Torq at National champs 2013


It’s always fun travelling as a team and this year’s National Championships at Mt Stromlo in Canberra were no different. We towed the basestation (TORQ’s home from Home for the duration of the event) all the way up the Hume from Melbourne and set up TORQ world to keep the riders dry and happy in case it rained. This year’s course was similar to previous years, utilising the tricky Hammerhead section once again, a very difficult and technical section that always puts the spooks up even the very best riders.

As per normal when we are away together for the serious side of racing there is always loads of fun times. Lots of great memories, way too many to mention (from just hanging out at the course, going out to dinner or just chilling out in the accommodation). We managed to turn everything into a positive and really enjoyed ourselves in the process (apart from the faulty oven in the ladies room that caught fire).
The racing was so good with some real battles occurring, keeping us all biting our nails and on the edge of seats so to speak, until the end. Like any race there is always going to be highs and lows. Luckily for us the team did pretty good and the lows were thankfully absorbed by the whole team’s constant camaraderie making it slightly easier for those concerned that certainly didn’t have lady luck on their sides.
Overall the team performed really well with so many fantastic performances that I could write a whole page on each rider. The highlights for me whilst watching from the feed zone were Ellie’s first ever race for TORQ smashing the U17 XC female race, then backing it up a few days later taking out the U17 downhill title. A-MAZ-ING!

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Young Liam, the coolest 14 year old you could ever meet. But put him on a bike and, wow!, the lad can ride. He blitzed the U17 category in style (against kids twice his size and a few years older).

Em coming second in her U19 race in what was the battle of the day swapping turns throughout the race with Holly but not able to get around her opponent in the final KM and was pipped by one second….
In the U19 men’s race hopes were high after recent form. Everything was looking good early on for Tristan who was swapping turns for the lead until he unfortunately washed out and crashed on lap two. He really hurt himself and soldiered on to finish fourth but his back was pretty sore and the crash left him hardly able to walk with torn ligaments to his ankle. Tasman’s day didn’t fare any better getting pushed off the course early on into the bushes making it impossible to catch back up to the leaders. But in typical Tasman style he did move up the field showing his true character. Unfortunately, getting held up on the first climb behind all starters made it too hard to close the gap on the leader.

The U23 race was always going to be an interesting one after Jack came second last year to fellow TORQ team mate Robbie Hucker (who moved over to Road mid last year). All the other guys in the team knew Jack was the man to beat after recent results. Although he has been racing in the elite category at all the previous national rounds and running second in the series overall, the rules are that he must race in his correct category at the National Champs. With everyone else chasing, Jack did his own thing. After starting 2 minutes behind the elite guys he pretty much systematically rode through the whole elite field. He eased up on his final lap behind the 3rd place rider in elite in what can only be described as an amazing ride to watch. Fellow teammate BJ, who also rides for the TORQ fuelled Huon Genesys pro road team, did a great job after jumping back on his old mtb bike for a bit of fun, coming in 8th. Billy finished 11th and Jason 14th who smashed his back wheel to bits in the process losing loads of time but finishing really strong.
The Elite female race turned out to be a hard one for Katherine, a former winner, getting taken out in the first corner basically ending any aspirations of a top result. She ending up at the back of the field and rode smart for the remainder of the race saving her legs for the following day finishing 6th with Sarah not far behind in 10th.

The Eliminator - XCE
Sunday saw another great day of racing with Katherine taking out the national title in the Open Female eliminator. Sarah finishing 4th and Em 5th. We didn’t have quite the same results in the Open mens…. The BIG highlight was watching young 14 year old Liam Jeffries go against Chris Jongewaard and Sid Taberley and only get beaten by a couple of bike lengths!
Overall we finished with 6 podium places with the details listed below.

TORQ Results National Champs 2013
1st U17 XCO womens - Ellie Wale
2nd U19 XCO womens - Emily Parkes
1st U17 XCO mens - Liam Jeffries
1st U23 XCO mens - Jack Haig
1st Elite XCO womens XCE - Katherine O’shea
1st U17 Downhill womens - Ellie Wale

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