National MTB Series R2

Dalby Forest is a world class venue having hosted Round 1 of the 2010 World Cup XC Series and taking the UCI award for ‘Best XC Event’ in 2010. With a course length 100 meters short of the UCI new limit each lap was packed with sustained technically challenging sections from the likes of ‘Worry Gill’ and ‘Medusas Drop’, producing one of the most technically and physically challenging courses on the world cup circuit. Dalby is a rare opportunity for domestic riders to race on a course of this standard so it is of no surprise it is the most anticipated round of the British Mountain Bike Series.

In line with Round 1 at Sherwood Pine, Dalby was a Class 1 UCI event attracting a high level international class field, all fighting for points toward Olympic qualification. The day kicked off with the female elite race. After a good result at Sherwood, Lee Craige returned from a tough training week in Majorca to face her demons after an injury she sustained last year at Dalby. Producing some consistently fast lap times Lee finished in a fantastic 4th position amongst a very strong elite field.

The elite men’s field saw Ben Thomas and the O’Boyle brothers lining up against many full time professionals with an array of national champions and even world cup winner Geoff Kabush, alongside a stacked field of UK domestic riders. Ben rode an excellent first 4 laps at the front half of the field but suffered a mechanical after falling on one of the technical sections of the course. Sion was unfortunate to suffer a snapped chain but finished 43rd while Anthony rode a solid first few laps to fall victim to the heat on the day and was still suffering from a back injury, but finished a credible 37th place.

Personally the Dalby course suited me down to the ground, with the time that could be gained through the technically challenging sections of the course, to which I took full advantage. After riding into the top 5 of the field for the first half of the race I worked my way up to the wheel of second place. With a few hundred meters to go I took the tactical decision to follow the second place wheel into the arena and entering the last corner I took the inside line and sprinted past to take 2nd place in the expert race, my best ever result. Podium number 2 of the day for the TORQ team.

The afternoon saw normal service resume for masters rider James Gleave after a disappointing result in Sherwood. James is now well and truly into his speed training and it certainly showed holding off some strong competition in a sold out masters field to take 6th place, despite losing time to a mechanical. The weekend also saw some notable absences from our endurance specialists, Josh Ibbett who’s currently training full time in Spain. Also the likes of James Lister who rode the 8 hour round trip to visit us at Dalby, and TORQ’s own Anthony Roland and Matt Hart. All riders are currently clocking up massive training miles in prep for the European Solo Champs in a few weeks time. 

Once again we are extremely grateful to our team sponsors: – 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: