National MTB Series R1

If you’re as keen about Mountain Biking as we are, you couldn’t have failed to notice the build up to round one of the BMBS at Sherwood Pines! So with the sun shinning, a shortened UCI class four mile course (designed to give limited rest) and one of the biggest fields for a season opener, the TORQ Performance Team were all set for some awesome racing action.

Lydia Gould (Photos:

The star of the weekend had to be the Legendary Lydia Gould. With no delay, it was business as usual for Lydia Gould, taking to the start line in the Grand Veterans race. Lydia set a pace that just left the field for dust, taking first place with ease and beating many of the riders in the younger catagories (as she usually does).

Ben Thomas (Photos:

Ben Thomas also took the line for the elite race, attracting a large number of elite riders from Europe, looking to gain vital early season UCI points. After a blistering start and some excellent technical riding on the winding single track, Ben remained a credible contender, in a group that contained Olympic hopeful Liam Killeen finishing only six minutes behind first place. Sion O’Boyle also took the start in the elite race as part of his training plan for key events later in the year (approaching the event with some heavy weeks training and suffering from a cold) and still managed 48th place in the highly competitive euro-field. 

Lee Craigie (Photos:

Lee Craigie held the flag high for TORQ in the elite women’s race. Feeling great since her win in the first round of the Scottish Cross Country series and yet another win at the first round of the women’s elite road series, Lee put the hammer down early (despite being a rider much more suited to a hillier course) and came in a very strong 7th to pick up some vital series points. Lee Craigie will be looking forward to the next rounds, (which suit her winning habits.)

Josh Ibbett (Photos:

Josh Ibbett and Ben Price also ready for action in the expert race, fought to hold position in the single track. Josh Ibbett and Ben Price had a score to settle with each other in the Expert Men’s race. It looked like Ben had it in the bag, sitting comfortably in 3rd place, nestling nicely in with the leading bunch for the vast majority of the race. Josh slowly reeled Ben in who was suffering from the early pace to pass him just before entering the arena to the finish. Josh, our 24-hour specialist gained a very credible 5th place in an event that was approximately 22 hours too short for him and Ben finished just 3 seconds down on him in 6th place.

 Ben Price (Photos:

Personally, I was busy using the event to fine-tune my preparation for the ‘European 12-hour Champs’ on 7th May, and have been using events like this to help with the speed-phase of my training. I managed 13th in the Masters field having been robbed of 10th or 11th place when a tail end vet crashed in front of me and took me down a couple of minutes before the finish. It’s the hardest I’ve pushed my body for a good few years though, which is great – my endurance is good, but the pace was extreme and I’m still aching 5 days later!

Matt Hart (Photos:

A few heart-stopping moments later James Gleave flew into the arena to take 21st place – let’s see what this guy is capable of once his speed-training starts to kick-in.

James Gleave (Photos:

Once again, a huge thank you to our sponsors. Sponsors, please note that the riders recieved all of their sponsor kit hours before this race and due to a shipping hold-up beyond anyone’s control, the new KONA frames only landed in our warehouse yesterday. It was worth the wait though and they’ll be going out to the riders early next week, just in time for our official team launch. The kit recieved this year from the sponsors looks stunning, so we can’t wait to show it off to the public on these pages. – Frames – Drivetrain & Brakes  – Helmets – Handlebars, Stems, Saddles, Seatposts & Grips – Team PR – Tyres – Performance Cycle Clothing – Fox Suspension Forks – Advanced Lighting – Lubrication – Shoes – Cables & Housing – Pedals, Multi tools & pumps – Neoguards. – KCNC Chains, Skewers & Bottom Brackets – Hubs, Seat Clamps & Headsets – Spokes – Hand Built Wheels – Brake Hardware – Photography – Power Measurement, Turbo Training & Bike Racks – Tyre Sealant & Rims. – Nomad Cordless Pressure Washing – Bike Maintenance & Servicing

Follow the TORQ Performance MTB team’s progress on their facebook page: