Liga Kolding, Denmark

Chris Andrews is a new rider to the TORQ Performance MTB Team for 2012, having held an elite race license for a number of years and previously raced at a world level he’s still hungry to gain experience racing at the top. Here is Chris’s report from his recent trip to race in Denmark in search of UCI points.

Many weeks ago I was invited by friend and fellow Elite XC racer Hamish Batchelor of the Fluid Fin Race Team, to compete in a UCI C2 MTB XC race in Denmark as part of there National series, SRAM Liga. I was excited by the prospect of racing abroad once again, and with the possibility of collecting some UCI points (to help towards qualification for another world cup) the race was appealing. With this in mind I loaded up my bike bag with my Whyte 29-C race weapon and packed my hold bag with TORQ products to keep me fuelled for the race. I headed north to Manchester Airport where I meet Hamish.

After a turbulent flight we landed in Copenhagen Airport early on Friday afternoon and jumped into our hire car and headed west to the host town of Kolding. We were staying in a B&B just a short drive away from the race venue so we were ideally situated. It was now time to relax after a busy day travelling, Hamish did himself proud by cooking up a storm in the kitchen, producing some delicious carbohydrate-rich meals!

Saturday morning soon arrived and after a refreshing nights sleep, it was time to build our bikes and head to the race venue to pre ride the course, ready for the race the following day. I really enjoyed the course with its fast sweeping descents to its lung bursting short but very steep climbs! My plan was to ride the descents smoothly and hit the climbs hard. I figured this is where gaps would be made and I was later proved right!

Race day had finally arrived. It felt like a long time coming, but I was ready. My bottles were filled and my favorite TORQ gels attached (Banoffee flavour with guarana). I completed my warm up and headed down to the start for the usual European random gridding exercise. Lucky for me it worked out well and I lined up on the 3rd row of the grid.  At 14:15 the whistle blew and the race got underway. A long start straight soon had us heading uphill and into the single track, which is where the race soon went up another gear. I crested the climb in tenth position and was feeling good.

I seemed to put some distance into the riders behind me as I glanced down on one of the switch back climbs. The riders ahead one of whom was Hamish, were riding very hard and I struggled to keep at there pace. So I stuck to my plan and came through to finish 12th with no major issues. Well, apart from two extremely fast riders who over took me in the closing stages of the race who I could not hang onto!

After a clean up and essential recovery drink, I was feeling refreshed and myself and Hamish headed up to the prize presentations. It’s a good thing we did! Prize money was handed down to 15th position, so we were both in the money! It was great to take part in another countries national championship and to see how they do things. I was very impressed and I will be back in the not to distant future. A big thank you to Jeroen Van Eck of the MPL Specialized UCI Team, and his father for pitting for myself and Hamish.

Once again a huge thank you to all of our sponsors this year; – Frames – Drivetrain & Brakes – Helmets – Handlebars, Stems, Saddles, Seatposts & Grips – Team PR – Tyres – Pumps, Tools and Bottle Cages – Performance Cycle Clothing – SR Suntour Suspension Forks – Advanced Lighting – Lubrication – Shoes – Cables & Housing – Pedals – KCNC Skewers & Bottom Brackets – Spokes – Wheel Builder – Photography – Power Measurement and Turbo Training – Tyre Sealant, Rims & Hubs – Casual Clothing

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