The Montane Kielder 100 is Europe’s only 100 mile single lap enduro Mountain Bike Race. Taking on a gruelling 100miles of off road terrain, the course utilises the vast singletrack network within the Kielder forest in Northumberland and crosses onto some exposed and treacherous moor land in the Scottish Borders. Now in its 3rd year this year’s race has developed a legendry status within the mountain bike calendar due to it unique nature and as a result attracts a field of riders from a whole host of cycling disciplines, from the top end Cross Country races to 24 hour soloist…
In reflection of the toughness of the event, out of 800 entrants 600 took to the start line at 06:30 on race day, for what was set to be a long and epic day in the saddle. This years event saw some of the worst conditions ever experienced with torrential rain from the off on race day turning the already tough race into something even harder.
The TORQ Team were represented by top elite cross country rider Ben Thomas, here’s what Ben had to say, “Unusually for such a big race I felt no nervousness at the start, I was relaxed and ready, even the horrible weather couldn’t distract me from the race ahead. From the moment the lead car pulled off my focus never wavered. Mike Blewitt pulled some good turns on the front of the group along with two other racers and myself who reduced the number of lead riders. Throughout the race no one really attacked, instead the weather and steady tempo pace detached racer after racer until there were just 2 of us. I led alone across the Scottish border past the piper, I’d hoped TORQ Photographer Joolze Dymond would be there to photograph the evidence of me leading just in case I couldn’t hold the lead for the next 50 miles!vI was joined by Giles Drake for a number of miles but the legs felt strong and pushing on up a climb the elastic snapped and I rode the final 35 miles alone. After 8 hours 50 seconds I took the victory champagne”.
In true testament to the brutal conditions on the day, out of the massive field to set off to complete the event only 180 riders completed the full distance. Ben showed a dominant display to lead the race solo, for the last 35 miles finishing a few minutes off the course record, a record originally set in more favourable conditions and with a solid lead over second place.
This weekend Ben Thomas also took the win at the Eastern XC with TORQ’s own Ben Price setting the fastest time at the Exposure Big Night Out in Ruthin, race reports to follow…
Thank you to Joolze Dymond for the excellent photographs- www.joolzedymond.com.
As always, a huge thank you to our sponsors;
www.konaworld.com – Frames
www.shimano.com – Drivetrain & Brakes
www.limarhelmets.com – Helmets
www.ritcheylogic.com – Handlebars, Stems, Saddles, Seatposts & Grips
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk – Team PR
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.champ-sys.com – Performance Cycle Clothing
www.mojo.co.uk – Fox Suspension Forks
www.exposurelights.com – Advanced Lighting
www.juicelubes.co.uk – Lubrication
www.lakecycling.com – Shoes
www.jagwireusa.com – Cables & Housing
www.crankbrothers.com – Pedals, Multi tools & pumps
www.rapidracerproducts.com – Neoguards.
www.cleecycles.com – KCNC Chains, Skewers & Bottom Brackets
www.superstarcomponents.com – Hubs, Seat Clamps & Headsets
www.sapim.be – Spokes
www.handcraftedwheels.co.uk – Hand Built Wheels
www.fibrax.com – Brake Hardware
www.joolzedymond.com – Photography
www.cycleops.com – Power Measurement, Turbo Training & Bike Racks
www.notubes.com – Tyre Sealant & Rims.
www.nomad-direct.co.uk – Nomad Cordless Pressure Washing
www.finelytunedride.co.uk – Bike Maintenance & Servicing
Follow the TORQ Performance MTB team’s progress on their facebook page: