Our #TORQFuelled ambassadors have returned to racing in 2022 with the bit between their teeth after the pandemic scuppered many of their plans and here we showcase some of the outstanding results of the year to date.
We run our own in-house Performance Teams at TORQ as well as supporting many athletes across a huge variety of sporting disciplines from grass roots to World Class level. Here we summarise the performances of 4 of our most notable performers this year.
Donald Brooks // Triathlon
If you have an interest in triathlon, you may be familiar with the name ‘Donald Brooks.’ Don is a current member of the TORQ Tri Team who has built an exceptional race palmarès holding British, European and World titles. Whilst Don has a distinct talent for triathlon, his love for the sport developed late in his sporting career, at the age of 37. Don is recognised as one of the very best age group athletes in the World across multiple race distances.
2022 has so far proven to be a key year for Don. With the motivation to compete fully ignited, Don continued to showcase his ever-developing athleticism taking the age group win and 4th overall at the Nottingham Outlaw Half Triathlon on the 15th May 2022.
Maintaining his form, Don’s next race was the European Triathlon Championships, which was being held in Olsztyn, Poland, where he once again earned the title of European Champion. Don won the 45-49 age-group category by nine minutes. Not only this, but Don’s exceptional finish time of 1:57:53 also placed him as the fastest athlete overall, across all age group categories, ranging from 18-84 years old!
The next major event in Don’s somewhat hectic race calendar was the British Triathlon Championships, held in Leeds, where he retained his British Champion status for the 45-49 age group category. In typical Don fashion, he was also the fastest competitor overall by 49 seconds!
Don’s most recent success story came at the Long Course Weekend event in Tenby, South Wales. The Long Course Weekend race is an adaptation of the traditional Ironman race, where each of the disciplines is broken down over 3 days, starting with the 2.4 mile Swim on Friday, the 112-mile bike leg on Saturday and finishing with 26.2 mile Marathon on Sunday.
On stage 1, Don finished 5th in the swim putting him 5th overall in the general classification. On stage 2, Don was confident in his bike split and knew that with good fuelling he could open up a time lead on his competition. Don finished Stage 2 in 1st place, giving him the overall lead and as hoped, he opened up a time gap of 3 minutes on 2nd place. Going into the final stage, Don knew that the run would be a challenge, but the 3-minute gap gained on stage 2 would offer some degree of grace. Don broke away with two other elite runners and although the pace was faster than planned, Don knew that this would support his time gap and would be enough to maintain the overall lead. With 5km of the marathon to go, a race support motorcycle informed Don that he would become the overall winner of Long Course Weekend 2022.
Don didn’t just win the race overall, but also broke the course record by 7 minutes, with a combined finish time of 8:53:36.
If you would like to follow Don’s progress and offer him your support, you can follow his Instagram account here.
Juan Pedro Lopez // Professional Road Cyclist
Competing with the world’s best, Juan Pedro Lopez was introduced to TORQ from his TREK Segafredo teammate, Jasper Stuyven. Juan Pedro Lopez has been riding for TREK Segafredo since 2019 and throughout that year Juan typically competed in UCI 2.2 and 2.1 sanctioned races with the aim to progress to UCI World Tour categorised races in 2020.
Skip 12 months and 2021 was a big transition year for Juan Pedro Lopez, where he became a contender for the young rider’s white jersey, at the Vuelta España, finishing in a highly respectable 3rd place in the category. With the taste of success on the tip of his tongue, Juan knew that he wanted to compete for the GC at a UCI World Tour race in 2022 and so his training shifted towards this goal.
In May 2022, the 24 year old was selected for the Giro d’Italia and on Stage 4, Juan lead the general classification putting him into the pink leaders jersey known as the maglia rosa.
Juan retained the legendary pink jersey until stage 14 and whilst unfortunately losing the lead in the general classification, the fight was still on for the young riders classification white jersey. Between stage 14 and 18, Juan was 2nd in this class and on stage 18, Juan gained time on his competition to take the young riders jersey, which he would hold until the final stage, crowning him the title of “fastest young rider” of the 2022 Giro d’Italia.
To keep up to date with Juan’s World Tour success, head to his Instagram account and give him a follow
Matt Manning // Elite Skyrunner
Matt Manning is a #TORQFuelled skyrunner. Matt best describes Skyrunning as the blurred lines between alpinism, mountaineering, and of course… running. Skyrunning involves running or scrambling across narrow ridgelines, over glaciers and through highly exposed and technical terrains. This is a sport that requires a tremendous degree of respect for the environment you are tackling, as one wrong step, could prove fatal.
Matt competes at an elite level, competing within the Swiss National Skyrunning series and Skyrunning World Series.
Before joining TORQ as a #TORQFuelled Ambassador, Matt had always struggled with his nutrition and knew this was something he needed to develop in order to perform. After intensive training for the Skyrace de Matheysins in May 2022, Matt finished the event but knew he had more to give if he could deliver the perfect nutritional strategy.
After talking with TORQ’s Performance Director, Marcus Willday, to learn more about his optimal nutritional approach, Matt finished in his best ever World Series position in the Hoch König World Series Skyrunning race in June 2022, finishing in 26th place. You can find out how Matt altered his nutrition on a post-race feedback report here on Instagram
It would seem that Matt now has his nutritional strategy perfectly executed, having taken his first ever podium (3rd place) in the RAB Pinnacle Ridge Extreme race, which covers 28km of terrain, with 2700m of ascent through 4 graded scrambles and 3 ridge-lines.
We are pleased to support Matt and we will keep you up to date with his progress. If you would like to follow Matt’s progress for yourself, you can follow him on Instagram by clicking here.
Isla Short // World Class Mountain Biker
Isla is another #TORQFuelled athlete competing in UCI sanctioned, World Class events. Isla is an elite Mountain Biking XC rider who focuses her training on the brutality of MTB XCO, MTB Marathon & short course racing. In 2021, Isla had an exceptionally strong season, finishing the year as the British MTB Marathon Champion and British MTB XCO Champion.
The success of 2021 allowed Isla to ground her focus moving in to 2022. The season kicked off with an exceptionally promising start at the UCI/C1 categorised race “Internacionales XCO” in Chelva, Spain, where she finished in 4th place. Following on from this fantastic result, unfortunately, Isla was faced with illness which temporarily put the brakes on her capacity to train and compete as she had hoped.
Like any elite athlete, Isla respected her recovery time which allowed her to compete at her next major event of the year, the ‘Mercedes-Benz UCI MTB World Cup’ in Brazil. Isla competed within the XCO and Short Course race which fell on the same day – as if one World Cup race isn’t enough! Whilst still not fully fit, she was very happy to finish 25th in the XCO race and 21st in the Short Course race.
After returning from Brazil and with her feet back on UK soil, she could focus her training and continued recovery on retaining her British National XC Series title. Winning both round 3 and Round 5 of the British National XC series, Isla gained enough points against her rivals to keep the top spot for another year. Isla was also proud to achieve the National MTB XC Champion in 2021 and last weekend (23rd – 24th July) saw a World class field take to the start line of the 2022 National MTB XC Championships in Kirroughtree Forest, Dumfries. Battling against current World Champion, Evie Richards and MTB racing icon Annie Last, Isla battled her way to an incredible 3rd place, sharing a podium with Annie (1st) and Evie (2nd).
Things certainly seem to be on the up for Isla, as she recently announced that she has been selected to represent Scotland in the 2022, Commonwealth Games.
To follow Isla’s success you can follow her Instagram here
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