National mountain bike downhill champion Justin Leov defied the pain and discomfort of a broken finger to win the latest round of the US Grand Prix series in New Hampshire, extending his overall lead.
Nursing the broken finger suffered in last week's World Cup in the US, Leov was fifth fastest in qualifying before laying down a superb run in the final for the Trek World Racing team. He clocked two minutes 06.78 seconds to win by more than a second.
It was an impressive performance from the 27-year-old, who has announced he will retire from racing on the World Cup downhill circuit at the end of the season.
He was uncertain if he would compete at the weekend after smashing his finger against a tree at the Windham World Cup and then racing with the finger taped but in obvious discomfort.
Leov was originally informed that there was no break which encouraged him to race at the weekend, but after winning the final he was told that there was a fracture in the finger, and he will return to New Zealand for recuperation.
"I feel less soft now," Leov joked. "Seriously though this weekend was tough for me after the crash of last week I honestly didn't think I could really race.
"Cotton wool and tape helped a lot and after a roll down in qualifying I knew that I at least wanted to give it a real go in the final. I felt a lot faster and managed to put down a solid run.
"I am so pumped at going home for 10 days, I can't wait to have a little break and get healed for France (the penultimate round of the World Cup late this month).
Leov now has taken a commanding lead with one round remaining in the US series.
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