Knight wins Eddy's Extreme
Cowm Quarry Whitworth
In a race as full of twists and turns as the superb course, David Knight twice had to regain the lead to take the win in the second and final round of Eddy's Extreme at Cowm Quarry on Sunday 2nd March.
Saturday was a great day to walk the course. The sun shone and paragliders floated in the still skies over the Lancashshire moors but race day was a much gloomy affair as Cowm Quarry was shrouded in low cloud. The Sportsman. Veterans and Youth race started at 9.30am. Antoine Criq on the Edmondson Racing Beta took the holeshot followed by Jack Staines and Paul Davies. The narrow channels of the Rock Garden near to the start became a bottle neck and the early leaders took the advantage. A series of climbs weeded out the un-committed before the field headed for an MX track behind the Big Hill. For the spectators a popular feature was the Rocky Climb. There were 2 routes, a difficult gully on the right and a seemingly impossible series of stone slabs on the left. 4 or 5 youthful riders in the tackled the slabs. Without exception they lost time and a lot of knobbles. Pacing himself Veteran Karl Greenall (D3 KTM) worked his way from 7th to the front and he held the lead for most of the race until a mistake on the penultimate lap left his rear wheel wedged in a crevice. Jack Staines seized his opportunity and went on to win. Karl was second and Antoine Criq was third. Martin Sandiford in 4th was the runner up in the Vets class and Anthony Ayrton (5th overall) completed the podium. Will Emery (19th overall) was 3rd in the Youth class with 9 laps. Sportsman Ian McMohan finished 9th overall to win his class with 10 laps. Joe Edge and Dan Sadler kept him company all the way.
The main race began at 12.30pm. The course was modified with the inclusion 100 foot shail climb. David Knight took the holeshot on his 2014 Factory Sherco 300 4t but he lost momentum on the loose shail and he had to take a second run at the hill. Jonny Walker found a good line and he took the lead followed by Paul Bolton on the Eurotek KTM and Ben Hemingway on the Beta. For Knighter the chase was on and by lap 5 he had regained to lead after Jonny Walker crashed in the same spot David had lost momentum on the first lap. Despite being winded Jonny remounted and continued in pursuit.
The Rocky Climb hard route was of little advantage unless the gully was blocked but the top riders were irresistibly drawn to it. Knight and Walker both lined themselves up before they charged up the centre but Paul Bolton attacked the slope diagonally and lost the least time although his secondhand rims will not be potential collectables. The Knighter pushed hard to extend his lead but on the slick mud of one of the few flat sections he also had a high speed crash. He was lucky not to have sustained a wrist injury as the force of his landing ripped the glove off his hand.
As the clock counted down, the result was balanced on a knife's edge and the weather began to deteriorate. David Knight was leading for Jonny Walker when - with only 8 minutes to go - Jonny's KTM suddenly ground to a halt with an empty tank. Luckily he was within sight of the finish and he had time to push his KTM into the pit. He fuelled up and set off again to finish second. David Knight took the win and the Championship with 18 laps; Paul Bolton was 3rd and Ben Hemingway was 4th. Germany's Marcus Kehr was 5th. There was a good entry of German riders as Eddy's Extreme was the opening round of the 2014 European Extreme Championship which will culminate in the Getzen Rodeo in Lower Saxony. Gary Daniels was completed 14 laps to finish 6th. Lloyd Price in 7th was the Best Expert closely followed by Richard Ely (D3 KTM) in 8th - which was enough for Richard to clinch the Expert Championship. Sam Ludgate was 9th overall and he completed the Experts podium. Josh Law was the Best Clubman in 10th. Henry Morehouse was 2nd and Mick Boam was 3rd.
Paul Edmondson and his team did a great job laying out a challenging but rideable course and keeping the event rolling along in the bleak weather condition. It was the best possible inauguration that the new European Extreme Championship could have had. The next round will be held in Piatra Neamt (Romania) from the 20th to the 22nd of June.
David Knight - "If I can ride like that with loads of silly things happening and sill win, it can't be too bad. I'm happy to have won at Cowm Leisure but even happier to have won my 16th British title. I suffered a lot all day with arm pump for some reason and after I had my big crash I was just trying to re-group and get myself sorted out. I must say a huge thank you to my mechanic Leo and once again all at MRS for their support and encouragement. I'm feeling a little second hand now but a bit of a rest will cure that."
Jonny Walker: “It was a hectic race with some great but also bad moments. Running out of fuel with two laps to go was annoying, but up until that point I was riding really well. For the majority of the race David Knight and myself were locked in a battle for the win. We were pushing hard and had actually lapped the entire field of riders. Early on I crashed heavily on a difficult uphill and winded myself pretty good. It was one of those moments where you lie on the side of the track thinking ‘bloody hell, that hurt!’ But I got going again and even got back into the lead. Entering the penultimate lap, David had just passed me but I felt like I had a bit in reserve to charge at him again. Then the bike splutter to a halt and he was gone. Luckily I was within pushing distance of the pits and managed to refuel. Finishing second was a bit of a bummer considering how I rode but it was one of those races where despite the result I’m happy with how I performed.”
Eddys Xtreme Gets European Status
John Collins, ACU Trials & Enduro Chairman and Vice President of the FIM Europe Enduro Commission has announced that the " Eddy Extreme" 2nd round of the ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship will also incorporate a round of the new European Extreme series
The new European series for 2014 will host four events in the first season, beginning with Fast Eddy's Cowm Quarry competition at the beginning of March, then moving to Romania in June, Sweden in July and finishing in Portugal in October.
John commented: " We are delighted that the ACU has secured this round, and those who recently witnessed Rd 1 of the British Championship at Tong will be looking forward to some exciting action when Paul Eddy takes the series to Cowm Quarry, Whitworth. The FIM Europe Extreme series will be in its first year, and riders in the top class of this event can secure FIME points in addition to BC points. The good news for UK riders is that they will be able to run with their normal ACU licence etc and that should ensure no extra costs for them. This series will be started this year and many predict that it will grow and grow, and Paul has shown that he can provide the quality of event required. "
Overseas entries are already arriving for the Cowm Quarry round of EXE on March 2nd, which promises to be the best Eddy's X-treme yet.
Further details of the other FIME rounds will be available very shortly
2014 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship
Factory Sherco rider David Knight put on a stunning display to win Eddy's Xtreme Enduro at Tong on Sunday. Closely followed by Husqvarna's Graham Jarvis, the pair were in a class of their own, lapping every rider in the race to provide a thrilling finish at the end of two and a half hours of racing around the unforgiving woodland, rocks and streams. With just three laps to go, Jarvis had closed to within seven seconds of leader Knight but a few small crashes by Jarvis saw Knight safely home in first place, 15 seconds clear, despite a fast high-sider crash on the final lap by the Manxman.
Paul Edmondson's promise of a harder, more extreme course for the first of two Eddy's Xtreme Enduros was made good on Sunday as Parkwood Offroad centre hosted the first round of the ACU Extreme Enduro Championship near Bradford. Supported once again by Rock Oil, the event was hyped up but lived up to that hype in cracking style.
The pre-dawn darkness was illuminated by hundreds of vehicle slowly streaming into the venue, joined by the sound of generators powering lighting set-ups in dozens of awnings, to provide a cracking 'big event' atmosphere to welcome the thousands of spectators as they began to flood into the venue.
In complete contrast to the 2013 event, weather conditions were excellent, except for a hard overnight frost, which made parts of the course treacherous, especially on the rock sections. The infamous Rock Garden was almost impassable as the Pro, Expert and Clubman riders went out for their timed qualification laps. Only Knight and Jarvis attempted the hard rock route, Knight scrambling to the top in a very un-Knighterlike fashion while Jarvis could not even keep his feet underneath him at one point and went from crash to crash before he reached the summit. Undeterred, the pair posted the fastest times to put Knight on pole position, rubbing shoulders with Jarvis in second.
A slight rise in temperature saw the ice disappear, enabling riders to tackle the rocks full on although the Vets, Youth and Sportsman classes had a much easier rock section cut from their qualifying route right at the start of the day as many struggled for grip. Grid position was based on fastest lap time in timed practice. Regardless of class the grid was set fastest to slowest for both races.
The course ran in the opposite direction from last year but careful planning saw the most extreme sections approached as before and they all provided plenty of drama and entertainment. The start line was moved onto the main forest track and riders hit the rock sections within a minute of the start rather than near the end of the lap in previous years.
