On 30 July 2018 at 09:07 | updated on 26 June 2019 at 07:57

Interview with Karine Urvoy-Malle, the solo winner of the 2018 24h of Le Mans on skates

Interview with Karine Urvoy-Malle, the solo winner of the 2018 24h of Le Mans on skates

At almost 50, Karine lives for sport: racing, running, swimming, skating... she combines all three sports to achieve her great goal: winning the 24h race at Le Mans. The encounter...

By  Alexandre CHARTIER

Interview with Karine Urvoy-Malle

Hello Karine, can you tell us a bit about your preparations for your solo 24h skate in Le Mans?

I'm actually only on my skates a few months a year. The rest of the time I'm in other disciplines. So it doesn't get boring. I always want to try something new. I've been winning this race for three years now.

"I'm not fighting the competition in the first place, I'm fighting myself."

So you are out and about in several sports all year round...

Yes, since I came to Montpellier in 2016, I have been doing many sports: racing, running, swimming... On skates you can see me 5-6 months a year, from April to September.

This year I returned a little earlier to my skates because a marathon had already taken place in Spain in March. In winter I was mainly mountain biking and road cycling. Since I live in a mild region, you can train outside again from January. We also ski in the Haute-Savoie.
I've had an excellent cross-country season. I qualified for the French Team Championships. Then I directly entered the French long-distance championship in Albi (81). I put my time trial in the sand due to a bad technique: I lifted my legs too much and then got groin pain. With more experience it will get better.


Training with Karine Malle Urvoy


"Even when you're 50, you still collect experiences."

I have specialized my wheel units on mountain climbs to climb the Dunlop. Le Mans remains a goal, but I set myself goals in every sport. Le Mans is my personal Tour De France and I always follow a specific preparation.

Let's talk about your performance at Le Mans this year...

I am not very satisfied with my performance, because I only skated 19h. I had no supporters, so I had to take care of my own food. A few people helped me, but it was not a serious classification. I was almost alone from start to finish, that was hard. After 12 hours I was still more or less on schedule and 47 laps ahead of the second.

How come you didn't have a team by your side?

Two days before the competition my team cancelled. But if you want to perform, it's essential. However, I decided to try it on my own. But the conditions for a good performance were not there.

Tell us about your 24h race...

I forgot my ankle protectors and therefore also had ankle problems. In the beginning I didn't feel very good either. Without a doubt I sat a bit too much on my bike during the preparation. I didn't rush the start, I wanted the men to pass me first. I often skated with Igor, Simon, Patrick and Claude. So I was a bit involved in the men's race. I spared myself. You win this discipline above all in your head. I followed them for 6 hours and then I had to feed myself. Therefore, I had to ask another solo for help. Alexandre Marie helped me. He pulled a splinter out of my foot. I drove with Simon Gérard almost all the time.
The last times I always had competition and this time not, it was very hard. I wanted to set a new record, but it was too hot for that. I thought a lot. I went on with two Parisians and we talked for 8 hours, which was very nice: Armindo Solo and Francko Solo. They've been doing this for decades. To distract me from my foot pain, we talked all the time. We were pushing each other to go on. After 19 hours I paused for three or four hours. Altogether it was five to six hours break.

Karine Malle Urvoy sur le circuit Bugatti

Why was there so little competition this year?

I have no idea. Many of those who tried their hand in solo have now started in the team. Le Mans is a very tough race. My personal goal is to win the race 7 times, all in the style of the Tour de France.

Do you want to start again next year?

Yes, definitely! I will improve my technique. Afterwards I wasn't tired and had no pain. The following week I sat on my bike again 5h20 with 2000 meters of altitude difference. I felt good and had not reached my lactate limit. In contrast to most solos, which already start on skates, I started traditionally on foot.

What is the record to beat?

I think it's Hilde's with 565km. But I don't know how she did it. I left her behind by a marathon distance every time we drove together. She undoubtedly had help with the draft.

Would you also like to start at the 24h of Calafat?

Yes, I hope she will be there too, I like to have competition! There are not many participants there. The course is fast, but the heat is very strong. And it's windy, too. You must go together with two or three solos or duos.

How do you recover?

I eat a healthy diet. Not so much meat. Regular training is also very helpful.

How much exercise do you do every week?

  • Monday: Swimming
  • Tuesday: Running
  • Wednesday: swimming and skating
  • Thursday: Skating
  • Friday: Recreation
  • Saturday: Running
  • Sunday: biking

I get about 10-12 hours of sports a week. It is good to make the units varied, which prevents injuries and wear and tear. I never do the same over a longer period, I always have variety.

This year I also had the X-Race Aventure in Mont Ventoux as my goal. In this race you cross Mont Ventoux in four disciplines. Everyone can choose their discipline or master the four stages on their own: skating, running, mountain biking, and racing. The organisation wants to have many athletes from the world of competitive sports at the start. This year I was part of the KKISS team (2x Karine, Sonia and Stéphanie).

Do you have a sporting past, too?

When you are young, you do the sport that is predestined for you. I've been to the World Games and World Championships with skating. That was from 1986 to 1991. I was member of the French national team with Sylvie Gravouille, Sandrine Perron, Anne-Francoise Lefeuvre and Caroline Lagrée. Between 1992 and today I had to resign for professional reasons. From 1992 to 1994 I held training sessions in Saint-Brieux and Lamballe. When you come from this middle and train athlete, they trust you.

What were your favourites distances?

I was more likely to compete medium and long distances. I skated a qualifying race with tactical instructions. I was often fourth at world championships. That was between 1988 and 1991. It was always the qualifying race. The Italians were very strong and three of them. So I usually became fourth alone. It can be compared to Colombia today.

How did you discover skating?

In 1977 it was a discipline I could practice not far from my home. I just tried it. It was either running or skating. I had to spend a few hours roller skating and acrobatics, but I was more interested in races. I remember Vincent Morvan, Franck Cardin and Pascal Briand...
It took me some time to get back. I had stopped in 1991 and started again in 2011.

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

The season is still quite long until the World Championship in September in Engadin (Switzerland). Three big goals: the Natur'Man triathlon in Verdon at the beginning of October. And so it goes on at the age of over 50.

Karine Malle Urvoy sur le podium des 24H du Mans Roller 2018


I was supported by MG Custom (Alan). He made me shoes. They are shoes that only need to be adjusted at the ankles. Thanks to the team of Christophe Audoire and Nathalie Barbotin. Thanks to Bruno from the Maugio Carnon Triathlon club, cycling department. Thanks to the chairmen of Good Year, a course next to Mireval on which I could train. I have my best times at 3min on a half marathon and 2min on a marathon (total time 01:09h). Thanks to my daughters and my husband who made it possible for me to revive my childhood dream! I received energy bars from Baouw. I use them all year round and they are Made in France. 


Released  on 30 July 2018 - Read 4874 times

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Fondateur et webmaster de rollerenligne.com. Alexandre est un passionné de roller en général et sous tous ses aspects : histoire, économie, sociologie, évolution technologique... Ne le branchez pas sur ces sujets sans avoir une aspirine à portée de main !

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