The late August bank holiday weekend has meant Torq in Your Sleep for the last couple of years and this year it was firmly marked in the calendar again. With barely a repack from a climbing trip, we loaded up and headed to the much-loved Minley Manor race site for a weekend of socialising, playing, catching up with friends….and bike racing!
As usual we pitched up trackside facing Olympic Ridge. This spot gives us the all-important trackside pit for Karen’s solo race, quick access to the arena, and a big wood for the kids to play in. Pitching up next to us was Sally Hall and her extended team and family. It’s nice to have good race neighbours and Sally’s lot were great – lots of kids, late-night fire-pit company and more regular checks in the timing tent. Many thanks to Michelle for manning the walkie-talkies on Sunday night too! Read Sally’s race blog from the 12hr female solo race.
Saturday started with the kids races. Edith led off in the u8’s race. The course was the same as last year with a fireroad straight, some tight and twisty singletrack, a tough climb followed by the final descent and straight to the finish line. Edith got an awful start tangling with another rider. Finally getting going, Edith chased hard and moved up to first girl and 3rdoverall by the end of lap 1. Lap 2 saw her extend her lead over the 2nd placed girl and finally finished in 1st place and only just behind the first placed boy. Well done!
Fred raced next in the u10’s. Getting off to his best start of the year, Fred led down the first straight only getting caught just before the singletrack by Ben Coppola (Four4th). These 2 had already put a gap in to the rest of the field and then extended through the rest of the race. Ben pulled ahead, and won the race with Fred coming in 2nd shortly after. Well done! We then rode the adults lap for fun, and sighting for Karen. As usual it was a really fun lap with all the best bits of Minley Manor included.
Sunday was the adults race day. Karen lined up for the vet female solo 12hr again, keen to improve on last year’s 3rd place. Following Karen’s recent win in the 12hr Torchbearer at Pivot 24:12, confidence was high at the start. Karen started well and led after the first lap with a small gap to 2nd. This went up to 3 minutes by lap 2, then up to 12 minutes by laps 4-5. Keeping the fuelling as per Pivot Race kept things simple and proven with a mix of real food and some Honey Stinger gels, with Skratch Laps in the bottles. By this point, the only female faster than Karen was Sally in the u40’s race so things were looking good. Laps 9-10 saw a slowing as the distance and time caught up a little, but by now it looked like Karen would gain a lap on 2nd. The target of 12 laps slipped at this point too as this is a short 12hr race and only laps completed up to 12hrs count. Karen finally came in with 11 completed laps in 11:10 and another 12hr win! Good ride.
The following morning Fred had one last shot at a fast lap of the adult course. Determined to do a sub 1hr lap, Fred gave it the beans, and unfortunately came in 2minutes over! Tough luck – there’s always next year.
Overall this was another fun race weekend with some great results achieved. We’ll be back again next year.