France on top in Roc d’Ardenne

The first two days at Roc d'Ardenne may have been quite dry, but the final day saw buckets of rain soak Houffalize. Octavien Maillard didn't seem to mind, the Frenchman won the Sunday stage.

A 55 kilometre trek was the final challenge for mountain-bike fans. Octavien Maillard, from the French region Rhone-Alpes, had last year’s third place in 2h08 to beat.

This year it took him 20 minutes longer, but that was enough for victory. ‘I was happy with the rain, which made the parcours even more challenging’, he said. Maillard was only 30 seconds faster than compatriot Alexis Lespinasse. Third place went to German Mathias Frohn.

In total more than 1,000 Frenchmen and women partipated over the weekend. Laura Metzer was another successful French rider. She won the women’s event on Sunday after reaching the cross country podium on Friday. ‘I took a more relaxed approach because of the mud and because I was tired from Friday’s race, which was my main goal’, she reacted.

Metzer beat Jacqueline Lambert and Britain’s Kathy Syncock, who made a great comeback from way down the order.

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