Ben is a new employee of TORQ, holds an honours degree in Sports Science and is a very keen Mountain Biker to boot.
2012 Dyfi Enduro
The Dyfi Enduro is one of the UK’s most popular single lap enduro events, this year selling out with a full 750 entries in a record time of 62minutes after they went online! The combination of a chilled out bank holiday weekend and the epic trails in the Dyfi Forest combine to make a winning formula for everyone, from the elite racer through to the weekend warrior. This year, the podium was builging with TORQ-fuelled riders…
The event kicks off in the Welsh town of Machylleth, with riders following a lead van for a short road ride up to the village of Corris. This year the town was out in force to cheer riders on as they headed off for an epic day in the saddle. The course utilises the mountain bike Mecca of the Dyfi Forest, a large wooded expanse with an immense network of raw and natural, technical trails. The course typically involves a mixture of lung-busting, long, steep fire road climbs, which reward the rider with epic views over the mountains of Snowdonia and unforgiving, fast, loose and technical descents to challenge even the most competent riders.
As the field rolled into Corris, the lead motorbikes broke away and the massive first fire road climb opened up ahead of us, I got myself behind the wheel of TORQ-fuelled Scott UK rider, Nick Craig and held on for as long as I could. Although not officially a race due to the laws regarding the use of bridleways in England, the pace on the first climb would suggest otherwise! With many top riders including Nick, TORQ-fuelled Matt Page (Wiggle) and National 24hour Solo Champion Huw Thomas using the event as a motivated training session, it was set to be a tough day.
After the first decent I got a bit of a gap and was on my own between Nick and a chasing group. For the next couple of hours I got my head down and tried to keep the pace up on the climbs and enjoy the epic descents. Despite the rain in the weeks leading up to the event, the course was holding up really well and apart from a couple of large puddles on one section it was almost dusty! The event is quite unique in that the organisers provide plenty of on course entertainment including a Harpist and Cheer leaders on the first climb, Star War enactment in the woods, and DJ with a bar in the last 10km so there is always a surprise around the corner!
After a couple of hours I came across Nick Craig on the side of the trail, who had suffered a puncture on the sharp slate and I moved into the lead! With close to 10km to go, I was suffering from my early pace and inadequete XC racer endurance and started to fatigue. After stopping to fill my bottle at the feed station, I was joined by Matt Page who on the next long climb passed me and started to pull away. Shortly after that I was passed by Huw and Nick who had sorted his bike and was chasing hard.
Coming into one of the last descents I almost missed a freshly cut section of trail off to the right of me, I quickly clambered back onto the track and got my head down. I was really starting to suffer from my early pace and the last couple of kilometres felt the longest of the ride. I came to the sign for the final decent and breathed a sigh of relief whilst I enjoyed the last epic section of trail. As I crossed the finish, I was only meet by Matt, so managed to set the second fastest time of the day. I was shortly followed by a the two riders that should have been ahead of me who had missed the turn and gone off in the wrong direction!
A great event and some good training towards my next big block of races with the Midlands XC Champs, National Marathon Champs and round 3 of the British XC Series at Hopton Woods.
Thanks to Jon Brooke at www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk for the photographs.
Once again a huge thank you to all of our sponsors this year:
www.whytebikes.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.lezyne.com - Pumps, Tools and Bottle Cages
www.champ-sys.com - Performance Cycle Clothing
www.srsuntour-cycling.com – SR Suntour 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
www.cleecycles.com – KCNC Skewers & Bottom Brackets
www.sapim.be - Spokes
www.stradawheels.co.uk – Wheel Builder
www.joolzedymond.com - Photography
www.cycleops.com – Power Measurement and Turbo Training
www.notubes.com - Tyre Sealant, Rims & Hubs
www.dare2be.com – Casual Clothing
Follow the TORQ Performance MTB team's progress on their Facebook page: