For the Elite riders on our Performance Mountain Bike Team, the race season is a relatively long affair, with many of our riders starting competing as early as February and racing a plethora of MTB events all the way through to the end of September.
Despite the candle starting to flicker and riders become close to burning out, from the accumulated fatigue of hours, if not days, spent riding on the redline, we never have a problem putting a team together for Oktoberfest; a true testament to the quality of the riding and atmosphere at the event. This was an opinion clearly shared by the 1000 other racers taking on the race in the Autumn Sunshine with the event also attracting the likes of professional riders; DH legend Steve Peat, Trial extraordinaire Martyn Ashton and Dirt Jump hero Blake Samson!
This year mutual sponsor to the TORQ Team and supplier of the finest rims on the market, Stan’s No Tubes, stepped up to the plate of title sponsor. As in previous years, the event was held at the all weather venue and city centre riding location, Ashton Court, Bristol, which provides a fun filled 30 minute (for the fast guys) lap on some quality, fast and flowing, all weather singletrack. Despite some rain in the lead up to the event causing the organiser to move the location of the event village, the course was almost completely dry and, other than a couple of patches of mud, riders came back clean and grinning from ear to ear.
In previous years the TORQ team had come up against some very strong competition from some well known, world class, professional road riders (see race report at https://www.torqfitness.co.uk/news/ritchey-oktoberfest ) so, despite being at the end of the season, it can be an incredibly tough event to win. There was a great deal of anticipation to see if they would return for another year to try and contest the win.
This year we put a mixed team of 4 into the 8 hour event with Elite riders Lee Westwood, Chris Andrews, Ben Price and Ruby Miller. Current National Marathon Champion, Lydia Gould, was also in the AM 4 hour Solo race. The start saw the normal carnage, with the Le Mans style start, as riders run to their bikes, in a massive pile a few hundred meters away. As the first rider out, Ben Price quickly made his way through the traffic and worked his way to the front of the pack to come back as the first rider home.
From then on in, the team steadily increased the gap over 2nd placed team No1 Cyclist/Velocite Bikes, with us losing a couple of minutes every time they sent their female rider out, which we quickly regained with our male riders back on course. Lydia, as always, took a steady start to the race relying on consistently fast laps to move her into the lead over the course of the 4 hours she raced. The sun was shining through the day, although Autumnal in temperature, the skies only real showed any sign of raining with 40 minutes to go.
After 8 hours the team came home in 1st place, managing to squeeze in an extra lap within the allotted time over 2nd place, finishing with just short of 8 minutes to spare. This was topped off with news that Lydia Gould has also taken the win, clear of 2nd place, in the 4 hour solo. A great way to round off the season on a high. The riders will now be settling into their winter training regimes; watch out over the coming months for announcements on our line up for next year..
Thanks to Jon Brooke of www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk for the excellent photographs.
A massive thank you to all our sponsors ongoing support this year, without your help we couldn’t do what we do, and we are privileged and honoured to represent your brands.
www.whytebikes.com – Frames
www.shimano.com – Drivetrain & Brakes
www.limarhelmets.com – Helmets
www.ritcheylogic.com – Handlebars, Stems, Saddles, Seatposts & Grips
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk – Team PR
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.lezyne.com – Pumps, Tools and Bottle Cages
www.champ-sys.com – Performance Cycle Clothing
www.srsuntour-cycling.com – SR Suntour Suspension Forks
www.exposurelights.com – Advanced Lighting
www.juicelubes.co.uk – Lubrication
www.lakecycling.com – Shoes
www.jagwireusa.com – Cables & Housing
www.crankbrothers.com – Pedals
www.cleecycles.com – KCNC Skewers & Bottom Brackets
www.sapim.be – Spokes
www.stradawheels.co.uk – Wheel Builder
www.joolzedymond.com – Photography
www.cycleops.com – Power Measurement and Turbo Training
www.notubes.com – Tyre Sealant, Rims & Hubs
www.dare2be.com – Casual Clothing
Follow the TORQ Performance MTB team’s progress on their Facebook page: