Winner of the first edition of the All-Mountain Challenge last year, François Bailly-Maitre was eager to put his mark on the second edition of the race this year.
With the emblematic Millau Viaduc as a background, the All-Mountain Challenge is a race in its very own category. It consis of an Enduro style stage on one day and of a Cross-country race the next day and riders must use the same bike for both races. Francois’ bike of choice this year was again the Speedfox 01 – a bike that will perform excellently on both types of courses.
On Saturday, the Enduro race took place in wet conditions and even snow. The 400 participants had to deal with cold temperatures and wet, slippery terrain. On Sunday, after a ratio was applied to the Enduro times, Bailly-Maître started the 30km cross-country race 54’’ seconds behind Théo Galy and 26’’ behind other Frenchman Damien Oton. “I caught both of them pretty quickly” explained FBM, “but I didn’t manage to drop Oton. The win was still possible though; at least until I had a flat tire not too far from the finish. I decided to keep going without changing the tire but there were still 5km to go and Alexis Chenevrier managed to pass me.” FBM eventually took third place which is not what he was there for, but justified it as a “good training for the upcoming races” – the Cannondale Enduro Tour in France next weekend and the third round of the Enduro World Series in Ireland in two weeks’ time.
Credits: BMC Svitzerland