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Endurance racer Grant bags top 10 finish at cross country nationals

Endurance Specialist Alex Grant (Cannondale) showed that he also has plenty of speed

Endurance Specialist Alex Grant (Cannondale) showed that he also has plenty of speed (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Endurance racer Alex Grant (Cannondale) logged a top 10 finish at the US elite men's cross country national championship in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Saturday. Grant doesn't do a lot of shorter races, but he was there mixing it up with the nation's best cross country racers.

"I always go to nationals or at least I try," said Grant, who managed his best finish yet in eighth. "I've been hoping for the top 10, and I've never gotten it before. I can't believe I just did that. I'm psyched."

Grant, who finished second at La Ruta de los Conquistadores last November, took a measured approach to the start.

"I took a start on the back row, and I got caught in a traffic jam on the first lap and was walking up the climb," said Grant. "A lot of times in the cross country, I get caught up going as hard as I can in the first lap and then I go backwards. This time I moved up the whole time."

"It's more motivating to pass someone than to get passed, so that helps keep it going."

Grant called the course "brutally hard".

What happens next for the Utah resident and Cyclingnews blogger is some down time.

"I'm going to take a break and then race the Leadville 100. I might do a local race or two before Leadville. I'll get in some longer rides."

He's also planning to do the Park City point-to-point race on September 3 and then La Ruta again in early November in Costa Rica.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.