For the Pro race the Waterfall section had an easy route for those who didn't fancy the rock steps but getting into the deep valley, before making the easy or hard choice, was a task in itself down sheers slopes of mud and leaves with an equally steep climb to get out and back onto the course. Judging by the number of stricken riders and bikes in trees, the easy route became significantly harder than the hard route as the race progressed. The spectacular ditch jump also had a few alterations, large logs in the bottom of the ditch made it impossible to ride through, it was either jump or take the slower easy route.
With qualifying done and dusted the Veterans, Youth and Sportsman classes set out on a slightly easier course than the riders in the second race of the day but sheers numbers of riders made this race equally hard at times. Jack Edmondson had posted the fastest time in practice and lead the charge but Jack Staines and Antoine Criq made sure he didn't disappear into the distance. Anthony Ayrton and Karl Greenhall made sure the Vets were well represented while Pete Bailey and Dave Foreshaw lead the Sportsman class.
Jack Edmondson hit trouble around the halfway point, stuck on a hill long enough for Staines and Criq to fly past as backmarkers made choice of lines vitally important. Criq made some excellent moves and eventually took the lead all the way to the finish flag as Staines kept the pressure on in second spot. Karl Greenhall also benefitted from Edmondson's misfortune and grabbed third overall and the top Vet spot as Edmondson eventually took fourth overall and the final Youth class podium place. Paul Davies' persistence paid off and he moved into second in the Vets but Ayrton clung fiercely to third. Pete Bailey shrugged off challenges from several Sportsman riders to take the class win ahead of Dave Foreshaw and Lawrence Wright.
As the clock counted down to the start of the main race all of the extreme sections were rammed with spectators, eagerly awaiting their first glimpse of the leader, which was David Knight.
With the Rock Garden cut from the opening lap, high speed weaving through the trees and a spectacular jump over the ditch allowed Knight to immediately stretch a lead over Jarvis, Beta Enduro's Danny McCanney and Eurotek KTM's Paul Bolton. Missing from the star-studded line-up was KTM Factory rider Jonny Walker, whose last minute withdrawal following surgery open a podium place for those willing to grab it.
Knight rammed his Sherco 300 4T up the Waterfall some thirty seconds ahead of Jarvis on the first lap, cheered onwards by thousands of spectators, negotiating the new exit line out of the valley with ease. Paul Edmondson had made the route back to dry land much harder. An immediate left turn a few metres from the top of the rock steps, up seemingly impossibly steep banks of mud gave riders no run at the climb but the pro's soared up with ease.
Many of the top contenders were using the latest offering from Golden Tyre, who seem to have captured the market for this type of extreme event. The new tyre looked very motocrossy but had the consistence and grip of a trials tyre.
In amongst the Pro riders was Expert leader Richard Ely who put his considerable Trails skills to good use and tackle the Waterfall section feet up and went on to win the Expert class, and take sixth overall, ahead of James Dent and Luke Flack.
Josh Law rode magnificently in the Clubman ranks to take the class win and finish 10th overall ahead of many hard core Pro and Expert riders. Sam Winterburn, second in class, kept wiley campaigner Mick Boam at bay in third as the closing laps of the race saw a marked drop in temperature.
As the light faded the tempo of the race increased. Knights lead of over three minutes was cut to just a handful of seconds as Jarvis charged onwards. A messy refuelling saw Knight doused in petrol and waste valuable seconds as the quick fill failed to function properly. Less than happy, he charged back onto the course and immediately quickened his pace but picked up a bang to the head somewhere along the way, slowing him only slightly.
Graham Jarvis took a massive gamble, not to refuel. To the amazement of the crowd he continued past the pits lap after lap as commentator Roger Harvey frantically asked around to see if it was possible to go the distance without refuelling. His 250 Husqvarna should, in theory, last the distance. Using one litre of fuel every 15 minutes, his eleven lite tank had the potential to go for one and three quarter hours - under normal conditions.
With just three laps to Jarvis was just six seconds adrift of Knight. The crowd played their part spurring Jarvis onwards but he became a little bit over-enthusiastic and a slight front-end crash saw him lose nearly ten seconds.
Both riders just beat the clock to go out onto the course for the final head-to-head lap. Knight pulled further ahead but then had a massive high speed high-sider as he tried to pass a back marker on the final lap. In true Knight fashion he quickly remounted and rode to yet another amazing win, followed by Jarvis 15 seconds later.
Danny McCanney had secured an impressive third place for a self confessed 'non extreme' rider, seven minutes ahead of crowd favourite Paul Bolton while Beta Extreme's Ben Hemmingway grabbed fifth overall.
The Knight v Jarvis battle was mesmerising to the very end and provided a thrilling finale to the best Eddy's X-treme Enduro to date. It seems that the tougher the better is a formula which really works and Paul Edmondson is just the organiser to provide the perfect combination of terrific courses for riders and spectacular sections for spectators.
The second round at Cowm Quarry on March 2nd promises to be equally as exciting.
British Extreme Enduro Championship
Knighter.net Honda mounted David Knight claimed his 14th British title last Sunday with an outstanding win at Eddy’s Xtreme Enduro in the wild hills of Cowm Quarry outside Rochdale, his first title on Honda machinery but from the quality of his performance, definitely not his last.
Race director Paul Edmondson had planned a tough but ride-able course with several tricky rock sections scattered between huge climbs and heart-stopping decents with easier but longer routes around the tougher extreme sections.
The opening round of the Championship at Tong was tight and technical with plenty of woodlands sections but Cowm Quarry does not possess a single tree and the course was harder, longer and more technical as it stretched into the far distance on a much larger scale than Tong. As with the opening round of the series each section was easily accessible for spectators and the high cliff section offered an outstanding panorama of the whole event.
In bitterly cold but dry conditions two hours of torture began at 9.30am for the Clubmen, Veterans, Youth and Sportsmen riders with a slightly easier course than was planned for the afternoon Pro and Expert race.
Clubman Mick Boam, winner of the first morning race at round one, lined up in pole position on the front row of six riders who hit the Endurocross course fast and hard as the start flag dropped. The Veterans followed just moment later and a real tussle began which saw Craig Parkes on the floor with riders using him for grip. The Youth and Sportsman riders joined the fray and initially there were a couple of log jams but by the second lap everything was flowing smoothly. With more ground between sections than at Tong, the field soon stretched out and the whole course was littered with riders in various states of disarray by the third lap.
Mick Boam (left) and Sam Ludgate headed the field with Henry Morehouse tagging along as Anthony Ayrton and Mark Jackson did the Vets class proud as they clawed their way into the top five with another fistful of Clubmen riders close behind including Pete Bailey, Dan Farrer and Reece Morewood. Boam completed a fantastic win to take Clubman champions title and was followed home by Mark Jackson who took the vets win. Ludgate and Morewood completed the Clubman top three as Ayrton and a roughed-up Craig Parkes made the Vets top three.
Antoine Criq (right) fought hard for the Youth class win, 22nd overall in a talented field of riders was quite an achievement. Mike Gilby should have taken second place but disappeared from the timing on the last lap of the race. This rocketed Brandon Sharples into second Youth position followed by Nathan Ball in third.
Ben Brierley and Michael Pye had a great ride at the top of the Sportsman class, finishing with just 27 seconds between the two, Brierley won with Pye second and Danny Lazariuk third, a lap behind the leading pair.
A short break between races allowed the fast Eddy crew to make adjustments to the course, re-routing through several very hard and loose climbs and adding a couple of extreme rocky sections which attracted the crowds before the second race even began.
Trials supreme Dougie Lampkin was on the start line giving free advice to fellow gas gas riders Danny McCanney and Alexz Wigg
Knight, Jarvis, Walker, Bolton, McCanney and Lee Edmondson crowded the front row and as the flag dropped Eurotek KTM mounted Paul Bolton go the jump on everyone off the start, but only briefly as Knight Jarvis and Walker charged to the front of the field.
KTM’s Jonny Walker and Husaberg’s Graham Jarvis were in hot pursuit of Honda mounted Knight, his self-confessed plan to take it steady for a few laps fooled no one as took the lead with Walker getting the best of it until he crashed hard at the first rock section, dead-legging both legs on his bars, leaving Jarvis to tail Knight out into the tough course around the quarry.
The tough rocky course took its toll early on as Knight made an unscheduled pit stop on his second lap to free his rear brake, which had jammed on but from that point onwards it was a one-man show. Jarvis tried to make the most of knight’s misfortune and put some distance between himself and the Manxman but within a lap Knight was back in command.
