TORQ’s Triumphant Trio

Last weekend saw an orange and black attack on podiums around the country with some top performances from the sharp end of the TORQ Performance Race Team…

There were a number of Regional events around the UK such as the Southern XC Championships at Wasing Park, the Welsh XC Championship held at Builth Wells and round 2 of the Nutcracker Series in Yorkshire. All three races were attended by riders from the TORQ Performance Team and with stiff competition across the board, the results were exciting with two wins and a second place for the TORQ Performance Mountain Bike Team. It also meant TORQ Performance can now add to the list of titles gained so far in 2011 with; the Southern Senior (Elite) XC Champion – Ben Thomas and the under 23s Welsh XC Champion – Sion O’Boyle (second place in the seniors too). Lee Craige was the victor in the Elite women’s XC race in Yorkshire having also bagged a win on the road at Ingliston the day before, tough cookie! Here is a quick round up from the riders themselves:
Ben Thomas “After being gridded on the front row I made a good start leading the race around the first lap. I set a reasonably high pace but tried to ride at a comfortable heart rate to avoid blowing later in the race. Leading the lap meant I had a clear view of the track and could pick the lines I wanted to ride. By the end of the first lap there was a group of 4 riders at the front including Ade Lansley, Steve James, Tim Dunford, and myself, with Billy Joe Whenman just a few second further behind.
Going into the last lap we were still together, it was a hard track to drink on so a gel each lap kept up the carbohydrate intake. A Banoffee Guarana Gel at the start of the last lap I hoped would give me that extra kick I needed. Once the early climbs were complete I put in several attacks through the singletrack but it proved difficult to build any time without using too much energy.
I kept the pace high though hoping it would cause my rival to make a mistake and with about 5 minutes of the race remaining that’s what happened. A small mistake was enough of an opportunity for me to grab a few seconds lead and that’s all that was needed to take the 2011 Southern Championship title!”

Sion O’Boyle “I headed off to the Welsh XC Champs in Builth Wells. After a good warm up on our Cyclops Turbo trainer, we headed for the start line with my legs feeling a bit on the restless side. As the whistle went I shot off from the start to take the lead going into the first climb, but a quarter way up Jonny Pugh took over the pace making a strong effort. Shortly after, Lee Williams put the pace down and overtook us and the race was now up another gear. Over the next few laps Lee pull out a gap and held firmly onto first place. After a few attempts of pushing the pace hard and flying down the downhills, Jonny and I still entered the final lap with nothing between us.

Exiting the Arena for the final time he was sitting tight on my wheel as I decided to try and up the pace on the climbs and push on to see if he would crack, which did open small gaps but not enough to get away. After smashing the final downhill trying to open the gap, Jonny was sitting tight ready for the sprint out of the single-track. With fatigue in my  legs I entered the arena keeping the pace high to limit the jump he was about to make. Sprinting off the grass onto the gravel road my front wheel washed out but somehow I managed to stop myself falling and we began the sprint side by side to the finish line. I took one final lunge to the line and bagged the sprint by a tyres width to take a very happy 2nd position in the seniors and 1st U23!”

Lee Craige “A solid weekend’s racing in the north. In a rare Women’s only closed circuit crit race at Ingliston race course on Saturday I was up against the best of Scottish road racers, and some visitors from the south. I won both sprint primes, the first of which encouraged a break that I led with one other for much of the race, before being wound back in by an organised pack. In a sprint for the line, I beat Jenny Stanning the Series leader for the first solid win of the weekend.
Then it was down to Yorkshire for the 2nd round of the Nutcracker Series in an attempt to familiarise myself with the proposed course for the British National Championship in July. The course was exposed, non-technical, flattish moorland with small sections of twisting single track through trees.To top things off it was littered with gruelling sections into a stalling headwind. I ended up mixing with the Sport and Expert men and won comfortably though tired!”

This weekend, top elite TORQ Performance riders Ben Thomas and Lee Craige will be taking on some of the worlds finest XC racers during the Pro Sprint Eliminator in Pickering and Round 2 of the XC World Cup held at Dalby Forest where in excess of 10,000 spectators are expected. Katherine O’Shea and Dan McConnell, elite riders from TORQ Australia will be joining the UK riders providing a significant presence for TORQ at this UK World Cup round.

Once again, a huge thank you to our sponsors. Without their help, these sucesses would not be possible: – Frames – Drivetrain & Brakes  – Helmets – Handlebars, Stems, Saddles, Seatposts & Grips – Team PR – Tyres – Performance Cycle Clothing – Fox Suspension Forks – Advanced Lighting – Lubrication – Shoes – Cables & Housing – Pedals, Multi tools & pumps – Neoguards. – KCNC Chains, Skewers & Bottom Brackets – Hubs, Seat Clamps & Headsets – Spokes – Hand Built Wheels – Brake Hardware – Photography – Power Measurement, Turbo Training & Bike Racks – Tyre Sealant & Rims. – Nomad Cordless Pressure Washing – Bike Maintenance & Servicing

Follow the TORQ Performance MTB team’s progress on their facebook page: