National XC MTB Champs

The main focus for many riders on the UK domestic Mountain Bike circuit is the National Mountain Bike Championship, ‘the’ biggest race of the season. The one opportunity a rider has to take home the red white and blue stripped jersey of national champion, with the right to wear it worldwide for the year. The race was also an important event for selection into the World Champs team, so a lot was up for grabs.

This year the race was held in Richmond, North Yorkshire on a course with a good mixture of wooded single-track and fast open field sections.  The day kicked off with Lee Craig in the elite female category.  This is what she had to say.  “When I pre rode the National Championship course I was delighted as the race was going to be savage with sharp, grassy climbs and technical, muddy descents. To make matters even more exciting, it had rained, hard! From the gun there were 3 of us in the race. Annie Last, Nikki Harris and I quickly broke from the others and stayed together until the first descent when Annie got the gap. For the next 2 laps I remained a steady 30 seconds behind Nikki who had the edge on the flat, fast fire roads while I clawed back time through the technical sections. On the final lap, she rode away and without enough in the tank I came in 3rd about 2 minutes behind her. A good result and I felt very proud standing on that podium in my TORQ kit with such world class company”.

Next up was senior riders Ben Thomas and Anthony O’Boyle. With the worsening course conditions Ben decided to ride a tactical race. With the high attrition rates thanks to the erosion of the trail, Ben rode within himself for the first few laps and as the race went on, upped the pace and started to move up through the field. Coming into the last lap Ben had moved into the top 10 to eventually cross the line in 9th position, an excellent result in his debut year in the senior ranks! Anthony however was not so fortunate, despite showing exceptional form by riding comfortably close to the front of the field in 5th position for most of the race, suffered a race-ending mechanical, finishing his race just a lap from the line.

Next up was U23 rider Sion O’Boyle, after an excellent result at the British mountain Bike Race Series at Margam Park a few weeks previous, Sion was fired up for another good result. After a very close race, Sion crossed the line in an amazing 5th position having caught up to 15th place in the elite field! Only 50 seconds down on second place, just behind many full time professional riders. A great result to round off an excellent weekend’s racing.

This weekend the team are heading down to the classic Newnham Park venue in Plymouth for Bontrager 24/12 where we will be taking on the 12hour team event joined by guest TORQ Australia rider, Australian Olympian Dan McConnell. The legendry Lydia Gould will also be taking on the 12 hour solo.

Thank you to Joolze Dymond for the photographs-

As always, a huge thank you to our 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: