Orbea's Julien Absalon is prepared to defend his French national championship title on Saturday in the town of Cher Chevalier. Absalon has previously won the title seven times.
He is extra motivated this time around because if he wins the title, he will finally be able to race in the national championship jersey. "I haven't been able to wear it because I was U23 and elite world champion." He was the elite champion for the past four years, from 2004 to 2007, until last month when Christoph Sauser took the 2008 title in Val di Sole, Italy.
Team-mate Jean Christophe Peraud is coming off a win in the national road championship a few weeks ago. He's never won a national mountain bike title and will be battling Absalon for the honor. Cedric Ravanel is another favorite for the win.
Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Canada are just some of the other countries holding National Championships this weekend.