A Sporting Life
Swimming and table tennis were the principal passions of Bertrand’s youth. He quickly took to triathlon after watching his father train and compete, and by the age of 10 was honing his running and cycling skills. Five years later, in 2002, he came in fifth in the youth category at the French National Championships. He went on to dominate the junior category, with three consecutive national titles. Billard made the jump to the pro ranks in 2005, when he moved to Montpellier to train and pursue a degree in sports science.
Bertrand turned his focus to long-distance triathlon in 2010, with immediate results: A second-place finish at Ironman 70.3 Mallorca and numerous top-10s. His breakthrough came in 2013, on home soil no less, when he became the fourth Frenchman to win the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship. He successfully defended his title in Weihai, China, the following year, and after joining the Triathl'Aix club added a victory at Ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix to his palmares.
Injury and Victory
After breaking his collarbone and ribs in 2014, Bertrand began working his way back to championship form. His comeback coincided perfectly with the arrival of his new Cervélo P5, which he rode to victories at the Pays d'Aix and Budapest Ironman 70.3 events. These strong 2016 results helped him punch his ticket to his first Ironman World Championships.