BH Suntour Peisey-Vallandry pleased after French nationals

Team BH Suntour Peisey-Vallandry was pleased with its performance at the French mountain bike national championships last weekend in Les Gets. Its riders came home with two titles, a silver medal and one bronze.

Team Manager Michel Hutsebaut said, "This is the best record of the team, with the year 2008, since the beginning of our collaboration with BH in 2006."

The team opened the championships with a team relay win.

"We did not think at all of victory! On paper, we were not the strongest, but our team is very homogeneous," said Laura Metzler. "I gave everything in the end of my turn to get ahead." Metzler clocked the fastest lap of any of the women in the relay.

Julie Bresset and Lucie Chainel added to the medal count when they went one-two in the elite women's cross country while Laura Metzler was fifth.

"For two years, I have had this jersey on his shoulders, and I did not want to give it up," said Bresset. "I am preparing for London, but I wanted this race. It's not always easy, especially since Lucie was very strong. On a course like this, you could very easily make mistakes."

"I did not want to take risks, I have never been so slow to descend in all of my life. I will stay in red, white and blue, and it makes me very happy." Bresset won the French U23 and elite titles in 2010 and 2011.

Chainel said, "I expected to fight with Sabrina (Enaux) and Laura (Metzler) for the podium, and I realized that I was cut above. The circuit suited me. Finishing 1:43 after Julie, I think that's pretty good." Chainel signed with the team after taking the French national cyclo-cross title this winter.

In the elite men's race, Maxime Marotte was third. He had to come back after a crash in the first lap.

"It was a complicated race. I made the effort to take the lead in the technical section, but I ended up spread out in the mud," said Marottte. "I made a mistake in my choice of front tires. I wasn't feeling it today, but in the end, I still managed to get the medal. It's nice to stay on the podium." He was beaten by Julien Absalon and Stephane Tempier.

The team will race a World Cup on home turf in Val d'Isere on July 28-29.

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