This weekend I headed down to Hampshire for the Torq in your Sleep 12h event. The circuit was based in the army training grounds of Minley manor and consisted of a 8 mile circuit which twisted its way around the woods. There were a few short sharp power climbs and plenty of tight twisty single track. Conditions were dry, so dry in fact that some sections were like riding in mud due to the thick dust on the trail.
The race began at 12 on Sunday. The start was chaotic to say the least. It seems that there were a fair number of xc racers in teams trying to get to the front at all costs. I found myself barged into a pile of sand which lost me all momentum and my place at the front of the pack.
After a few laps the pattern of the race began to emerge. Myself and Adi Scott were riding together in 3rd and 4th place whilst the 1st and 2nd place battered each other at the front of the race. We decided that the best tactic was to stick together and gradually draw them in. Around the half way mark we were beginning to make inroads into second position but Adi decided to up the pace. I was unable to respond so had to settle into my own rhythm.
Before long the dreaded low spot hit. Energy levels faded and my mind began to wander. I slowed substantially for a few laps before dusk which allowed the gap to a podium position extend. As night fell my body began to respond again so I pushed as hard as possible to try and close the gap. It began to work and the time gaps started to close in. However with 2 laps to go the gap to 3rd was 7minutes and my gains were 2mins at most per lap. The maths don’t lie, i wasn’t going to be on the podium so i had to just ride around to finish the race.
I gave it my all but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. The race was close though. The winner completed 18laps (on a single speed!) and 2,3,4 and 5th positions all finished on the same lap. My team mate Dave was 5th behind me; he’s getting faster every time!
Thanks to Mum, Dad, Zoe and Rob for helping out in the pit. Now its time for a short break before a month quality training for my 24h debut at Relentless 24.