The TORQ-sponsored Black Mountain 3 Day is one of the few multi stage MTB events on offer in the UK. Organised by David of Bearded Man Events and based on the Glyn Usk Estate in South Wales, the 3 day event combines some phenominal riding with a chilled and sociable atmosphere around the event village.
The event kicked off on Friday afternoon with a short time trial on an XC-style course in the country estate itself, and was followed on Saturday and Sunday by 2 epic loops taking in some of the best riding that the Brecon Beacons National Park has to offer. As always with this style of event, due to the law regarding racing on public rights of way, this was not technically a race, although every rider was given a time for the day and was furiously riding against the clock. Having formed a great reputation in its debut year and featuring in What Mountain Bike’s Magazine ‘Must Do’ enduro events of 2012, the event attracted a full field of 200 riders, months in advance, raring to take on the demanding course and enjoy the free local ale included in the entry fee (not to mention the more sensible and functional TORQ nutrition provided at the feed stations enroute)!
With so many of the TORQ team thoroughly enjoying the event in previous years, TORQ’s Matt Hart, Anthony Roland and Ben Price all signed up ready to take on the fantastic riding on offer. After setting up on Friday lunchtime, we set off to complete the TT, held a short ride from the event village. It consisted of 2 laps of a short action-packed XC race style lap and with the torrential rain in the weeks previous, the course was particularly slippery leaving each rider really having to fight for traction, particularly on some of the high speed sections of the course. This was a battle that Matt unfortunately lost, taking a superman style drive over the handlebars and injuring his shoulder, which saw him out for the weekend and with a hefty bill from his chiropractor (he’s still suffering now)! Ben set the fastest time on the challenging course, in just over 31minutes, with Anthony shortly behind in 40minutes. After event completion, all riders returned to some hot food, ale, and a comedy rider briefing from David, the event organiser, preparing us for the trials and tribulations of day.
Saturday dawned to an overcast sky, but thankfully no rain! A Police escort on the first part of the course set the field off at good speed up a technically challenging climb, with little let up. Each rider was rewarded for their effort as they reached some of the highest points of the Beacons, capturing some stunning panoramic views over the National Park. Although shorter than day 3, the technical trails meant the going was tough and even included a few hike a bike sections! Matt pulled out early on, as soon as he hit the off road after succumbing to the pain from his injury, with Ben the first rider home in just over 3:30 shortly followed by Anthony. Some of the last riders home came in after close to 9 hours riding!
Day 3 saw a longer course, but on harder packed terrain which gave similar times to the previous day. Similar weather conditions graced the riders with mild temperatures and light showers. The route took in some of the most technical riding in the Park including the legendry ‘The Gap’ climb and decent, which was made even more treacherous by the farmer herding 100s of sheep!
After 3 days of epic riding we returned to the camp with very tired legs! Ben set the fastest time overall with just over 8hours of riding in total. The event was run with military like precision, with everything covered ensuring that everyone finished the day having enjoyed some great riding, food, drink and company, in what was a relatively small, intimate event. A must for next year and another dominant display of performance for TORQ!
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
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