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.
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.
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.
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.