Coupe De France Lons-le-Saunier

Sean Flynn | Sunday 10th September, 2017

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With the early season races completed, there was a large amount of time before my next important races so I decided to fill this gap with some more high level international MTB racing at the Coupe de France in Lons-Le-Saunier which was sure to have a field not far off being as strong as you would expect at the Junior World Series. 

Me and my dad flew out to France the day before the race and linked up with fellow junior Scottish mountain biker, Cameron Mason, and his dad. We were greeted by amazing weather and a great course- one of the best of the season so far. Following building my bike out of the bike box, a skill I have developed a lot this year due to a lot of practice, it was time for course practice. It didn’t go as smoothly as planned as I suffered a puncture on the first lap whilst enjoying the first descent a little too much, however once I had sorted that out I was able to finish off the practice session looking forward to the race.

With the race starting in the evening, I had plenty time on race day to relax and kill time. Apart from doing another lap on course, most of the day was spent trying to keep cool and out of the hot sun. As the race approached, anticipation was rising and I was really excited to be able to start the race on row 2 putting me in touch with some of the world’s fastest riders. The atmosphere at the start was buzzing but unfortunately I wasn’t able to produce the start I was looking for as I lacked a bit of top end power. I held a top 20 position on lap 1 but due to the nature of the course the gaps had become bigger than I would have liked. Moving into lap 2 I began to gain positions giving me confidence to keep pushing on the tough and sapping course. I made sure to keep drinking lots during the race as I was sweating a lot in the heat and I didn’t want to deteriorate towards the end. As the race progressed I began to feel much better and in the final couple of laps I was able to gain a lot of positions and produce some promising lap times. In the end my efforts were good enough for 8th place, a good result for me but I had hoped to be able to perform a little better and be challenging for the top 5 positions.

Not only was this race valuable in giving me more experience of international racing, but it also showed me the aspects of my fitness that I had to work on in my training in order to be able to achieve my best possible results.

Thanks again to Braveheart fund for their support, without which I would probably not have been able to take on this extra chance to race abroad and develop as a rider.

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