TORQ In Your Sleep

Since its conception a number of years ago, ‘TORQ In Your Sleep’ has steadily developed, and gained a reputation as one of the UK’s must-do 12 hour endurance events, according to one of the UK’s biggest MTB Publications, and is an event which now forms part of the UK Endurance Series.

Taking place on the August bank holiday weekend, and run on the popular Gorrick race venue of Minley Manor; an active Army training ground just off the M3 in Surrey, this year’s event was a near sell out.  With the last round of the national XC series rescheduled for the day before,  it was due to be a tough weekend for some of the team who took on the double.  A National XC race on the Saturday and a 12 hour enduro on the Sunday was a definite recipe for tired legs on the Monday!

The weather on the day couldn’t have been better, despite this being one of the wettest summers on record and being held on a bank holiday, conditions were perfect.  A week of sunshine dried the trails out nicely, with a few short, heavy showers on Saturday damping them down again, before race day dawned to bright sunshine.  This was perfect as it left the course tacky, allowing a race line to form, which progressively dried out over the course of the race, offering plenty of grip and allowing riders to really rail the corners.  This year, with various injuries in the team, we entered a male team of 4, a mixed team of injured riders, and a female pair.  With a couple of further last minute changes we were down to two teams; our male team of four with elites Ben Price, Neil Hayward, Chris Andrews and Anthony O’Boyle and a “TORQ Injured Team” with Matt Hart, Ruby Miller and two guest riders.

Our main competition for the male team was from the Mountain Trax Oranges team, with local pro Ben Thomas and elite Calum Chamberline. Both Bens from the TORQ Team and Mountain Trax team went out first with Ben Thomas taking the lead, shortly followed by Ben Price in second, just short of a minute down after the first lap. From then on it was a close battle with the gap increasing and decreasing by mere minutes, lap on lap. This lead to an anxious wait in the changeover area, as we each watched the Mountain Trax team change over before a tense few minutes until our fellow TORQ rider returned.  By the rotation of riders, the course had bedded in nicely, which really allowed the riders to open up and set some of the fastest times of the day.

Just past the halfway point of the race, Anthony O’Boyle succumbed to a niggling knee injury, which saw our main team down to 3 riders, two of which had raced the previous day! This gave us chance to try and claw back some time, which initially we managed before fatigue began to set in and the gap opened back up.  We eventually finished in 2nd place, just over 15 minutes down on Mountain Trax and a lap up on 3rd position.
In the TORQ injured team, despite a number of injuries and riders not being on top form, they had made their way up to second in the tables before a mechanical, which saw one of the riders running back to the change over, dropped them down to 4th place, where they eventually finished.

A great weekend and a thoroughly enjoyable event; we hope to return next year to reclaim our title in the elite men’s team of 4!  Next up for the team is the Ritchey Oktoberfest at Ashton Court in Bristol before the riders enter their winter training phase.

Thanks to Joolze Dymond for the excellent photos.  

Once again a huge thank you to all of our sponsors this year: – Frames – Drivetrain & Brakes – Helmets – Handlebars, Stems, Saddles, Seatposts & Grips – Team PR – Tyres – Pumps, Tools and Bottle Cages – Performance Cycle Clothing – SR Suntour Suspension Forks – Advanced Lighting – Lubrication – Shoes – Cables & Housing – Pedals – KCNC Skewers & Bottom Brackets – Spokes – Wheel Builder – Photography – Power Measurement and Turbo Training – Tyre Sealant, Rims & Hubs – Casual Clothing

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