A few small errors from Jarvis saw him steady himself and push hard as the final few laps approached but Knighter had nearly a two-minute lead with the pair of riders a lap ahead of everyone. Unable to catch Knight, Jarvis settled for second spot as a ruffled Walker cruised to third, looking less than comfortable on his bike.
The Beta X-treme Team of Ben and Dan Hemingway were literally on home turf and both started well but within a quarter of a lap Dan was sidelined briefly as his mount tried to rev itself into oblivion. Two minutes of fiddling soon saw him back in contention but unable to match brother Ben who was flying in fifth place or even Beta Factory rider James Dabill who finished in seventh.
Paul Bolton used every ounce of his vast extreme knowledge to take fourth spot while Danny McCanney (right), not an extreme specialist by his own reckoning, was less than happy with his performance where most riders would have been elated to take fifth in such exalted company. He may not have been happy but his skills impressed everyone who saw him.
Lee Edmondson had been going well until the mid-point of the race when a big off at one short but steep rock section saw him consider his future and he withdrew from the race. He had been as spectacular as ever to that point. Gary Daniels put on a great show to take ninth, especially by finishing a place ahead of Trials ace Alexz Wigg.
Zac Sherwin showed he has what it takes to make an impression on the extreme scene taking the Expert win by over a minute from Lee Sealy who also had a good ride but it was Husqvarna mounted Rob Johnson who showed he is much more than a time-card specialist by battling his way to third in the Expert class.
Knight had always looked at one with his Big Red mount, riding smoothly and confidently across treacherous terrain with ease as others fell by the wayside. A refuelling error saw him have to stop for a second stab at filling the Honda 250X but it made no difference whatsoever to the final result.
The thought of taking on a talent such as Graham Jarvis in Jarvis’ own back yard must have passed through his mind, but only briefly! Knight is fit, full of confidence and fired up to show he still has plenty to offer and plenty to win.
Cowm Quarry was the perfect venue for a final event of this high standard. Paul Edmondson has unrivalled talent and experience for setting out superb courses that make for competitive racing across all classes whilst giving the crowds of spectators excellent value for their money, bringing together the most talented extreme riders in the UK to a venue which was unknown to many and making a lasting impression on all who witnessed the event. Results
Eddy’s Xtreme Enduro at Tong
Knighter.net Honda rider David Knight stamped his authority with his size 12’s at Tong on Sunday, on a 300X. He blitzed the opposition, lapping everyone up to third place by the halfway point of the race and up to second place by the end of the race with time to spare. With a slipping clutch and tight chain he sat 20 yards from the finish line for three-minutes at the end of his tenth lap and still won by a seven-minute margin.
The opening round of the ACU 2013 Extreme Enduro Championship, Eddy’s Xtreme Enduro, had the hallmarks of a potential classic event with all of Britiain’s top riders out in force for a real showdown.
Heavy snow preceding the event made running a real gamble even though most of the sections were still rideable. Torrential overnight rain on Saturday cleared virtually all of the snow and, it was a very different venue that riders arrived at on Sunday morning.
The downpours and gusting wind continued early on, up to the point where the first race started at 10am, delayed by 30-minutes to allow the huge backlog of spectators to park and walk down to the course.
The Parkwood Offroad venue started to fill rapidly by first light as riders and spectators streamed into the event and the Pro pit area soon became shoulder to shoulder with people eager to see Honda rider David Knight, Husaberg’s Graham Jarvis, KTM factory rider Jonny Walker and the Gas Gas riders Danny McCanney Alex Wigg and Jack Lee. Beta Extreme Team riders Ben and Dan Hemmingway and James Dabill had plenty of support and interest in their latest machines.
The course was longer and tougher than last year with plenty of new challenges added plus, the ground was sodden, the stream was flowing full bore and for the first race of the day there were 85 riders present.
All of the usual steep climbs, ravines and stream sections were included but at the far end of the course one of the new sections claimed plenty of victims as riders had several choices of how to conquer a steep climb that was approached through deep water. Either of two very sharp climbs up muddy, rooty banks or via a ravine, which quickly became extremely tough halfway up its length, offering two routes to the top, both narrowing severely. A time consuming ‘easy’ route soon became favourite for many riders.
The overall entry was large, so large that the Clubman class was moved to the morning race leaving 50 pro and Expert riders to battle it out in the afternoon race. A mix of Veterans, Youth, Sportsmen and Clubman would provide a fantastic spectacle for the crowds that lined every one of the extreme sections.
As the rain stopped the first race of the day began with Clubmen riders first off the line followed by the Vets, Youth and Sportsmen.
It soon became a two-horse race with Sam Ludgate and Mick Boam battling for supremacy as Vets Anthony Ayrton and Craig Parkes began to close the gap on the leaders. Boam, despite getting stuck for over five minutes at one point, charged onwards to catch and pass Ludgate on the final lap and take the win by just 1.692 seconds. Reece Morewood finished eighth overall and third in the Clubman class.
The Vets class win went to Ayrton who gradually pulled a lead over rival Parkes, who took second in class and fourth overall with Scott Stephenson completing the Vets top three.
Youth rider Mike Gilby finished top of his class and fifth overall ahead of Antoine Criq and Jack Edmondson. Top Sportsman was Ben Brierley who finished with a six-minute gap over Tom Collett and 26-minutes over third placed Michael Gorse.
The Pro and Expert race began at 1.00pm with Knight, Jarvis, Walker, Paul Bolton, Ben Hemingway and Edmondson Racing’s HM mounted Lee Edmondson on the front row.
Knighter got the jump as the flag dropped but was passed by Walker early on and fought back to take the lead. Hundreds of spectators lined the banks of the waterfall section awaiting the riders to come through for the first time but only Jonny Walker took up the challenge as Knight and co. opted for the safer ‘easy’ route. There wasn’t much time difference in either route and Knight emerged in the lead with Walker some 10-seconds adrift followed by Danny McCanney. Alex Wigg was on form and up for this extreme challenge but Jarvis had made a few small errors and was back in fifth position.
Both of the leaders took the waterfall second time around and both stuck momentarily but with plenty of marshals on hand they were soon underway again. Walker was to come a cropper later in the race when a small mistake saw the bike on top of him at the base of the double step where the water was flowing ferociously.
All the top riders hit the ditch jump, where another massive crowd waited on each and every lap, before weaving through the woods to the rock wall. Near the end of the lap the wall also had a longer easy option but the Pros went up without a second thought, Knighter jumping a large rock step near the top on his way to victory.
By the mid point of the race Knight had lapped everyone up to third spot with just McCanney and Walker surviving this indignity but McCanney fell victim with a couple of laps to go as Knight stretched his lead to 11-minutes over second placed Walker and got to within a couple of minutes of lapping him. A slipping clutch from early in the race saw the big Manxman ease up slightly with the end in sight and eventually sit waiting for the final three minutes to tick away before crossing the line for an emphatic victory.
Walker’s second place was hard earned. He pushed hard throughout the race and improved as time passed but Gas Gas’ Danney McCanney, who doesn’t consider himself and extreme rider, rode incredibly well to take third place against such stiff opposition. Team-mate Alex Wigg took fourth as Graham Jarvis took fifth ahead of an out-of-sorts Paul Bolton and Dan Hemmingway.
SLOR Husqvarna rider Rob Johnson claimed the Expert class win and ninth overall following a terrific ride to beat D3 KTMs Richard Ely and KTM Off Road School sponsored Brad Freeman. Lee Sealey and Luke Flack took fourth and fifth in class respectively.
Eddy’s Xtreme has grown rapidly over the last three years and the feedback from riders and spectators was very positive, many saying that the 2013 event was the best race they had ever witnessed in the UK. The best £10 ever spent according to most onlookers.
It was well planned and executed with a hallmark Paul Edmondson course, tough but rideable, well marshalled and priced sensibly at £10 a head for spectators and £60 for riders.
As an entertainment spectacle it is unrivalled in the UK, providing easy access and viewing all around the course and for the fleet of foot, the whole course was accessible in a two-hour period.
Great entertainment, terrific racing and excellent value for money watching the Best of British tested to their limits.
British Extreme Enduro Championship
It seems a long time since the second round of Eddy's Extreme Enduro at Tong in January, with a six-month gap between rounds this, plus the current economic climate, certainly had an effect on the number of riders and spectators who attended the final round of the Championship series at Adstone, home of Enduroland, in Northants.
Those riders and spectators who didn't attend missed a real treat.
