A weekend with the Team Chazal Canyon at the Cyclo Cross French Championships

In this article we’re going to tell you all about our weekend of folly with the G4 cyclo-
cross team at the French national championships which took place in Quelneuc! It was a
colourful weekend – a weekend of Blue / White / Red!

At the age of 34, for the very first time in his career, Steve Chainel has become French
national cyclo-cross champion.Every year the French national championships are an intense and important moment in the cyclists’ season. Everyone prepares for this distinctive and special event which always has a red-hot and exciting atmosphere.

Cross team Chazal Canyon was naturally at the event for a special weekend, where we
numbered more than twenty people between riders and support staff. Everyone knew their place and role and was unreservedly ready to give their all.

SATURDAY:

Day one for the mechanics while the staffs were busy preparing the Team Chazal Canyon stand ready to welcome the athletes for the whole weekend. The tents, the truck and the camp-site were ready and placed not far from the start and finish lines to aid interaction with the fans and to promote the sponsors! We were ready to support the riders for a crazy weekend! !

The Chazal Canyon team lined up at two races during these national championships

Our three riders of the future “Antoine Benoit, Yan Gras and Mikael Crispin” will be on the track Saturday afternoon. In the meantime, the pressure increases knowing our riders are favourites for this Under-23 race that promises to be a thrilling event! Young people get ready to start. The bikes, the staff and their supporters are ready to fire on all cylinders!

steve chainel champion de france de cyclo cross team chazal canyon

The first thrills are felt as soon as the race starts, an atmosphere of madness in “Brittany” the land of cycling and cyclo-cross, particularly when our under-23 stars are leading 1- 2 -3 in the first circuit of the championship.

The youngsters give their all but, possibly lacking a little experience, they miss out on victory. However the team is consoled by a well-earned fourth place for Antoine Benoist,the youngest of our promising talents. Cycling isn’t an exact science. With a huge number of supporters, Antoine Benoist was one of the major players in this race and he’s qualified for the world championships in a few weeks’ time.

The staff are proud of these young riders, even if they’re disappointed. The Boss, Steve Chainel, will have words of encouragement to motivate the “kids”, that’s the advantage
of a close-knit team!

Everyone stayed in a cottage nearby!

In the evening the atmosphere among friends, family and staff was very festive. Steve congratulated his promising youngsters, while recognising his responsibility to try and
become French Champion, something that’s missing from the team’s achievements. It must be the focal point of the week-end. But there’s a difference between talking about it and achieving it. But who knows … after a relaxed evening having a laugh with friends, it’s the best way to be calm the following day.

A good night’s sleep before the coronation.

SUNDAY:

On Sunday morning the pressure rises, everyone knows that Steve could become the 2018 French champion, a title that’s been missing from his list of achievements for
almost 15 years.

In the morning, several other races take place on the Quelneuc circuit and the hours
pass. Pauline Ferrand Prevost wins the women’s elite title ahead of the men’s blue riband event.

At 3:20 pm the gun goes off! Steve’s already at the front in the first few metres of the race. We know he’s in fine form. His entire family, friends and all those from Quelneuc are behind him, supporting him. The spectators shout encouragement and help to propel him across the line. Steve’s giving it his all; he’s in the lead for an hour of almost unbearable emotion for his family and his fans.

steve chainel champion de france cyclo cross

Steve races across the line, 12 seconds ahead of the rest. His supporters, family, the team, everyone erupts because STEVE’S THE FRENCH CHAMPION. He’s home and dry. 

RED. It’ll be available next week from G4, Team Chazal Canyon special FRENCH edition.

Steve talks us through his feelings following his title win:

“It’s been such an incredible day, so emotional…….for 13 years I’ve dreamt about raising my arms in victory across the finish line, becoming one with the public … The sensations, emotions, tears, pain, all these feelings welled up in me. In those few seconds, I’m the happiest man on this
planet. I’m happier than I’ve been for the past 13 years. I have slept, breathed, ate and done my utmost to finally experience this moment with my family, my friends, my staff and above all my children. My friends, most of whom were present, my parents, then all the staff of the Chazal Canyon team, but also all the people who support me throughout the year and who unfortunately don’t have the time or the possibility the spend an entire weekend with the team.

It’s done, I have this red, white and blue jersey, I’ll wear it for the next 365 days as champion of France. I’ll represent my country in its colours. In addition, I’m not going to hide that I’ll ride in my new kit, designed by my dear friend Geoffroy, and I’ll be the toast of the town – the envy of everyone.

 I would like to thank all the people who have come from near and far to contribute to the team’s success. Not only my loyal friends, Gab, Julien, Mathieu, the Benoît family, Geo, but also my youngsters, Antoine Mika and Yann … I would like to thank all my
sponsors, without whom I wouldn’t today have had the optimal equipment. Obviously, huge thanks to all the public and especially the spectators who didn’t stop supporting and encouraging me during the hour-long race and giving me the best feeling ever.

See you on Sunday at Nommay for a French World Cup event where I’ll be wearing this great jersey. I couldn’t have a better start for my champion’s jersey.”

All Cyclo Cross Team by G4 clothing is designed by and manufactured for G4 Dimension.

steve chainel champion de france de cyclo cross team chazal canyon