The atmosphere at team endurance events and cross country races is completely different. At XC races everyone is just so focused on their race compared to these events where a group of friends get together for the weekend with a bunch of other likeminded people to have a huge amount of fun riding their bikes. Wow - team events can be so much fun! Gorrick 12:12 TORQ In Your Sleep took place at Minley Manor this past weekend, attracting a sell out turnout of 650 people. An 8.1 mile course of twisty loamy fast, hugely fun trails had been put together to test the riders’ strengths.
As title sponsors TORQ had Performance and Development teams entered in different categories ready to battle for the podium. Ready to take on the competition were Tim Dunford and James Lister who paired up, and Ant O’boyle, Sion O’boyle, devo rider James Gleaves and myself in our 4 man team. As midday approached the starting riders crowded into the start straight ready for the off which would be a 3 minute quad bike paced loop of the arena. The keener riders bumped and barged their way forward to just behind the quad bike as it made its way around the event village; the quad bike then buried the throttle and the race was on.
Off first I was keen to make my rivals suffer so kept the pace high and it worked as rider by rider the group whittled down surprisingly quickly to just 3 of us. Tim who started for the male pairs had been dropped unknown to me suffering an early mechanical setback, I felt bad as half way round the lap the only rider left behind my was Dave Collins who, along with his teammate, were male pairs podium contenders. I was dragging Dave further away from Tim but then as we entered a singletrack section called sponge bob I nailed my lines creating a gap which then increased enough on the following twisty climb to snap the elastic. Returning to the transition as the first rider is always great fun and super rewarding.
The male pairs had a tougher job after their early setback, initially falling 5 minutes behind but they kept the pressure up always hoping that the opposition would crack. 8 hours in they were rewarded as Tim swept into the lead just before transition; James with renewed energy sprinted away to begin building a gap.
A huge rain cloud that rolled in made the tracks’ soil turn slippery and greasy but the teams Schwalbe tyres once again provided fantastic grip. The rain was heavy but was only a short blast, after about half an hour blue skies reappeared, the heat and wind quickly dried the track out. From 8pm the team used its Exposure lights to illuminate the forest as night took hold. With the Maxx D on the handlebar and the Joystick helmet mounted riders were able to blast around the course with the same confidence and vision as in the daylight.
The male 4 team put time consistently into our competitors edging out a convincing gap, collecting the fastest lap of the day, and eventually lapping the whole field! After taking the lead two thirds of the way through the race the male pairs built up an inspired 10 minute winning margin. The pairs team were so quick, in fact, they could have finished on the podium in the male 4 category!!
Elsewhere the development teams made up of riders, team management, and TORQ employees rode to 11th place in the male team category and 4th place in the mixed team category.
Minley Manor and Gorrick hosted a hugely successful and enjoyable 3rd edition of TORQ In Your Sleep. The organisation was perfect, the arena was well setup, and the course was one of the year’s favourites. Hopefully you enjoyed the event as much as we did, see you there again next year.