At the 2009 Tour de Presteigne, Nick Long won all 3 competitions on the Re-Voltage Red Bike
Photo: Louis Mustill
The Tour de Presteigne is billed as the world's premier electric bike rally. The 2009 event was on 9th and 10th May. It included a hill climb, an 18 km race with combined pedal and electric power and a shorter race with electric power only.
In previous years the winning machine had always been an eZee Torq. 2009 was the year that the specials took over from the commercial e-bike manufacturers.
Official Results Page
The hill climb was dramatic; after a climb of just over 3 minutes Nick finished 39 seconds ahead of the next rider.
The main race was less easy; it was a hard fought battle against Matthew Slinn, from Oxford on another special. Nick writes:
"I had a bad position on the start line and I knew if I went for it straight off, I'd be in the middle of the standard first corner accident. So I had to let most of the field get away before I could really open up. Halfway round the first lap much of that had been corrected but there were still four or five fast bikes in front.
Photo: Pete Mackenzie
"The difficulty with a tight twisting circuit is that you need a substantial speed margin to overtake someone; you only have the distance between corners to get in front and claim the racing line. If you don't have that margin you have to out manoeuvre them or wait for them to make a mistake.
"It took me 15 laps of close combat, wheel to wheel racing to work my way up to 2nd place. All that time Matthew (no. 18) was in the lead. When I checked the relative positions each lap he was always the same distance ahead and I thought it was hopeless. But once I was clear of the other riders I noticed I was slowly gaining and decided it was worth going for. Eventually on the final hairpin bend of lap 19 he went a little wide and let me through on the inside. That final lap was tense stuff, as Matthew tried hard to regain the lead, but unfortunately he fell off on one of the hairpin bends."
Matthew and Nick on the final lap - Photo: Mel Chave
The final race was a short one with no pedalling allowed. The Red Bike won easily. In fact the real competition was with a Zero electric motorcycle (not elegible for the race but doing a demonstration run). After 7 laps of the 900 m course the Zero was only 300 m ahead of the Red Bike.
More pictures of the event here
The Torqs did well too. Graham Pearce rode the Re-Voltage Torq to 6th place in the hill climb and 4th in the race. Picture, Picture. Ian Johnson took 5th in the hill climb and 3rd in the race on his modified Torq.
Photo: Mel Chave