The National Championships in Ludlow last weekend proved to be a slippery and testing challenge for all the riders that participated. Lots of off-camber, sticky muddy sections, coupled with some tight switchbacks that lead into the main arena. I haven’t spoken to one of my riders yet that didn’t fall off at some point, but they all made a point of saying what a fantastic course it was. Funny, I always hated falling off!
My congratulations go out to Jordan Aveyard (Dirt Devils) who won the National Junior title on Sunday. He’s had a fantastic Cyclo-Cross and Mountain Bike season and has trained incredibly hard over the winter. A well deserved win and one that promises an exciting future for Jordan I’m sure (approaches from potential sponsors will be welcome I’m sure). I asked Jordan if he could write a brief account of his conquest for madformountainbiking.com, so he sent me these words:
I went into these championships with no great expectations as my bike had been written off the weekend before. Instead of training I had to build up a new bike from scratch after work, during the week before the race.
Once on the start line, I made up my mind just to give it all I had from the gun. I’m usually one of those riders who is slow to start and get better as the race goes on, but this time I made it up to the top three straight away. The first lap was fast but I was determined to keep up with Phil Spencer and Simon Richardson. The three of us had a 1min 30sec gap as we came into the feed zone before the start of our second lap. Here I gained about a 10meters on the other two and found myself in the lead. I knew I had to make my move here and stepped up the pace again.
My bike was holding out well and for once I thought I had chosen the correct tyres for the course, which had lots of muddy leg sapping parts. At the end of the second lap I had managed to pull out a 40second lead. I knew Simon and Phil would be after me big style – my legs were cramping up, but I had to keep up the pace. I attacked on all the climbs, zipped down through the woods, managing to avoid the trees, hit the bottom as fast as I could. As I entered the home straight I dragged myself up the last climb with legs that would hardly turn the pedals but with one huge grin on my face, at last the “nearly man” has his day.
There were also, great rides from TORQ’s two Espoirs – Paul Byatt (Cyclone Cycles) who got 5th in this highly competitive category and Steve Farmer (Scott UK) who despite major injury problems this year, sneaked in just behind Paul in 6th.
Other top 10 places from TORQ riders: Adam Thomson (Swindon RC) who managed his best ride of the season, getting a highly respectable 8th in the Youth men category and Pete Giddings (Total Fitness Swindon) who clawed back to 7th place in the Sports class after a problematic first lap. Looks like the training camp paid off guys.
I sincerely congratulate all who took part in the National Champs last weekend, ‘TORQ tuned’ or otherwise and I wish you the best of luck for the remainder of the season.