Reigate’s Premier Cycling Club

The Norwood Paragon was founded in 1904 to promote and encourage all areas of cyclesport. The club has a rich history of racing both on the road and track with current emphasis on road racing, TTs and MTB racing

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MTB Action – Torq in your Sleep – May 14th 2022

The Norwood Paragon mountain bikers were out in force at the Torq in your Sleep event at Minley Manor last weekend (14th May). For the first time in a few years, a team of four was fielded in the Vets 12hr category, whilst Andy Critchlow raced the 12hr solo & Chris Lewis was in the 6hr Vet solo event.


The Vet team originally comprised Ian Vincent, Steve Watkins, Stephen Roach & David Mascall, although unfortunately Stephen was unwell & had to drop just before the event, resulting in the usual mad scramble for a replacement team mate. Step forward Jyoti Gongba, ex-downhiller, Mascall’s team mate in numerous Big Dog podiums & all round nice guy. Phew.


The event ran from Saturday midday to midnight, with the 6hr event running from 3pm to 9. Watkins & Mascall thought they’d have a nice relaxing time of it beforehand & camped Friday night too which turned out to be a great idea. No stress rushing to the event Saturday morning, plenty of time for breakfast & sighting lap(s) if you were really keen & a beer or two on Friday night with Kaye Patton, her other half Rick, Panasonic Paul Davies & his sprocker Stanley.


Saturday morning arrived, more riders & supporters (& more pooches) turned up & magnificently, the sun shone. Just before midday, Critchlow & Mascall jostled for position on the startline. Following the usual Gorrick starting claxon, the bunch started a quad-bike led lap of the surrounding countryside to spread riders out before their first full lap. This was great until the quad made it to the dusty access road which reduced visibility to several metres & choked riders already breathing hard. But everyone made it back around safely to commence their first full lap, with Critchlow sensibly pacing as he had another 11+ hours to ride.


The four man team progressed well throughout the day, no one missing any changes & seeing many familiar faces both out on the course & in the transition / camping area. Just before 3pm, Mascall nervously awaited Jyoti’s return so as not to get baulked behind the 6hr riders who were about to start. With a minute to spare, Jyoti made it in & Mascall was cleanly away, only getting caught at the end of the lap by a few of the faster riders.


Lewis commenced at 3pm on his 6hr race: “I opted for the beginner version of 6 hours (solo). A technical course with glorious sunshine managed to wear me down after just 4 hours. A classic case of going out too hard! I had a great ride and enjoyed the rest of the day in Camp Paragon. A fun and social event which I recommend for next year. Catch you all soon on a Sunday ride. 😁🚴👍”

Lewis was very modest, considering he doesn’t regularly ride or race mtb he did very well, posting some lap times faster than many of the 4 man team riders.


Gongba had to be away by 8pm, so put in a double lap late afternoon to give the rest of the 4 man team an extra break (thanks!). His departure left Vincent, Watkins & Mascall to plough on into the warm evening. The team ended up without mishap, although Critchlow took a fall mid-afternoon when being pressured by one of the Paragon four man team who shall remain nameless (oops!).


Scores on the doors were Lewis 26th, Critchlow narrowly missing a podium coming in 5th out of 13 entrants in the solo Vet category. “It was really f#@$ing hard,” he is reported to have said, although he’s already looking forward to having another go next year.  The team were 8th / 13 in what was a very pleasant & sociable event. Even the rain held off until after the racing had ended!


Thanks must go to Mascall’s better half, Christina Joyce, who was chief cowbell ringer & ‘pit bitch’ for the weekend.


Well done also to long-time friend of the Paragon, Kelvin Norton, who placed an amazing second in the men’s 12hr solo Grand Vet category.


Full results can be seen on the Timelaps site here:

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