You weren’t there to joke. Lucas and Nicolas, the two Belgian brothers aged 29 and 37 from Malmedy, won the final of Beijing Express, in the land of the golden eagle aired Thursday on M6. In the closing stages, which took place in Dubai, they made short work of their adversaries, the “dreamy” couple Jérémy and Fanny, from whom they scooped the entire pot. The brothers therefore started the final sprint with the largest possible amount, 100,000 euros, which they actually pocketed. Interview with a duo who achieved a modest victory.
They have flown over this season. Did you think you would outclass your opponents like that?
Nicholas: We honestly didn’t expect to be so efficient. Lucas and I know each other very well, we know what we are capable of and we know that our greatest strength is our wits, never give up, never give up. Sometimes there was a bit of luck, sometimes a bit of strategy, but from there to this course, no, we couldn’t imagine it for a second.
You’ve had many victories, which has upset Jeremy and Fanny. Were you aware of the tensions? Or do you get to know what this couple says about you with the TV show?
Luke: We knew there was a certain rivalry. We think this is all a joke. Things are said that surprise, but we must not forget that we are in a race, that there is stress. It has also happened to us to say things without thinking. It’s a competition. They sometimes arrived right behind us or within minutes, I can understand their reactions. We don’t know how we would have reacted in their place. It’s a game, we have a very nice contact with them, we laugh together about the words that can be used. People have to understand: yes, there are things that are said, yes, there is nervousness, but it’s adventure, it’s tension, there’s a lot of things that go with it.
NOT. : All of this has to be put into perspective.
At the beginning of the final sprint you had 100,000 euros. Did it get you the Niacque or put you under pressure?
NOT. : it exerts additional pressure. I have a memory where Stéphane Rotenberg talks to us before kick-off and I half listen to him because I’m already in the race and there’s only one thing: to win. In season 7 Ludovic and Samuel had lost, I didn’t want us to be the second pair of Belgian brothers to experience the same thing in season 7].
And on the last stretch you realized that you were the first to arrive…
L: I screamed and all the memories came flooding back: the moment we took off the blindfolds at the very beginning, the hitchhiking, the massage session…everything, everything, everything came back. We felt great gratitude to our families who supported us from the start and accepted our long absence. We felt a mixture of many things. We were happy, excited but also sad that the adventure was over.
Are you aware that you are an audience acclaimed duo? Belgium follows your adventure?
NOT. : We receive a lot of messages on social networks or from people in the area. We cannot go shopping without being informed. It remains temporary. I’m happy to find my family cocoon, to be able to have my coffee on the terrace without being called or asked for a photo. I totally understand the people who are happy for us, thank you, but we didn’t do it for fame. We took part in the game because it is an extraordinary adventure.
What did you find out about yourself and your brother during this adventure?
L: I discovered that Nico had an unfailing strength of character. When he has an idea in his head, he doesn’t have it anywhere else. Sometimes it’s even hard to follow. We both understood that we can be an amazing support to each other. Beijing Express opened my eyes to all the things there is to discover in the world, made me want to go and see other things.
NOT. : Before the adventure, Lucas was an introvert. He kept his feelings to himself. In the game he opened up, confided, let go. I think it did him good. It will serve him personally and professionally. And I, who am a very quiet guy … (Lucas laughs) Me, who follows someone who is very nervous, very angry, who annoys me for nothing when something is wrong, that taught me to put things into perspective Find a solution before I get angry.