Nigel Wheatley and his Enduroland crew combined with the Fast Eddy team to build an outstanding Endurocross course, which provided a great spectacle and excellent racing for everyone who witnessed possibly the best event of the series.
The original Enduroland arena was totally revamped, enlarged and redesigned to accommodate some of the best extreme riders in the world. No one could fail to be impressed as they drove into the venue to be confronted by the first of two scaffolding bridges that spanned the roadway, plus flags and banners all around the arena course.
Two flyovers linked the start and finish straight to the main part of the arena and really added to the challenge with steep slopes up and down. The start straight looked like a steeplechase course with three sets of telegraph poles stacked across the track, 100 metres from the start line. The charge to the first hurdle was spectacular in each and every race.
Close to the down ramp off the first bridge was a double jump, for some riders, with an earth mound closely followed by tyres embedded in the ground leading to a limbo section, rocks, logs, metal cotton reels, through a lorry trailer, more logs and then out into a section of large whoops before the large course disappeared into the fields which had slippery slopes in and out of a disused railway siding and one particularly tough cross camber section with a large pool at the bottom of it.
Each of the five classes had two races, which included the entire loop and two races in the arena only. The Youth riders stayed separated from the adults but for the first two sets of races the Pro and Expert riders were paired together, as were the Clubman and Vets. Each of the races counted as a Championship round with points awarded accordingly.
Practice saw D3's Flite Husaberg mounted Graham Jarvis, fresh from his Romaniacs win, post the fastest time as KORR KTM Factory rider Jonny Walker missed a couple of laps changing his gloves following an off early on. Paul Bolton and Dan Hemingway put in solid lap times to join Jarvis and Walker at the head of the Pro riders class.
A handful of Experts were within seconds of each other and the Clubman riders were even closer, as were the Vets but the Youth class saw Edmondson racing's Brad Freeman out in front by a long way, a taste of things to come.
As racing got underway it became clear that the formula for the course was spot on. With no big stoppers the racing flowed around the loop and riders disappeared from the arena for just a short time before reappearing and tackling the man made obstacles.
With each race counting as an individual round there were plenty of points to be grabbed and Jonny Walkers slim two-point lead meant very little going into the first race.
Walker and Jarvis took to the front of the Pro race with Jarvis constantly snapping at Walker's heels until the young KTM rider got into the groove and put a clear gap between the two riders. With one win in the bag his confidence was high and Walker dominated proceeding from that point onwards, winning the three remaining races and taking the ACU British Extreme Enduro Champions title.
Jarvis looked safe in second place but in the second race he failed to score when he crashed out hard. It happened on a flat section amazingly and you may wonder how this could be for one of the world's best extreme riders but Graham doesn't practice on the flat apparently! He recovered to follow Walker home in the last two races and lead the final race for a while until Walker put the hammer down and zipped past. Jarvis wasn't too disappointed with third on the day and second overall in the Championship
Paul Bolton rode hard as is the norm for this understated but extremely talented rider and was rewarded with second place on the day and third in the Championship overall.
An on-form Richard Ely delighted Edmondson Racing team boss Derrick Edmondson by winning all four Expert races although he did have to battle hard at times with Tom Healy, James Dent, Tom Howe and Aaron Smith but eventually ended up first on the day and third overall in the Championship Expert class. Tom Healey rode hard and kept plugging away for second in class and Championship Expert winner as James Dent took third on the day.
Clubman rider Jane Daniels looked on form, fresh from Erzberg, and took no prisoners as she fought he way around the course with some finesse in places where others really struggled, following class winner Aled Price to the finish in the first two races eventually taking third overall in class and Championship.
Price had the bit between his teeth and saw the championship title within his grasp, three wins and a second spot secured it for him. Lee Sealy had been his main rival all day long and managed to take the final Clubman win and second in the Championship.
The Vets played hard but fair as usual. Oakland International, sponsors of the final event, watched their rider Craig Parkes take second overall and the Champions title, not bad for an Over 50. The thorn in Parkes' side was Kriega's Chris Salt, who suddenly came alive in the second half of the day and took the final two race wins as Gavin Johnston took third, despite failing to score in the opening race.
Brad Freeman continued his domination of the Youth 13-16 class, winning all four races by a good margin and only losing out once in the whole championship series when he took second place behind Andrew Bull in the first round in December last year. Jack Staines tried to keep pace with Freeman but eventually settled for a solid second place as Andrew Bull took third.
As the day drew to a close everyone agreed that it had been a very special event, really challenging and entertaining at the same time. Nigel Wheatley and the Enduroland crew had put in a massive amount of work to get the arena built to such a high standard.
The weather was kind and spectators enjoyed a great spectacle as the world's top extreme riders showed just how good they are in front of a home crowd.
Each round of the series has been very different. Two one-hour races in Buxton last December, one two-hour race at Tong in January and four 20-minute races at Adstone, really tested the riders in very different ways across a wide variety of terrain and obstacles.
The series was worthy of carrying the ACU's Extreme Enduro Championship banner and this can be attributed to just one person - Paul Edmondson.
Fast Eddy's vision, commitment, determination and love of the sport showed just what is possible when you know how. He thanked the people who had faith in his abilities to pull it off; Husqvarna, GasGas, Oakland International, Kriega, Adventure Spec, Rock Oil, Golden Tyre, Drift cameras, Edmondson Racing, Michelin and Dan from Amped Clothing, who all contributed to the success of the series.
Extreme Final Results
The 2nd round of the Eddys X-treme series returned to Tong, West Yorkshire on Sunday 8th January. Paul Edmondson stayed close to the formal that proved so successful last year and once again attracted the elite of Britain's World class Extreme riders. David Knight, Jonny Walker Tom Sagar and Graham Jarvis all walked the course on Saturday. David had a disastrous first round with a temperamental gear selector and Santa had brought him a double hernia operation so he thought Tong would be less about racing and more like physiotherapy.
Sunday and the weather was overcast but dry and mild with patches of blue lighting the horizon. Tong is a tremendous location overlooked by the manor with it's spectacular views of the West Yorkshire moors. The start of all major events is easy to find - it's next to the MPS Racing truck. Husqvarna also had their arch in place and Husqvarna dealer South Lakes Offroad had a stand displaying the latest models. GasGasUK had a stand and Steve Plain GasGasUK were supporting Tom Sagar and Danny McCanney.
Qualifying started at 9.30am for the Clubman and the Vets. From a spectators point of view were plenty of points from which the spectators could get a great view of the action as the organisers weaved the course around a road that circles the wood. One new feature of the course that fired a lot of debate was a possible jump across an 10 foot wide ditch with a short run up. It would prove to be crucial element on the day.
The rocky climb up the face of their dam seemed less daunting than last year when it glistered black with wet lichen. It tempted more riders to try their luck but soon became congested as the luck ran out. Finding the left hand blocked Chris Salt launched an attack on the right. For a moment the impossible looked possible then the moment passed but it was a brave effort. Fellow Vet Mark Houson timed his run perfectly and breezed across the face on the pegs. Roger "the machine gun" Harvey rattled off his commentary with wit and an insight that borders on the clairvoyant. After an hour Lee Edmondson cleared the course and picked up the pieces. Alun Price's son Aled set the best time ahead of veterans Craig Parkes and Mark Houson. Zac Sherwin was the 2nd fastest Clubman behind Aled and Josh Law was 3rd.
The Pros and Experts qualified next and the spectators crowded around the dam. The obvious line was up 2 steps on the left at the bottom then climb diagonally across the face and finally turn right at the top. Unfortunately there was a network of crevices between the slabs at the top that trapped the Clubman riders front wheels and stopped them dead. Farioli KTMs David Knight was the first to arrive and his solution was as simple as it was elegant. He avoided the corner completely by simply riding up the face on the back wheel. The healing power of the KTM 300 was clearly working it's magic. Graham Jarvis - on his Elite Husaberg 300 - arrived 30 seconds later, closely followed by Jonny Walker. The support crews were waiting in the pits to make any adjustments necessary. Leo Cordingly was helping David Knight and D3's Neil Crayston and the Elite team were supporting Graham Jarvis. KORRacing's Julian Steven's was in Russian and so Veteran Ade Smith stepped in to support Jonny Walker. David qualified first and Graham Jarvis was 2nd. Jonny Walker was 3rd and Tom Sagar was 4th. Jonny and Tom were riding well after a bout of overnight sickness had affected them both. Jack Lee in 8th was the quickest Expert. Tom Howe was the 2nd fastest and Eurotek's Marrk Jackson was 3rd.
