Ben is a new employee of TORQ, holds an honours degree in Sports Science and is a very keen Mountain Biker to boot.
National XC MTB Championships
The National XC MTB champs are the pinnacle of domestic level cross country racing - an annual, make or break event that offers riders their only chance to take home the title of ‘National Mountain Bike Champion’ and the world renowned British National Champs Jersey....
This year the event took place at Wasing Country Estate in Berkshire. The popular southern XC series venue utilises a relatively flat course with plenty of tight, twisty singletrack. The course profile ensures close racing as gaps become hard to produce and riders form groups in a bid to slipstream each other, much like road racing. Many of the top riders including TORQ-fuelled Oli Beckingsale switched to racing on the road in preparation for the championship, in a bid to increase the power and speed needed for a course like this.
The morning’s races kicked off with the Junior female race with Beth Crompton of the TORQ-fuelled Scott Contessa Team putting on an impressive display. After a bad start saw her entering the first section of the course in last place, Beth battled back through the whole junior field to take a convincing win clear of the field and her second consecutive National Title. Next up was Annabel Simpson of the TORQ-fuelled Matrix Pendras female road cycling team, who had switched to mountain biking exclusively for the championship race. Annie took a convincing win, nearly 4 minutes ahead of 2nd place in the female U23 race, with our own Ruby Miller rolling in, in 6th place. TORQ-fuelled Scott Contessa rider Caroline Goward took an impressive 2nd place in the master’s female category with Nicky Hughes also coming in second in the Vet’s race and Gaby Day taking 6th in a competitive female Elite field.
In the afternoon races, TORQ’s Lee Westwood took the best result for the team coming in an exceptional 5th place in the U23 category, minutes down on professional riders and over 4:30 up on 6th place! Here’s what Lee had to say about the experience:
"The sun shone for the champs resulting in a mainly dry course! It was a hot old day up at Wasing on Sunday with a race pace equally so in the U23 race. As expected, our race went off super fast (resulting in Kenta Gallagher posting the fastest lap of the day) and I settled in 4-5 position. From there on in as I got gapped from the lead group, it was all about consolidating that position which I did rolling home to claim fifth".
The main race of the day, the senior men, saw TORQ-fuelled Oli Becks lining up as one of the favourites, taking on his 14th senior champs, of which he has taken 5 wins and 12 podiums. Not a bad track record! Here’s what he had to say:
"I got a great start and was so relieved by this fact that I got a bit carried away and proceeded to smash the first lap. Then on lap 2 when race favourite Liam Killeen started flexing his muscles I found myself in a bit of trouble. The next 3 laps were not fun at all as I tried to limit my losses whilst my legs came round, which they did with two laps to go and I was able to fight back from 5th to a podium 3rd spot".
TORQ-fuelled Scott UK rider Nick Craig continued his excellent form to come home minutes down in 8th. TORQ Performance rider Chris Andrews took a credible 21st place in what was a field stacked with quality riders including a number of professional roadies battling for a shot at the title.
Some excellent results from the team and athletes that we support. Next up for the TORQ team is the final round of the National XC series, the inaugural Ritchey Trail Masters Enduro event and our very own event TORQ In Your Sleep.
Thanks to Dave Hayward (www.davehayward.com) for the excellent pictures…
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: