Gravity 12 Hour MTB Race

After a solid 5 hour drive on Friday afternoon to the stunning town of Bright in Victoria’s high country, we set up our camp in preparation for the 2012 Bicycle Superstore Gravity 12hr Mountain Bike event.
The Team TORQ camp was all set up and ready to go, so an early night was definitely on the cards as the race kicked off at 8am the next morning.


Waking up to the sound of your alarm is not the best early morning greeting but on race day, there is no option but to deal with it and start to get focused.
My usual porridge breakfast satisfied my morning appetite before it was time to check the bike and make some last minute adjustments.
I was racing with my fellow TORQ Nutrition Mountain Bike Teammates Robbie Hucker, Jack Haig and Katherine O’Shea in the 4’s Mixed Category. There were 177 Teams and around 560 riders racing this year which was great to see.

The start of the race arrived and Robbie took the lead for our team to complete our first lap. Lap times were predicted to take the elite riders around 45mins, so when Robbie came through in 41minutes we all knew it was going to be a fast track for racing (and Robbie has some good form too).
The weather was gorgeous with blue sky and a predicted top of 33 degrees on the cards.
We opted to do 1 lap each which gave us all enough recovery in between our laps. Jack was our 2nd rider out followed by myself and Kat.

Aside from the fact that a 12hr race seems daunting, it is an environment which offers both serious and recreational riders with a whole lot of fun. The TORQ team is a fantastic example of this and in between the racing when you’re recovering and analysing your previous lap, there’s nothing better than sharing all of this with your fellow teammates and family.
It’s great to win your individual category in these types of events but, it is the overall race winner that all riders aim for. This year, our competition would be the Felt Team, racing in the Male 3’s category. It was a strong team but we were definitely not backing down in our fight to claim overall race honours.

After being 5 minutes behind the Felt Boys during the middle part of the race, we dug deep to close the gap and fight out the last few hours of racing. The key to continuously backing up lap after lap was to have a recovery strategy which included consuming enough of the right food to keep our fuel stores up, enough water to keep hydrated and proper warm up and cool down routines to decrease the chance of lactic acid build up in the muscles. It makes things easier when your sponsors are arguably, the best sports nutrition company in Australia.
Each member of our team rode super strong and we all had very quick, yet consistent lap times throughout the day. This was my first Mountain Bike race in a few months so to get back on the trails with the team and contribute my share was hard work, yet really enjoyable at the same time.
With the race nearing an end, some seriously fast lap times were being recorded. It wasn’t until the last lap that young gun Jack Haig smashed out a ridiculous lap time of 36 minutes, 35 seconds in what was an attempt to catch Felt Racing’s Neil van der Ploeg for overall honours.

After 12 hours of fast racing by all, 20 seconds separated the Felt Racing Male 3 man team, from our Torq Nutrition 4 person mixed team. To be so close over 12 hours made for an amazing race and to take 2nd place overall and win our category left us all feeling relatively satisfied by days end.

A big thankyou to Torq Nutrition for their help and support, to Monza Imports and SRAM for their support with our CUBE bikes, gear and accessories and to dad for helping the team and I out throughout the weekend. It’s great to get back on the Mountain Bike every now and then and I look forward to the next race.

Keep posted for my next race report in what is a busy time of the year.

Cheers Brenton


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