The Youth race for 13 to 16 year old started at 11.30am. Brad Freeman won in a very close race with runner up Micheal Gilby and took the lead in the Championship from Andrew Bull. Jack Staines was 3rd and Jack Edmondson was 4th.
The Main race began at 12.30pm. David Knight led from the start. Graham Jarvis was 2nd, Jonny Walker 3rd, Paul Bolton 4th and Ben Hemingway. Graham and the Hemingway brothers were following David's lines but the Knighter had the bit between his teeth and he was pulling away. Tom Sagar was going well in 6th but he was clearly unwell and retired. Rob Johnson was also having a good ride until his chain snapped at the furthest point from the pits.
At the half way stage David Knight led from Graham Jarvis, Jonny Walker, Paul Bolton and Ben Hemmingway with MPS Racing's Jamie Lewis and GasGasUKs Danny McCanney moving up into 6th and 7th.
There was few changes to the leader board in the second half beyond Jamie Lewis moving up a place to 5th.
David Knight took the win, Graham Jarvis was 2nd and Jonny Walker was 3rd.
After the event Graham Jarvis said " It was a really tough event. We know Tong. After a few laps it does start get harder .Lots of roots start to appear and ruts get deeper - lots of other riders getting stuck. I made a few mistakes getting around them but I think it was a good result for me. I felt pretty fit and I didn't get too tired. We were trying out a new prototype Golden Tyre Extreme moose - softer and springier - which worked well."
For some riders Extreme racing is a necessary evil. Danny McCanney openly admits he hates extreme races and can’t wait for the BEC, Sprint and EWC to start. His 7th place finish was an encouraging result for Danny after his bad result at round 1 at Buxton.
Jack Lee finished 11th to clinched the Experts class and 47 year old Mark Jackson was the runner up in 13th overall. Luke Copestake was 3rd.
The battle for the Veterans class between Craig Parkes and Mark Houson went down to the line with Craig snatching the win on the last lap. Scott Stevenson was 3rd.
The Clubman class went to Josh Law with Aled Price 2nd and Lee Sealey 3rd
While the lads manfully wrestled with the tough conditions, Jane Daniels nimbly weaved her way into 4th place in the clubman class.
The huge crowd - including ACU Chairman Brian Higgins - enjoyed the day and the unseasonably warm weather. They stayed on as the light faded to applaud the winners as they received their awards from Husqvarna's Dave Plummer. It was a great day.
KTM Off-Road Racing - Race Report
After showing 2 dominating performances at round 1 where Jonny Walker won both races comfortably to lead the championship JW suffered bad luck at round 2, arriving at the venue in a confident mood Jonny was dealt a real setback when he picked up a stomach bug, being sick all night and not able to eat prior to the race meant his energy levels where at rock bottom, the day would be about surviving and damage limitation for the championship.
This round the race format was changed, instead of timed training and 2 x 1 hour races there would be just a practice and a single 2 hour race, practice would attract championship points by the virtue of the 2 fastest combined laps for each rider which would attract championship points , Jonny managed a 2nd overall fastest lap but failed to make another good lap to back it up, meaning he would be third overall on combined times behind Knight and Jarvis.
Going into the main 2 hour race Jonny had to adopt a tactic of just trying to preserve energy and keep out of trouble, no way could he consider to race at his normal pace, very tired from lack of sleep and of course the possibility of dehydrating due to being sick where real concerns. He made a good solid start and had a sensible and steady ride to finish in 3rd position. With one round remaining of this series Jonny holds a slender lead over Graham Jarvis.
Jonny Walker KORR KTM 300 EXC - " So glad the day is over, this morning i was feeling terrible and was sick again after trying to eat something, i must have eaten something bad yesterday, its very difficult to think and focus when you feel so tired and it just makes an extreme race double hard, i am satisfied that i finished in third , its the best i could do today and at least i am still leading the championship. I was really looking forward to this race and have been working really hard since the last round and quite dissappointed that i could only cruise around today and not race.
Julian could not be with me this weekend so a big thanks to Ady Smith from KTM Off-Road schools for coming to assist and also D3-Racing team and Pete Brown for support, i hope i can be on top form again for next weeks Tough One"
Eddy's Xtreme Enduro.
The long-awaited start of Eddy's Xtreme Enduro series, the ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship, was worth every second of waiting. The previously unused Cowdale Quarry near Buxton provided an awesome setting for the start of this high profile series and Paul Edmondson even organised extreme weather to ensure that both riders and spectators felt they had experienced all the event had to offer.
Cowdale Quarry was the setting and many riders likened it to a mini 'Erzberg' with the massive hill climbs and steep woodland descents. This huge quarry had excellent access, perfect parking and paddock facilities and was easy for spectators to negotiate, until three days of rain turned the lush grassland parking area into mush.
Friday and Saturday saw gale force winds and torrential downpours sweep the Buxton area but the conditions inside the venue held up well and the course was completely unaffected by the atrocious weather. Even on race day the course maintained it's quality as the opening race started in sunshine and the final race ended in a snowstorm.
Planning was the key to the events success and it was obvious to all that Paul Edmondson and the Fast Eddy crew had though things out properly. The event saw a world class line up of riders enter and they were all suitably impressed with the challenges Fast Eddy had laid on for them. It was a properly hard course with several options and lines but even some of the chicken runs were still in the extreme category as opposed to the 'Pro' lines that were absolutely mental in places.
Situated close to the start line, the rock section, which riders faced at the end of each lap, took real guts to take on. There was a slow route around the rocks, which took around 30 seconds longer to complete so the top riders all went hard over the rocks.
As riders left the start, a 180-degree turn shot them straight into a series of three small but sharp jumps (a handful of riders doubled the final two), followed by a pair of mounds that could be doubled by the very brave. Twisting away from the jumps riders then hit the first obstacle with a chicken run. The top riders jumped up a five-foot step as the less mad riders went for the roundabout route.
A smallish rock section lead to the first of the huge climbs, with a large section scraped out of the base to make it very hard indeed but the top riders negotiated this reasonably well although there were a few 'refusals'.
Several steep ups and downs later the course led to a very steep, grassy downhill with a four-foot step at the bottom. The Clubman route was longer and twisted around the trees but was still quite hard. Gravity lent a hand with most of the riders and one way or another they made it to the bottom of the hill.
A long, fairly straight route along a disused railway track saw riders emerge back into the quarry floor for a tortuous journey along the rock-strewn base of the cliff face before hitting the rock-fall section just before the finish line.
Timed practice was split into two 30-minute sessions, the first for Clubman and Vets and the second for Pro and Experts.
Josh Law, Aled Price, Veteran Craig Parkes and John Pearson all followed in the wake of old Ginger Nut himself, Mark Houson who, despite all his moaning, banged in an 8 minutes 43 seconds to top the first qualifier.
The Pro/Expert qualifier got underway and within a few laps Graham Jarvis topped the leader board on his Flite Husaberg with 5 minutes 20 seconds. KTM factory rider Knight responded immediately by beating Jarvis' time by 14 seconds, posting 5 minutes 6 seconds. Jarvis's long run of extreme successes seemed about to end if Knight kept up the same pace during the race itself.
KORR's Jonny Walker, in third spot, looked dead and buried, some 20 seconds behind Jarvis, but timed practice is very different to racing. Fresh from the Roof of Africa Ben Hemingway and Paul Bolton took positions four and five with Tom Sagar in sixth on a Steve Plain Gasser. Dan Hemingway, Danny McCanney and Gav Houson finish the top ten Pro line-up.
As the first race got underway Knighter immediately took the lead and looked determined to prove he was back to full fitness. He was riding strong and smooth and looked untouchable but the surprise of the first part of the race was that he couldn't shake Jonny Walker, who hounded him constantly. Graham Jarvis was relegated to third as the two KTM riders battled it out, he had lead briefly as Knight and Walker both tangled on one of the steep hills and rode to the bottom to have another run at it but was soon reeled in by the KTM pair.
Walker passed Knight in the final rock section to take the lead on lap 2 and began to move away as Knight caught some back markers and went down hard. Picking himself up it was evident that there was some sort of problem with the bike or the rider as Knight retired after just four laps. He re-appeared later in the race but again pulled out.
Walker charged onwards and lapped every rider except Jarvis on his way to victory. Jarvis took second with Tom Sagar having a great outing on the gasser in third place. Paul Bolton was as smooth as ever and finished a creditable fourth, just ahead of the Hemingway brothers.
