TORQ riders victorious in Gorrick season opener.

TORQ-tuned Steve Hambling (Activ Folkestone/Trek) and Theresa Jordan (CC Luton) got their respective seasons off to a flying start last weekend at the second round of the Exodus Gorrick Spring Series.

Both Steve (Expert cat) and Theresa (Masters cat) won their events and there were also strong performances in the Expert category from Phil Rayner (Halfords Bike Hut Dev Squad) in 5th and Ciaran McAneny (Hitchin Nomads) in 9th.

This was the first official race of the season for these TORQ riders, so such strong performances at this early stage are very positive. There’ll be a few more ‘chipper’ races on the cards before the first major goal of the season – NPS 1 at Thetford in mid April, so there’s still plenty of time to get properly race-ready. When I spoke to Theresa she said “My increased time on the mountain bike this winter has paid off, as I feel that my bike handling skills are much better than this time last year. I don’t feel as strong yet as I could be and know that there is still plenty more to come. I thoroughly enjoyed the race itself though, which is why I went on and did an extra lap for good measure! (Ed – Theresa managed to confuse the timekeepers by deliberately doing an extra lap, managing to achieve both 1st and last place in her category – spooky!!)”

I asked Steve Hambling to throw a few words onto paper about his race experience, to which he responded favourably (after a few nagging e-mails)…

“It was 9am, it was raining and I was still in bed. We set off for round 2 of the Gorrick Spring series last Sunday 45 minutes late – today hadn’t started very well.

Stopped off on the M3 for coffee and the sun came out – getting better already. Arrived at Heath Warren Wood unpacked the bike and set off for a lap of the course. It was quite fast and fun to ride with a good mixture of bumpy singletrack, open fireroads, twisty descents and short climbs, but most importantly it was dry(ish) – the mud didn’t seem very interested in sticking to my bike anyway. Things were really looking up!

I lined up to start what seemed like quite a well-attended event with the rest of the expert/elite, including one chap on a single speed jump bike, fully equipped with a full-face helmet – did he know something we didn’t?

The starting horn went off taking most of us by surprise, after a short fire track climb I settled into 2nd place. I felt quite good so moved to the front and got away, before being caught by one other rider at the end of lap 1. I stayed in front and we developed a good lead. On lap 4 I got away again on a short slippery climb and maintained my lead. Tried to ride fairly cautiously on the last lap only to fall off on a sticky corner – so much for that idea! Anyway the finish came and I’d won by 3 minutes.

It wasn’t the Worlds but it was a good start to the year and I’d had fun!”

For a full listing of results from this Gorrick event, visit the Time Laps website.

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