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Dyfi Enduro.

The 2nd Dyfi Enduro was held last weekend. The event was a 50km point-to-point enduro held in North Wales and according to my sources it had a fantastic atmosphere and a great course (not to mention a food stop at 2/3 distance!). Two TORQ riders joined the pelaton, Jeremy Olsen (Freeborn/Elsworth) and Phil Rayner (Halfords Bikehut) – and they finished 3rd and 4th respectively. Here’s Jeremy’s account of the event…

The start was as hilarious as ever with 380ish mountain bikers riding in (suicide) formation behind a course car on a 4-mile neutral road section (ie no racing). As the course car pulled away in the final few yards before the off-road began the pace quickened as a couple of the main contenders attempted an early break up the 12 minute long first climb. My suspicions that the chap in the full face helmet on the Santa Cruz Chameleon who had been veering all over the road behind the course car would not be able to sustain his early pace were confirmed as he, and several other hopefuls slowed to a crawl as it became apparent that the climb really was a big one!

At the start of the hill I was comfortably in the top 25, and by the top (marked by a brass band playing!) I had cleared some of the chaff and was lying in 8th position - now it was game on with the serious boys. On the first big climb I passed one of the Halfords Bikehut team - I was a bit worried, but my heart rate monitor showed that I was in the right zone so I got my head down and continued to work. After a comedy off before the 2nd big descent of the day I really gunned the steep shale single track, catching and passing a number of riders on the way. By an hour and a quarter in I was in 3rd and on my own - 1st and 2nd having disappeared on the first couple of climbs. This is always the difficult part of an enduro, there's nothing but yourself, your pain tolerance, and your heart rate monitor to keep you going. As I approached the food station I geared up for a nice banana top up, but alas unlike in previous years where small children excitedly hand out pre-peeled bananas for riders to grab on their way past, this year there were just a few people lounging around and a big box of bananas sitting on a table - I decided to pass and continued onwards. By this time I was starting to feel fatigued and dropped my pace on the descents adopting a safety first policy (although I still managed to have a couple of interesting moments!).

As I climbed the final hill I had an opportunity to see whether any riders were coming up behind me - I knew that my pace was dropping, and thought that the Bikehut rider would be coming back at me - the coast was clear so I settled in to the final downhill of the day, and then worked the last mile and a half on the valley floor to gain those last few seconds. So 3rd it was, 9 minutes down on 1st, 8 minutes down on 2nd, and 6 minutes clear of 4th, with a time of 2 hours and 32 minutes.

Suffice to say that the Bikehut rider Jeremy was holding off was TORQ colleague Phil Rayner! Jeremy and Phil have both geared their training towards the endures this year and it just looks like it might be paying off…

Words by Matt Hart/Jeremy Olsen