Jack Lee headed the Expert class and was only matched on laps by Tom Howe who had a very impressive ride. As Biff Smith and Martin Sandiford battled for third andf fourth spots with local lad Luke Meredith firmly grabbing fifth place.
Josh Law was not under quite so much pressure in the Clubman class as he gained a lap on the rest to win the class ahead of Aled Price, Lee Sealy, Martin Kohv and Ben Howard.
Mark Houson proved he still has what it takes to win at the aged of 60 by taking the Vets class by a clear lap over the very experienced extreme specialist Craig Parkes. Gary Beniman again came out of semi retirement to take third place ahead of Nathan Bolton and Chris Salt.
The break between adult races saw the Youth riders take to a slightly easier course although driving rain made thing a little harder for them. Brad Freeman had been flying in timed practice but a series of small slips and mistakes saw Andrew Bull slowly but surely close on the flying Freeman and take the lead all the way to the chequered flag. Freeman took second just ahead of friend and rival Jack Staines in third with Charlie Nicholls fourth and Jack Edmondson fifth.
With Knighter back on the front row for the start of the second adult race the battle with Walker was back on. These two riders pulled over a minute lead from the rest of the field and constantly swapped places until Knighter failed to make a climb, which gave Walker the chance to surge ahead. Knight rode like a man possessed as the snow and rain began to fall and made a few mistakes until the final mistake saw him retire with a damaged machine.
Walker took his second win of the day as Graham Jarvis continued his precise and calculated route around the course for second place while Tom Sagar again took third spot. Dan Hemingway finished inside the top five ahead of fifth place Gary Daniels who seemed to improve in the worsening weather conditions. Bad-luck again hit Paul Bolton who was riding superbly, his clutch gave out on one of the big hills and it was 'game over' for him.
Jack Lee climbed to sixth overall and took his second Expert win of the day ahead of Tom Healy, Alex Owen, Tom Howe and Biff Smith.
Aled Price took the Clubman class ahead of John Pearson and Lee Sealy with Martin Kohv fourth and Jane Daniels fifth as opening race winner Josh Law slipped to eighth.
Mark Houson again took the Veterans class win but Craig Parkes closed the gap and finished on the same lap just a minute adrift. Justin Carter fought to maintain third place as Chris Salt put in a strong challenge to take fourth ahead of Dave Hope in fifth.
Youth and enthusiasm had won the day over age and experience but this is just the first of three rounds and Knighter is sure to be looking for revenge. Jonny Walker was outstanding, as was Graham Jarvis who took two second spots but was overshadowed by the Knight/Walker battle.
Jonny Walker KTM 300 XC " Both races went easier than expected for me, today for once I had good luck , I made less mistakes than the others and I felt really confident on my bike, the course was far from easy, especially getting around the slower riders and when the snow came it was so cold. Thanks to everyone that helped and cheered me on, its a great feeling to be leading the Championship with maximum points "
Julian Stevens Team manager "I'm very satisfied and pleased, apart
from the weather it has been a perfect day, our KTM 300 performed really
well and Jonny rode two very smart races, I'm sure he surprised and
impressed many people here today with his speed and technical skills. The
spectators enjoyed several action packed laps when Jonny and David traded
places and raced together. I don't think anyone expected that another
rider could run Knighter's pace, it will be a very interesting
A fleet of 4x4's and tractors worked solidly to extricate the stranded riders from the muddy paddock as Fast Eddy and his crew began breaking down the barriers around the course.
A really great event. The battle is sure to continue at Tong on January 8th.
GAS GAS CELEBRATE 2012 MODEL LAUNCH WITH A PODIUM AT THE BRITISH EXTREME ENDURO CHAMPIONSHIP
Gas Gas UK were present in full force at the first round of the British Extreme Enduro Championship at Cowdale Quarry near Buxton over the weekend.
On Saturday the team presented the full range of 2012 trials and enduro models to the public for a day of try-outs. On Sunday the team raced, with invitee Tom Sagar top-placed Gas Gas rider putting in a superb performance for third overall, while Jack Lee took his Gas Gas to first in the experts and GG UK employee Luke Meredith placed 11th overall (4th expert) as he debuted the 2012 EC300. European Junior Enduro Champion Danny McCanney also took part in the extreme races - not something he's practiced in - placing an excellent 7th in the first race before DNFing the second, with what looked like the onset of hypothermia!
John Shirt Junior: "This was physically a tough weekend, winter arrived with a vengeance, we had sub-zero temperatures, driving rain and, finally, snow. Credit to the public who turned up to completely book-out the new model try-out rides, despite the conditions. The trials riders were very happy with the new Pros, but we were really pleased with the 100% positive feedback on our new radically-revised EC enduros, these bikes look set to make a big impression on the enduro scene in the new season.
"The extreme races on Sunday were excellent, full-marks to Paul Edmondson for finding a great venue and putting on a course that pleased the pros, the club riders and the spectators alike. Sunday's weather made it a real test of endurance, and the quarry's huge banks made for some spectacular climbing - and failed climbing!
"Tom's podium was like a win as he was beaten only by worldwide extreme legend Graham Jarvis and the new force in extreme, Jonny Walker. Credit to Big Jack, he simply got better and better as the races progressed, far from being worn down, he looked to get stronger! Luke had two good rides as well, he said his objective was not to scratch the new bike and to show it off to public - seeing as he spent more time by the tapes talking than riding I'd say he did a fair job on that! And credit to Danny as well. He's no trials rider and this was all new to him, but he got properly stuck in and learnt so much - this experience is going to pay dividends when he rides the enduro world championship next year.
"In all, a great weekend (and a big clean up this morning...)! "
Xtreme Enduro British Championship Series
Former four times Enduro World Champion Paul Edmondson,
in conjunction with the ACU, is pleased to announce a three round Eddy’s
Xtreme Enduro British Championship series.
Building on the success of January’s Eddy’s Xtreme
Enduro at Tong, West Yorkshire, which proved to be a great spectacle and
excellent value for money, the 2012 BEEC be no different and will begin this
year at a brand new quarry based venue on December 4th in Buxton, Derbyshire,
continue into 2012 with the second round at Tong, West Yorkshire on January
8th and will conclude with the final round on January 29th in Wales. Each of
the three venues will present it’s own unique challenges and each venue will
be quite different in terrain.
As one of the original competitors in the original
extreme enduro, the Gilles Lalay Classic, Paul has an unrivalled wealth of
experience riding extreme enduros and this was reflected earlier this year
when he organised his first Extreme event, Eddy’s Xtreme Enduro, which was
well received by both riders and spectators alike. The concept will be the
same as the event in January where the aim is to give spectators easy access
to even the most difficult sections where they can watch the top riders
Careful planning by Fast Eddy has ensured that ALL the
big names in Extreme Enduro will be in attendance making this series a true
British Championship with the potential for some spectacular and close racing.
David Knight, Dougie Lampkin, Graham Jarvis and Tom Sagar,
plus up and coming stars Jonny Walker and Danny McCanney will all be present,
plus US and European stars, throughout the series in addition to a host of
other top-notch Extreme Enduro specialists.
Classes are divided into Pro, Expert, Clubman and Veteran
for the two adult races and the format for each event will remain the same as
the initial Eddy’s extreme, which ran so smoothly in January of this year.
Adults will get a one-hour timed practice session beginning at 9.30am, to
determine their start positions on the grid and then two one-hour races with a
break in between as younger riders try their hands at the course in a
45-minute Youth race. The first adult race is scheduled to start at 11.30am.
The Championship series has received terrific support
from the industry. Each of the rounds will have a different manufacturer as
title sponsor with Gas Gas UK headlining at the opening event in Buxton, close
to the company HQ. Husqvarna UK will be the star of the show at the second
event at Tong, West Yorkshire, in MPS Husqvarna Racing territory. Negotiations
are ongoing for the third and final event in Wales.
Golden Tyre has seized the opportunity to become one of
the series sponsors and will be at each event with full support facilities for
riders and customers. Putoline has continued it’s long standing support of
Fast Eddy Racing as has Edmondson Racing and both are backing the series fully. Kriega is a name that requires no
explanation in the world of Extreme Enduro, manufacturers of the toughest gear
available. Adventure Spec supply top quality products to many of the world’s
best extreme competitors while Rock Oil supports motorsport across many
disciplines and are pleased to support the series.
Video guru Dan Oliver of Amped Clothing fame will be
delivering the official video action footage from each round of the series.
Dan’s growing reputation from his superb coverage of the BSEC made him the
Drift Innovation manufacture one of the best HD helmet
cameras on the market and will be deeply involved in each event, getting some
of the best POV action footage available in the UK.
This promises to be the toughest and most spectacular championship ever seen in the UK.
For more information go to www.fasteddyracing.com
Fortune favours the brave and Paul Edmondson's bold decision to run an extreme enduro in Yorkshire in January has proved to be a fortunate one for everyone concerned. Tong was a superb venue for the inaugural Eddy X-treme ACU Championship. A Victorian mansion set on a hill with a splendid view of the West Yorkshire landscape was the backdrop. Below the house the land sloped away to a lake and a wood. After several days of bright clear skies with cold nights the weather clouded over and the temperature had begun to rise. From first light the vast spectator parking area began to fill.
The big teams were in place on Saturday and there was plenty to see in the pits. The MPS Racing truck bristled with new Husqvarnas and a lot of new riders. Steve Plain was preparing the GasGas' for Dougie Lampkin and Danny McCanney next to Neil Crayston in the D3 pits working on Ollie Hart's KTM. Julian Steven had 2 KORR Racing bikes to fettle for Greg Evans and Jonny Walker while Giz Edmunds applied the final coat of polish to David Knight's immaculate KTM300XC.
Practice and qualifying for the adults began at 9.30am.From the start the riders weaved their way through the woods along an easy going track that stretched them out before they descended into a valley with a treacherous stream bed. There was a series of drops over water falls that had plenty of water and lots of falls. The climb out of the stream soon became several climbs. The trick was to find a good one . The problem was there weren't any.
A forestry track looped around the wood to take the spectators from the start right into the heart of the action. Every hundred yards there was a misty cloud of steam and exhaust smoke combined with the distinctive sound of depreciating second hand values. There were 5 or 6 extreme sections dotted around the course and each had their own chicken run. The most imposing challenge came at the end of the lap where the riders were confronted by an 80 foot rock wall that dammed the lake. An overflow pipe kept a steady stream of water running over it's multi-faceted surfaces. David Knight was the first to arrive and the Manxman subdued the giant in heroic fashion. The next couple of dozen riders launch their attacks with progressively less style and success despite the best advice of the section marshal Derrick Edmondson. The fastest line was on the right to the midway stage then diagonally across to the left but it wasn't easy. The left hand climb was easier but at the halfway stage the riders had cross the face and turn their bikes for the diagonal which wasted time. For the majority the easy route around the chicken run was the only route.
On his 3rd lap David rubbed a bit of salt into the wound by riding up and down the wall 3 times to find the quickest line. Jon Hill was unlucky to land awkwardly in qualifying and retire with a back injury. By the end of the practice session all but a dozen riders had abandoned the wall and no-one had cleaned it on every lap. Videos Tom Sagar & Ben Burrell Paul Bolton & Greg Evans Gary Clarke
At 10.30am the youth class was unleashed on a shorten course for their qualifying/practice laps. Luke Flack set the fastest time ahead of Michael Gilby, Harrison Bell, Lee Sealey, Charlie Nichols, Jack Edmondson (right), Jack Ditchfield, Jack Staines, Daniel Boam, Oliver Benton, Jack Fewings, Ben Thomson, Charlie Evans, Emily Davey and Brad freeman. Brad may have had a problem or he was saving his energy for the main race.
The first Adult race began at 11.40am. David Knight took the lead ahead of Tom Sagar and Dougie Lampkin on his new Gas Gas. Jonny Walker was 4th and Greg Evans was 5th. Julian Stevens had had the foresight to fit the KORR KTMs with Kriega straps. Paul Bolton rewarded his supporters with a text book climb of the wall on a KTM that barely rose above tick over. Gary Daniels studied Paul's lesson and matched him. Jason Davies on an MPS Husqvarna went straight for the long route. It was a wise move for the faster riders. Graham Jarvis was struggling and he returned to the pit to find his plug was coated with enough coke to fire up a mini barbeque. Lee Smith on Eurotek KTM 300 had planned to shadow David Knight until the last lap before cruising past him but the plan was under revision in the woods. Gary Jenkins would have preferred a trials rear tyre but he did his best to knock off his knobbles.
On the 2nd lap David Knight extended his lead. Tom Sagar was 2nd but he had a heavy fall on the wall. David Wilson was another rider who had cause to thanks Santa his body armour. Dougie Lampkin pitted to adjust his clutch assembly and Jonny Walker moved into 3rd. Paul Bolton was 5th & Gary Daniels was 6th. Australian Ben Burrell was 7th. Oliver put the "e" into Hart when carried his D3 KTM up the wall after 3 falls on his 2nd lap. Tom Sagar had a bad last lap and Dougie Lampkin moved up into 2nd. The new rad covers on Danny McCanney's GasGas took a pasting when he had a big off in the trees and he had to pit. He also had to remove some of the local scenery from his forearm.
At the end of the first heat David Knight led from Dougie Lampkin, Tom Sagar, Paul Bolton, Greg Evens, Jonny Walker, Gary Daniels. Ben Burrel, Gavin Houson and Danny McCanneyl. Lee Sampson took a big hit on his shoulder and retired, Jason Davies showed his potential with a fast opening lap but he was aggravating a foot injury he picked up at Butts the previous weekend and it proved too much. Joe Deakin won the Experts from Tom Healey and Jack Lee. Gary Jenkins minus those pesky knobbles was 4th ahead of Michael Briggs and Scott Austin. GBXC expert Champion Rhys Davies was 7th. Mark Houson won the Vets from Paul Sagar and Craig Parkes. For these 3 riders the die had been cast for the day. Jane Daniels proved that a good lady is hard to beat by winning the Clubman class ahead of Nathan Bolton and MPS Racing's Robert Johnson. Alex Hall proved that you don't need the latest kit by finishing 5th on a 10 year old GasGas. Lee Green from Stourbridge was supported by his grandparents and he must have made them proud with a 7th in his first extreme event. Luke Hill lost his back brake. He found it again and got it working for the 2nd heat. Gavin Barnett from Kidderminster was riding a Ex-Greg Evans 280. Graham Howes has his hands full on a Manchester Extreme YZ 125. One unnamed rider encapsulated his impression of the hard going in the unique phrase "I have got a cauliflower arse".
The Youth race began at 12.45pm. Fired by youthful enthusiasm the racing was close. Brad Freeman was the winner with 9 laps from Michael Gilby, Luke Flack, Lee Sealey, Harrison Bell, Jack Ditchfield, Charlie Nichols and Jack Edmondson.
The 2nd Adult heat started at i.45pm. Knight took the lead ahead of a fully clutched Graham Jarvis. Lampkin was 3rd ahead of Johnny Walker and Greg Evans in 5th. Only 8 seconds divided Jonny and Greg. Danny McCanney was 7th. Tom Sagar crashed out on lap 4 but he was OK. Paul Bolton caught his foot and then lost 2 places on the last lap when his moose broke loose. He finished 8th. In the Experts it was another win for MPS Racing's Joe Deakin from GasGas supported Jack Lee. Gary Jenkins was 3rd ahead of Scott Austin, Michael Briggs, Rhys Davies, Simon Comer, Tom Healey, Oliver Hart and Stan Watt. The Vets result was a repeat of the first heat with Mark Houson winning from Paul Sagar and Craig Parkes. Robert Johnson won the Clubman class from Jane Daniels, James Reeve, Nathan Bolton, Alex Hall, Lee Green, Daz Cowen, James Dent, Ian Mc Mahon & Michael Kay.
The ACU was represented by the newly elected Chairman Brian Higgins and T&E chairman John Collins. The organisers had built a podium out of 3 boulders which reflected the rugged nature of extreme enduro. The transponder iming was by Mid Wales Dirt Tracks and Brian Higgins presented the trophies.
David Knight was the winner and the first ACU Extreme Enduro Champion. Dougie Lampkin was the runner up and Greg Evans was 3rd. In the father's race, Mark Houson was the best of the Vets ahead of Paul Sagar and Craig Parkes, Joe Deakin won the Experts from Jack Lee and Gary Jenkins, Jane Daniels was the best Clubperson from Robert Johnson and Nathan Bolton. Photos Videos Darren Ridley Leighton Parker
Making his first competitive outing of 2011 David Knight made sure of a successful start to the new season by claiming the overall victory at the inaugural running of ‘Eddy's Extreme Race' - a new extreme enduro organised by former World Enduro Champion Paul Edmondson and staged near Leeds, Great Britain. Finishing ahead of Dougie Lampkin and Greg Evans come the end of the event Knight lead each of the two one-hour races from start to finish and placed comfortably ahead in both outings.
