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SOUTHERN XC MTB – Franck Lebon

We met with Paul at Alton under the British summer drizzle and with sheep “s**t” under our shoes. Great start, mind but you get used to the latter when you race MTB.

We went on our warm up/reconnaissance lap with our mud tyres on, health thinking that after these 2 weeks of continuous rain it would be a “mud party”. Well, help it wasn’t that bad really. The course had held up pretty well. It was just slippery on the roots and a couple of sections, but hard pack underneath.

Long story short, I change my tyres to Intermediate super light fast tyre (Continental Speed King Supersonic, thank you sponsor) and Paul stayed to full mud (other brand so can’t name it, but it starts with Bont and finished with Rager….).

The start was fast and furious as usual. I was in the lead from the off and Paul just behind in the top 5. I stayed there until the 1st half of the lap when the then classification leader passed me. I didn’t see him again. I stuck to my pace for the 3 laps of the rest, while Paul kept making up positions.

And with about 3 minutes left to race, I see the then leader struggling up the last climb. I push to get to him. I then notice that he has a puncture at the back. I apologize for passing him (he is a great guy, very nice. He just said: “It’s racing”. We complemented each other at the end) and went on to win. Paul pushed super hard to pass him as well and finish 2nd.

It was a great result for me as I went on the take top spot in the final classification of the Series and Paul took 3rd place. It was a great result for the MTB squad and Inverse Racing.