Ben is TORQ's research specialist. He holds a 1st class honours degree in Sports Science and is currently completing the highly regarded IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition.
Bontrager 24/12 is rapidly becoming the UK’s premier endurance mountain bike event, providing an unbeatable combination of the legendry course on offer at Newham Park in Plymouth and an excellent laid back atmosphere in the pits and expo area. This year with the team having performed so well at the event in previous years, the riders were looking for a repeat performance...
The course at Plymouth is arguably one of the best the UK has to offer, with Newham Park being a regular stop on the calendar. Hosting regular regional and national events and even a world cup back in the early days of mountain biking. This year the ciruit certainly didn’t disappoint with an excellent blend of tight technical single-track and fast open sections to the course.
After arriving at the event late on Thursday night, Friday looked set to put a damper on the weekend with some torrential showers wetting the course down. The teams practice lap on Friday afternoon left them caked in mud and wondering if they had packed enough fresh kit for what looked set to be a 12 hour mud fest. In the end there was very little to worry about with the sun on Saturday morning drying the course to near dusty conditions and the rain the simply helping to break in the racing lines.
This year the TORQ team had entered a mixed team of 4 and a male team of 4, all entered in the 12hour along with the Legendry Lydia Gould in the Solo 12. Josh Ibbett had planned to take on the 24 solo but caught a virus at the last minute and was forced to take a weekend off. The team this year were joined by TORQ Australia rider Dan McConnell who was visiting the UK in prep for the Olympic test event in Essex the weekend after so brought some added fire power to the already very strong line up.
The race got underway at 12:00 on the Saturday with nearly 500 riders taking to the course for the first lap. After a short start loop the leaders of the race were that fast that they caught back up to many of the backmarkers who had been caught in traffic leaving the arena! After the lead moto pulled away the race got under way with Dan McConnell moving the team straight into the lead coming home a good few minutes ahead of the rest of the field, shortly followed by James Gleave for the mixed team. From then on it was business as usual for the TORQ team as both teams steadily increased the gap on second place to eventually take the win in both categories nearly a whole lap clear! Lydia Gould also managed a 3rd place in the solo female another excellent result to round of the weekend.
If you'd like another perspective of the race, here's TORQ Australia's Dan Mc'Connell with an account of his visit to Plymouth's premier MTB event:
Also, if you visit www.twentyfour12.com there's an official movie (with a bit of TORQ going on too).
As always, a huge thank you to our sponsors:
www.konaworld.com - Frames
www.shimano.com – Drivetrain & Brakes
www.limarhelmets.com - Helmets
www.ritcheylogic.com - Handlebars, Stems, Saddles, Seatposts & Grips
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk - Team PR
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.champ-sys.com - Performance Cycle Clothing
www.mojo.co.uk – Fox Suspension Forks
www.exposurelights.com - Advanced Lighting
www.juicelubes.co.uk - Lubrication
www.lakecycling.com - Shoes
www.jagwireusa.com - Cables & Housing
www.crankbrothers.com – Pedals, Multi tools & pumps
www.rapidracerproducts.com – Neoguards.
www.cleecycles.com – KCNC Chains, Skewers & Bottom Brackets
www.superstarcomponents.com – Hubs, Seat Clamps & Headsets
www.sapim.be - Spokes
www.handcraftedwheels.co.uk - Hand Built Wheels
www.fibrax.com - Brake Hardware
www.joolzedymond.com - Photography
www.cycleops.com – Power Measurement, Turbo Training & Bike Racks
www.notubes.com - Tyre Sealant & Rims.
www.nomad-direct.co.uk - Nomad Cordless Pressure Washing
www.finelytunedride.co.uk - Bike Maintenance & Servicing
Follow the TORQ Performance MTB team's progress on their facebook page: