Welcome to the home of CNP - Orbea Racing

Welcome to the home of CNP - Orbea Racing

Throughout the 2012 season this site will provide up to date information, including which events we are competing in, race reports, riders blogs and any other team news

Monday, 21 February 2011

CNP - Orbea Team Launch

On a snowy foggy weekend in the heart of the Peak District the 2011 CNP - Orbea team launched into 2011
Riders were invited to the team headquarters giving riders a chance to catch up and meet for the first time in the case of Cameron. It gave the opportunity to collect and wear the new team Bioracer Kit for the first time, pick up a new supply of CNP products and collect their 2011 Orbea Alma

L to R - Darren Alexander, Oli Holmes, John Whittington, Cameron Balfour and Matt Sumpton

The team will contest all the British Mountain bike series with John and Oli competing in the Elite category, Matt Sumpton in Junior, Darren Alexander in the hotly contested masters category and successful scholarship applicant Cameron Balfour in Youth. One rider missing was multiple national Champion Roy Hunt, who's yet to decided on his exact race calendar but will be a frequently seen at Chainreaction cycles (CRC) marathon events. To learn more about each rider head over to the rider profiles page.

All the team are looking for strong performances at the National Championships and the following weekend a team of 4 will compete for victory at the Bontrager 24-12. The team will also have a presence at the CRC marathon series.
Riders also planned to race regionally competing in the southern xc, midlands xc, nutcracker xc and Scottish XC rounds.
All the elements are in place for a great 2011 thanks to Olympic Gold medal winning bikes from Orbea, world class nutrition from CNP professional, high quality team kit from Bioracer and German engineered tyre’s from Continental.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Oli and Matt escape to Spain

CNP - Orbea riders Oli and Matt took the opportunity to escape the miserable British February weather in favour of the sun of Southern Andalucia and get 7 days of MTB training. Here's Oli's view from the sun. 
View to 'snow' mountains from the Holmes family Finca
Having visit this region of Spain for over 8 years I have built up quite a local knowledge of the best singletrack and trails in the nearby woods and mountains of Alhaurin. Therefore unlike most mtb'ers I don't have to make the choice of spending more and going on guided holiday or being forced to ditch the MTB and stick to the road bike.  As a result the trip is all about riding top notch cross country singletrack and climbing and descending mountains. 
Matt traversing a cliff edge
The trip was originally planned for the week before with John coming as well but the financial problems of being a student and saving for a power tap caused John to fore go the camp. It work out great for Matt and I because we went a week later, missing the Spanish rain, and were blessed with 20 degree heat and blue sky's. 

A 3.45 start on Sunday morning along with Matt scratching his new Oakley Radars on the last day were the only downsides the ups were 4 hard days of mountain biking, 1 cafe rides, 1 set up ride and 1 road ride. Oh and the near perfect weather

Day 1 After a quick 40min spin on the day we arrived Matt and I spent the monday adjusting to the Spanish terrain on a local Spanish xc course at Los Llannos, Matt was already in love with singletrack rough, steep, and hard but loads of fun.
Matt working hard climbing 
Day 2 was spent exploring the longer climbs on the base of the the Mijas mountain (A preview of what was to come on the day after rest day). The ride included an all time favourite 20 min+ stretch of traversing singletrack with steep switch back climbs and descents what more could you ask for! the GPS location no chance this is a best kept secret. A few short sprints up the kickers on the way back home finished another hard days riding.

Pool in winter hibernation however we could have done with it on some of days.
Day 3 time to show Matt why so many road teams use the area for training Camps as we took to the road and left the dirt behind for a 3 hour spin between Alhaurin, Coin, Aloziana, Zalea, Alhora, Cartama. The steady road ride didn't quite happen as we both got carried away on the climbs and Matt keen to show of his form on the back of his first ever cross season. Needless to say Matt is fine shape for the 2011 mtb season and a few more days of riding with matt and i'll be too. 

Day 4 Rest day and after 3 solid days of riding a 1 hr cafe ride with cake and cafe con leche was a perfect respite.

Matt struggling for grip on the loose surface
Day 5 The 1000m vertical ascent and descent of the Mijas mountain. Having climbed this brute on three occasions now I can state it doesn't seem to get any shorter or less steep. Averaging between 15 and 25 percent for 90% of the climb up an access fire track would be hard enough but add in the terribly loose surface makes it twice as hard. The problem with the climb is you can't stand up without slipping out the rear wheel and you are constantly fighting the bike a real full body work out. The climb started with a good but controlled tempo through the town but once we hit the rough stuff the pain started. 1 hr later the climb ended both spent both exhausted both wishing we hadn't bothered. However once recovered thanks too CNP pro flapjacks and Gels we were ready to attack the 1000m vertical descent 85% of which was steep alpine singletrack. After one spill one puncture and plenty of rock gardens the smiles had return and the sprints up the final kickers took placed once again.

Day 6 The Final day and the hard week finally caught up with Matt and pace on the climbs reduced to a more steady pace and we just enjoyed the singletrack and 22 degree sun. We had intended to ride the 'Anna's' singletrack (the 20min traverse) for a second time but Wild boar hunting in the forest and the wish not to be shot by a rifle prevent us from riding it. The ride finished with a Cafe stop followed by 30 spin back to the Finca and sad process of packing up the bikes in preparation of return to rainy Britain.

A big thanks to my parents Dave and Jan Holmes for letting us stay at there Finca and also to CNP in which their products kept us going all week.  

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Darren Leads Overall Dark and White TQ league

4th in class and 7th overall with a score of 310 pts at last weekends Hope trailquest has left CNP - Orbea rider Darren Alexander top in both class and overall standings of the dark and white winter trailquest league going into the final two rounds.

Darren was very pleased with the result having not scored as highly in his last two outings at Hope.

The series is a best of five one good result at either the Hartington or the final Hathersage round will crown Darren Alexander overall winner.

Oli Holmes also competed at the weekend and despite his map work 
being a little rusty and training for an 1 and half hour race not 3 hrs finished a satisfied 3rd in class and 5th overall with a score of 315 pts.

The next round of the Dark and White trailquest will be held 5 miles from the team HQ at Hartington on CNP - Orbea Team Launch weekend, how many of the team give it go is yet to be seen but all we do know is Darren will be there and looking forward to another 3hr of competition.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Cameron Balfour selected as Scholarship Rider for 2011

Having received a great response to our search for a Youth Rider to join the team for the 2011 season we are pleased to anounce that Scot Cameron Balfour is joining us. It was a very difficult decision to make, as we were looking for riding potential as well as the ability to make a case for getting the ride.

Cameron came out on top having presented a very good case as well as being selected for the GB Talent Team despite a season interrupted by serious injury.

We would like to thank all the riders who applied for putting in the effort and wish them all the best for the coming season.

With a Welsh Team Manager and English Riders we now have a Scottish representative!