Univers Fusalp

MEETING | PATRICE SULPICE – When perseverance rhymes with performance

Egon cap – Limodore II polo

Patrice Sulpice’s path is far from common. Former professional cyclist and Alpine ski enthusiast, Sulpice suffered a biking accident and became paraplegic. His will power and dedication however made him overcome all the challenges life threw at him : he became a car-racing driver and took skiing again ! Today, Sulpice carries on living his dreams. His perseverance, combined with a passion for performance and love for life, inspired us.


Who is Patrice Sulpice ?

I was born in Aix-les-Bains on 5 July 1974.
My brother and I had a great childhood. I have many good memories of the establishments owned by my grandparents in Aix-les-Bains (Hôtel du Pavillon and Hôtel International) and of their house in Cusy. I owe them a lot, they made me the man I am today.

I dedicated my youth to cycling. I started as a road cyclist and later became a track cyclist, a discipline in which I became one of the French young champions, which enabled me to join the French team where I met icons like Florian Rousseau (three-time Olympic champion) who is still today one of my closest friends. I was the first French track cyclist to win a World Cup event and I was world number one in 1995. That same year, in Bogota, the day before the World Championships (I was one of the most-likely winners), I lost the use of both my legs in a training injury.

My reconstruction was very long and tedious. Today, with my car racing project, everything has finally fallen into place.


Is there a key moment you want to share ?

Following my accident, I had to forget all my valid-man points of reference : I had to learn how to drive a car and how to ski from scratch. When I first sat in a car again, my first instinct was to try and hit the brake with my foot… I had to understand that my hands would from then on enable me to accelerate or brake.

Skiing also became very different : sat-down ski is not the same as skiing on your legs, as the concept of verticality disappears. I had to learn to ski on green slopes, like a beginner, falling at every turn. It was psychologically horrible.


What is your relation to gesture and movement when you drive your race car ?

An effective movement is beautiful for its result, not only its aesthetics. When I practice handi-ski or one of my motorised activities, the efficiency of my moves is utterly important, not solely for my comfort, but also for my addiction to performance. In car racing, everything goes really fast, the efficiency you put into preciseness and decision-making is key. Positive and constructive consequences that ensure enable me to be the best, in total comfort. It is very important for me to look far ahead and anticipate my gesture and the action that results from it. Looking far ahead equals efficiency. Life is made of tiny details that make all the difference !


What is your daily routine ?

I wake up between 6.30 and 7am. First, 10 minutes of yoga, and then I hop on my wheelchair and go up the village for 20 minutes of physical training. Someone in a wheelchair is a bit like an astronaut, as bones are fragile when the body encounters gravity. I therefore spend an hour a day of total verticality and another hour in a type of swing, which helps my bones and the blood flow in my legs.


What is your favorite dish when training ?

I have several, but I would say whole or semi-whole Creole rice cooked with lentils, garlic and shallots. Dried fruits are also a must-have to help regenerate before, during, and after training.


A healthy address you would like to share ?

If you like cars, E-motion in Seynod is great. After lunch, one can enjoy the collection of cars on the first floor or a spin on the simulator… quite a sensation ! In Chambéry, there are two restaurants I love : the Carré des Sens and its unbeatable Grand Marnier soufflé, and the Fidèle Berger and its Saint-Anthelme cake revisited by Cédric Pernot. Delicious.

But my ultimate address is the Auberge du Père Bise, located in a heavenly spot in Talloires, where my brother Jean Sulpice takes one on a sky-high culinary experience.
My brother is talented and loves his job. His culinary concept echoes wellbeing and local rural dishes. Starred chef and great sportsman, he places the pleasure of the senses at the center of everything he does.


What will tomorrow be made of ?

I want every day to be even better than the one before. Make every moment count. Give my best, never regret and live my life to the full. My objective is to compete in the 24 heures du Mans in 2024. I want to make sure I complete each stage with order and precision.


Our personal shopper has selected some pieces from our Spring/Summer 2019 collection. What takes your fancy ?

I do like the cut and texture of the LIMODORE II polo, the design of the EGON cap, and the sporty elegance of the ANCY sneakers. It is hard to choose, I like every product you selected ! But if I could only choose one, it would be the ANCY sneakers.