home trail, a 7km loop he started building with his dad when he was 12.
Titouan lives with Lucie Urruty, the U23 French XCO Champion. They met in 2015 in the Scott Creuse Oxygène team for which she’s still racing. “It’s very rare that we don’t start our training session together. I’m actually her coach and we like to check each race course together. It gives her confidence and I really enjoy doing that for her.”
12. 100% Racing
Carod is a pure competitor. “I never went to a race as a spectator, I don’t see the point of going to a race if I’m not taking part.”
Carod’s XCO pre-race habit is quite unusual. Unlike most of the top riders, he doesn’t use the rollers to spin his legs before the start gun goes. “I don’t feel the need for that; the start has never been a problem for me.” Instead, he stands in the call-up area and often chats with the team staff or with his girlfriend. “But let’s see if I’ll use rollers for the short track or not.”
Photos: EGO Promotion, Irmo Keizer and Romain Laurent