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    A Stellar Year

    As the TORQ Performance Mountain Bike Team rounds out the end of 2016 (its 12th consecutive season racing on the UK domestic circuit), we take a look back over what the team’s athletes have achieved. 

     

    Despite some injuries, the team have put in some exceptional performances. 

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    Hill Climb Bronze

    Jo Clay is an athlete better known for her performances at the front end of the Elite Mountain Bike field but alongside her love of mountain biking is a passion for road cycling. 

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    Formidable 4

    This year was the 11th edition of the Pivot Twentyfour12 and once again it was hosted at the premier former World Cup course at Newnham Park in Plymouth. 

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    career best

    The 1st round of the National XC is always a hotly contested race with riders from all over the UK battling to test out their form off the back of a hard winters training. 

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    Challenging Fforest

    The team headed to the classic race venue of Fforest Fields in Mid Wales and some challenging course conditions for the penultimate round of the British XC MTB Series…

    In the Men’s Elite race, with Lee Gratton out, nursing a broken collarbone sustained at the last round and Jake Phelps missing a round with a broken finger, it was down to Alex Welburn and Joe Griffiths to fly the TORQ Flag. 

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    Marathon Ride

    Most of the TORQ MTB team took to the hills in the 2nd round of the Scott MTB Marathon in Rhayader, North Wales, and once again there was plenty of black and orange at the pointy end…

    There are five Scott MTB Marathons this year, run on courses all over the country, but Rhayader is an ‘old faithful’ and awash with climbs and testing singletrack – well it is North Wales! 
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    Midlands XC Champion

    Alex Welburn has had an exceptional season so far this year, consistently finishing in the top 10 at national level, up against some full time riders and, now he has finished studying for a degree in Sports Science and has more time available to train, he has more to give. 

    Alex took to the line of the 2016 Midlands XC Championships, held this year at Eckington Woods, Derbyshire. Here’s the full story in his own words:

    Alex – Featuring sharp, punchy climbs and fast, technical singletrack, this style of course tends to suit me, so I was feeling pretty good for the race despite having a lack of speed in the previous day’s ride. It was a large race start, with all the Experts lining up against us as well, but I’m normally a quick starter and managed to hit the front as soon as the whistle blew. 

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    Dalby Delivery

    The team headed up to Dalby Forest, Yorkshire, for Round 3 of the National XC Series on the former World Cup Course, where a high calibre field, including Commonwealth Games winner Anton Cooper and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Marco Fontana, saw the riders fired up for a good race.   After dominant wins at Round 1 & 2 where he finished well clear of the chasing pack, Jake Phelps put in another commanding performance in the Expert Category, leading from the gun until time lost to course traffic saw his lead diminish and a close battle with Ben Wadey (Clee Cycles) ensued, before Jake eventually crossed the line in 2nd. 
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    Silver Sunday

    Last weekend saw the team in action at events right across the country for the annual Regional Championship races, where each regional organiser in the UK puts on a Championship race giving riders the chance to be named the Regional Champion for the season. 

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    Thrills & Spills

    Former World Cup venue, Newnham Park, Plymouth, is well known for its hosting of Bontrager 24/12, one of the UK’s top 24hour events and has gained a reputation on the National XC scene for delivering one of the country’s most technically challenging courses, testing riders to their limits on both the ups and downs of the terrain. 

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    Spectacular Win

    The 1st round of the National XC is always a hotly contested race with riders from all over the UK battling to test out their form off the back of a hard winter’s training and, following a strong performance at the Midlands XC, the team headed to the new venue of Pembrey Country Park in South Wales. 

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    Career Best

    The 1st round of the National XC is always a hotly contested race with riders from all over the UK battling to test out their form off the back of a hard winters training.