Torq in Your Sleep 12:12 - 4 Man Team Race Report

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BY: Oliver Richardson - Giant Twickenham

Published: 31st August, 2016

Torq In Your Sleep 12:12

This weekend was the legendary Torq 12:12 at Minley Manor. Although we probably had the most immature team in the paddock we were certainly a lot more stable psychologically than participants in the 12 hour solo category so we had opted for the 4 man team event.

I have to say this is now my preferred format. There’s something very satisfying about flying past people at full on race pace at 11pm at night especially if they have been riding for nearly 12 hours and are almost certainly beginning to question their entire existence. I’m nice like that. Our team consisted of Christopher Peacock (Spokes and Spanners), Pete Flint (KTM), Isaac Pucci in his first race back in over a year...... and myself riding for the Giant Store in Twickenham.

I started out on the first lap getting a nice spot at the front of the grid and leading the pack out onto the main fire road with Jody Crawfroth and Christopher Minter hot on my tail. Having smartly drafted me along this Jody dived into the single-track first and continued to keep the pace very high and we pulled a small gap on the rest of the field until I dropped my chain coming out of the corkscrew section. After getting the chain back on I was quickly joined by Chris Minter from the PedalOn team who were to be our main competition for the day along with the Renvale race team.

In a small group consisting mainly of team category riders who had thrown any idea of pacing themselves out the window we charged on full pelt after Jody until I then felt my rear tyre go flat. Losing about 4 minutes I got this sorted and finished the lap with us in 6th place. Not ideal. Handing the baton over to Isaac to try and claw back some of the time lost. Considering Isaac’s build somewhat resembles that of Dwayne Johnson at the moment he managed to put in one of the fastest laps of the day with a 36:32 moving us up into 5th place and keeping us in the mix.

Pete and Chris then put in two more stonking sub 40 minute laps and got us into 3rd place around 5 minutes off the leading teams PedalOn and Renvale. Changing over from Mr Peacock I went out on my second lap all guns blazing and tried to redeem some of the time I had lost the team and was putting in a good lap. I got to the final short climb and having to stop halfway up for a Fat Bike went to put the power back down and pretty much ripped my rear mech completely in two and into my back wheel.

Trying to run across a field with calf cramp and Pucci shouting at me was fairly entertaining particularly to Roki and Duncan from the Four4th lights team (4 man Vet Winners) who were very motivating throughout the day and complementary of my bike wrecking skills. Needless to say at this point my bad luck had become so ridiculous it became funny and considering our misfortune we were still very much in the mix thanks to some damage limitation from the boys.

After some quick laps from the both ourselves and the Renvale team after 9 hours of riding we were now neck and neck with PedalOn and Isaac, Kean Wytrykowski (PedalOn) and Simon Ernest (Renvale) battled it out trying to get clear of one another. Isaac and Simon came in with a small gap on Kean who with Minter had been putting in some very fast lap times and making things very difficult for us.

Now completely dark Pete went out on his lap and having pretty much never ridden at night somehow managed not to crash and kept us neck and neck with Renvale. Chris also went out and put a great lap in but with Isaac and myself still hammering out sub 38-minute laps in the dark we decided I’d double up and do the last lap.

Isaac came in for the last lap and had pulled a good 10-20 second gap on the last single-track section to give me some much needed breathing space for the last lap dual with the Renvale team. I extended our lead through the first single-track and then decided I would sit up and let Simon catch on so I could expend as little energy as possible. Feeling pretty confident on the single-track in the dark I used this for recovery and backed off, sprinting as soon as I hit an open section or fireroad to see what reaction I got from Simon. I couldn’t drop him at all and the final descent was scattered with back markers so we approached the finish arena waiting for someone to make a move.

Simon attacked on the final climb to the arena which I responded to just enough to keep the inside line into a tight left-hander. There was also a back marker which I managed to get up the inside of leaving Simon with nowhere to go and gave me just enough space to sprint flat out to the finish to take the win for our team by just 2 seconds! An incredible feeling after nearly 12 hours of racing and all the bad luck that day.

Thanks to the guys in the team for making up for my mechanical short falls, burying themselves, Pete for lending me his bike and Renvale, Pedalon and the Four4th Light boys for such a good race and general larking about in the changeovers! Definitely one of the best events of the year so huge thanks to Torq and Gorrick for putting it on! Well done to all the other category winners especially the 12-hour soloists!!! Also credit to Kevin Sheldrake for some great photos! (


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Oliver Richardson - Giant Twickenham

Expert XC Racer and occassional Roadie for the Giant store in Twickenham.

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