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

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Bontrager TwentyFour12

Team CNP - Orbea undertook their very first 24hr race last weekend at Bontrager TwentyFour12. The venue was Newnham Park, a classic mtb venue if ever there was one, and one which all team riders were familiar with having been a fixture in British National XC series over the last 3 years.
A beautifully designed course (thanks Maddy and Jay Horton) had many distinct sections, from the big ring climbs of the first half onto the moors, the slippery rooty singletrack on the way back to the arena for the first time to the steep lung bursting climbs back out until finally swoopy descent back down. It was interesting and certainly the most challenging 24hr course any of the riders had come across.
Matt holding the wheel of an olympian
The CNP - Orbea support team was boosted up from 2 to 3 for the weekend, mechanic Damon Manning was on hand to keep all 4 Orbea Alma running sweetly. Jan looked after all the riders off bike needs with a CNP influenced food buffet table, RnR tent space and an all important cooked dinner. Team boss Dave held the whole thing together to ensure we had quite possibly the slickest baton exchanges of any team with riders never having to wait longer than 1-2minutes.
John exiting the woods
By having a perfect support team the riders could just concentrate on what they do best riding their Alma's as fast as they can. First up was the 2011 Junior national champion Matt Sumpton and he got the team into a perfect position leading the 24hr race and 2nd in 12hr. Next up John continued this pace with a quick 2nd lap before exchanging the baton to Oli who experienced the only real misfortune of the whole 24hr race breaking his chain half way through the lap costing the team 12 minutes, Darren then steadied the ship and we set about catching first. After a succession of sub 40 minutes laps Oli had the perfect chance to make up for the mechanical as he set off less than 30 seconds behind 1st place rider. By the end of the lap the team was in first and by the half way point of the race had extended the lead to over 25 minutes and if the race had finished then the team would have come 3rd in the 12hr.

Darren on the first of many climbs
During the night laps the overnight dew made the course slick and all riders had a few sketchy moments but no serious offs meant as dawn broke the team had extended the lead to 30mins. A couple of mega quick laps by Matt and John (40min and 41min) in the mid morning meant Oli could cruise around the final lap to take the overall win for CNP - Orbea completing an impressive 32 laps in 24hr 1min. I believe this is CNP and Orbea's very first 24hr mtb success in the UK if not Europe.
CNP - Orbea Bontrager TwentyFour12 Champions

A fantastic performance by all those involved, the support team of Damo, Jan and Dave along with riders Matt Sumpton, Darren Alexander, John Whittington and Oli Holmes and our sponsors CNP Professional, Orbea, Continental Tyres and Bioracer.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

2011 XC National Championships

The CNP - Orbea team produced their strongest performance of the year on the most important race weekend of the year, the national championships. For 2011 the championships were held at Aske near Richmond, Yorkshire. 
The approx. 6km circuit had a little bit of course to suit everyones tastes and was divide into three very distinct sections. The first punctuated by 3 steep grassy climbs and two steep descents , the middle section of the lap more of a sherwood style course, flat fireroads and fast singletrack and finally the slow tight and twisty singletrack section that brought you to the final fireroad stretch. With the bad weather over the weekend it just add the final ingredient to make it a little bit more technical and a true mountain biking course worthy of any national championships.
Matt Sumpton - 2011 Junior National Champion

The first of the CNP-Orbea riders to compete was Cameron Balfour in the youth race. Cameron made a great start and found himself within the top 5 riders and for the first time this year a real chance of racing against the best youth riders. However sadly for Cameron he was to befall the only bad luck of weekend snapping his chain on the first lap ending his race. Cameron was very down and frustrated post race as anyone who has suffered mechanical issues whilst racing well can understand. However the team know it is only a matter of time before Cameron gets the result he deserves.
John sliding his way to 8th

Next up was the mid day race which included the junior national championships and for the team the best chance of receiving an illustrious national championship medal. Matt made a solid start and buoyed with confidence of looking for a hat-trick of victories over the last month took charge of the race on the very first steep climb gaping the field and powering on solo for the remainder of not just the lap but the rest of the race. Lapping the first lap over 1 minute faster than second place he didn't look back and by the half way point had build a 2 and half minute lead. With a little sideline encouragement from 5 time national champion Oli Beckingsale Matt pushed on to ride a faultless race not making a single mistake on the tricky circuit finishing the 4 lap race almost 4 minutes ahead of second place. Awesome performance and just reward for rider who until finishing his A-levels just before Margam has had to juggle school work with training. Next up for Matt will be the World Championships in Champery at the beginning of September and now a full time athlete he can really give it his best shot. 
In the Masters race Darren Alexander who has struggled with illness over the past two months finished a creditable 8th in his UCI age group of 35-39 and 16th overall in the BC Masters category.

Darren negotiating the first chute
The final race of the day was the senior national championships 60 of the best (over 23yrs) riders in the country lined up to do battle including CNP-Orbea's John Whittington and Oli Holmes. John lined up on the 3rd row Oli on the 6 neither had expectations only to ride a hard consistent smooth race. As the gun was fired the race was on and John made a screamer moving up into the top 5 Oli on the other hand was stuck in traffic being cut up and crested the top of the first climb in the mid 30's. The traffic jam down the first section of singletrack was painfully slow for those mid pack. On the steep climbs Oli made a few more places moving up into the mid twenties. Entering the final section of singletrack John made a few mistakes and finally slipped back to around 10th place. Oli picked of few more riders but was once again held up really badly on the long section of singletrack. By the end of the fireroad drag back to the arena Oli had made his way into 21st place. As the race progressed both riders settle into the race having good battles with other riders and going into the last lap John in 8th and held off a late charge by 9th place Ben Thomas to cross the finishing line a very impressive 8th. Oli second half a race became a relatively lonely affair having shrugged off Ben Simmons he was to far behind the next rider to close the gap and rode to line conserving his 17th place. For Oli this felt like a massive relief having finally felt like he was progressing back to feeling like a half decent xc racer. 
Oli climbing his way to 17th

So overall a great weekend for the team and a big thanks to all the 2011 team backers and sponsors, CNP and Orbea who provided perfect nutrition and perfect bikes to power the riders to achieve the results they deserve. To Ken Jones at ominpex who provided the team with awesome Bioracer team clothing (just need a national champs jersey now) and conti tyres who kept are wheels from sliding to much. As always a massive shout out from all the riders to our team support crew Jan and Dave and this weekend big thanks to Darren for his Karcher petrol powered power wash which kept our bikes spotless.