Jean-Christophe Péraud, the 2009 French national time trial champion, showed off a solid performance at the world time trial championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, on Thursday. He finished in 12th position, 3'42 minutes behind rainbow jersey winner Fabian Cancellara and only six seconds behind outgoing world champion Bert Grabsch.
"I think I did a nice race," said the amateur rider who holds a licence with first division club Creusot Cyclisme. Péraud was leading the race for a while, sitting on the hot seat before Tom Zirbel (USA) took his place.
"I preferred starting amongst the first riders, without a reference time except for the one of the Espoir race's winner," added the Olympic mountainbike silver medallist, who was happy with his participation.
"Compared to mountainbike, I had less pressure," he said. "Only the will to do well, to return the confidence that was given to me. I'm grateful I got selected. [French team director] Laurent Jalabert was not arrogant to me. He encouraged me during the race and gave me information. He was an additional support."
Péraud was also helped by a refrigerating body suit, which the French team has been using since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Péraud wore the suit while he was warming up for the race against the clock. As the rider was peaking his effort on the rollers, French team doctor Armand Mégret measured a body temperature of 36.5° Celsius instead of 38°, and this may have been a factor in achieving his result.