The fastest rider during the morning qualifying session Knight needed no time at all to open up a healthy lead at the front of the Pro class in race one. Despite losing some time on the second lap when he gat caught up on a large tree root he extended his lead lap on lap and come the end of the race placed ahead of Dougie Lampkin, Tom Sagar, Paul Bolton and Greg Evans.
Race two again saw Knight rocket into an immediate lead. With the track rougher and notably tougher than in the opening hour-long race David made sure he didn't make any mistakes during the opening laps, fending off his closest challenger Graham Jarvis. Remaining out front Knight claimed the chequered flag three minutes clear of Jarvis with Lampkin third to claim a deserved overall win.
David Knight: ‘It was a really good day for me - great training and an enjoyable way to start the year off. I knew that it was going to be pretty hard work, but apart from a few falls everything went well for me. The first race went really well. I lead from the start and could see that I was opening up a lead so I just tried to make no mistakes. On lap two I got stuck on a tree root and must have lost about 30 seconds. I pushed hard after that and everything went well. I felt good and really enjoyed it. The second race was much tougher. The holes between the rocks were deeper and the rocks themselves were much more slippery. Whenever I started to really push I started going backwards. I found a good pace and settle down once I knew I was a few minutes ahead. The track wasn't too hard, but there wasn't really anywhere you could take a break. The format of two one-hour races was good because it wasn't all down to just one result - you needed to do well on both occasions, which some riders weren't able to do. It's been a good start to the year and a really good event.'
Dougie Lampkin - Gas Gas
Dougie made the short trip across the hills from his Yorkshire home to the wooded venue just outside Bradford to take part in his first enduro event since joining the Gas Gas factory team at the turn of the year. Up against friend and multi enduro World champion David Knight and a quality field of regular enduro riders, Lampkin always knew that the chances of a debut win were remote. However this did not deter the thirty-four year old Yorkshireman putting in two sterling performances to claim second overall behind the dominant Knight after a pair of tough hour long races.
In the lead up to the event, Lampkin had spent the week in Spain testing with the Gas Gas factory team as Dougie readies himself for the second round of the FIM Indoor Enduro Championship in Barcelona early next month. Whilst the ex multi FIM World Trial World champion used essentially a stock EC300E for today's extreme event, Dougie will have his full factory specification enduro machine available for his next outing in two weeks time. However Lampkin was quick to point out during his post race interview, that in no way had his performance today been limited by the standard bike.
Lampkin signalled his intent to feature amongst the front runners come the end of the day, as he placed third during the morning qualifying session to take his spot on the front row of the start for the two main races. With the riders grouped in lines of four, race one promptly got underway at 11.30hrs, as the eager pack made the short dash from the open paddock area before swinging sharp left into the trees. Dougie did not make the best of starts in the muddy conditions and dropped outside the top five momentarily as he was forced in to the pits at the end of lap one to attend to a problem with his clutch lever assembly.
Typically Lampkin fought back brilliantly to move into second place with just a few laps remaining and was one of just a select few riders who attempted the extreme rock section towards the end of the course each time around. The alternative to attacking this short and steep rock slab infested climb was to follow a longer, but less severe route that potentially would take thirty seconds extra per lap and that carrried far less risk for both rider and bike. Although unable to challenge Knight's supremacy on the sticky going, Dougie was pleased with his first race recovery after his initial problems.
Although Dougie had no mechanical problems in race two, it was a similar tale for the veteran campaigner as he worked his way up the order following a slow start to the second of the hour long encounters. With Knight long gone, Lampkin focussed on holding his top three placing and remained in contention should second placed Graham Jarvis make any kind of costly mistake. Dougie's 2-3 showing on the day was sufficient to earn him the runners' up spot overall behind Knight, and to give him a near perfect debut on board the production Gas Gas enduro machine.
Speaking after the event Lampkin stated. "It's been a very productiive and positive week overall. The work we have done in Spain this week has been good, and I am looking forward to riding the new bike in Barcelona soon. We have done a lot of work both on the suspension and with the engine to give me a set up that I am more used to. That said the standard bike I have ridden today has been fantastic considering it is pretty much what anyone can go and buy from a dealer tomorrow morning."
"Having never raced a two stroke enduro bike before I was not quite sure what to expect today, as testing and training is one thing, but riding an actual event is another thing entirely." Dougie continued. "Apart from the clutch lever coming loose in the first race, the bike has run spot on all day. I simply had no answer to David in either race, so I just tried to stick to my own pace and to get two solid results, which worked out well for me in the end."
Lampkin concluded by saying. "It has been a good event and a good shakedown ahead of Barcelona, as second place overall is the best result I could have realistically hoped for."
Good result for KORR - KTM Off Road Racing
For the first time an ACU British Championship Extreme Enduro event was organised in the UK, this weekend at Tong Hall near Leeds.
Tong proved to be a perfect natural venue for extreme enduro, mostly steep woodland with many streams and gulleys, a favourite place of 4 x 4 enthusiasts who love to winch them themselves through all the obstacles, no such luxury for the off-road bikers though, if you make a mistake its simply get off and push and even the best where doing that at times on Sunday.
With several days of rain and frost prior to the event and mild weather finally arriving for the race day the ground was extremely slippy itself and once all that wet mud was dragged onto the rock sections they became almost impossible for all but the elite. A cleverly designed course had several “Chicken runs” next to the difficult sections to allow riders the option of a slower but easier passage or risk the hazard for possibly a quick direct route.
About 100 riders entered the race and the day kicked off at 9.30am with an hour of free practice , also in this session each rider had to put in a quick lap to organise the starting order, there was no surprise that Factory KTM rider David Knight set the standard time, KORR rider Jonny Walker on his KTM 300 qualified in 4th amongst a group with far more experience, this was Jonny's first extreme enduro and first time either KORR rider had been to this venue!!!, Greg also mixed it with the Trials and Extreme specialists and qualified with a very creditable 6th on his 250 EXC. The first 1 hour race started at 11.30am and riders departed in rows of 5 in 5 second intervals, Knighter took the hole-shot and simply left the field behind with young Jonny trying to follow in 2nd, but a few mistakes on the first lap dropped him down to 4th, he jumped out of a river and did not see a low branch which took his helmet peak straight off and damaged his goggles making things even tougher for him. However he started to find his rhythm and settled down into a good pace and held 3rd for much of the race, being easily the quickest of the rookie extreme riders. Greg however was further down the pack but slowly through consistent riding picked off riders to move up the order and eventually passed Jonny in the final laps.
After the first race there was only 1 hour work time to prepare for the final session with the time spent mostly repairing damage, the course had been tough on our bikes and many plastic parts had been broken, Jonny modified his seat with rope to get better grip, although it was suggested we tie him to the bike !!. The final race would once again see Knighter up front with Husabergs Graham Jarvis in close company, both Jonny and Greg came around in 4th and 5th respectively and held these positions to the end without much drama until the very end when Greg again closed in on Jonny and almost passed him on the final hill. At the end it was a tie break between Greg and Jonny for 3rd overall and the final result was calculated on aggregate race times, Greg had beaten Jonny by just 5 seconds over the 2 hours of racing !!
Team Manager Julian Stevens; “ It has been a very good team result for us, the event has attracted an excellent quality line up that any extreme race in the world would be proud of, with the exception of Taddy Blazusiak the Worlds best extreme riders where there, so for us to get two top 5 positions is very positive, all the team worked very hard to help so thanks to them and a big well done to Greg and Jonny”.
Greg Evans 3rd overall; “Well i'm quite surprised with my result, I do not come from a trials background so this type of race is quite difficult for me, I have had more than my fair share of crashes today !!! and sorry to Smooth for wrecking his brand new 250 EXC , i've really enjoyed today and it has been a good test to prove my fitness and set me up for the season, can't wait for the BEC now”.
Jonny Walker 4th overall; “This was my first extreme Enduro and qualifying on the front row with the likes of Knighter and Lampkin was awesome, I had a great time, it was much slippier than I expected and like Greg I made many mistakes, but I learn't a lot from this race, now I know what I must do to improve and really look forward to my next extreme which will be Hells Gate in a few weeks” Next Event: Barcelona Indoor World Cup, February 6th
It was the first outing for all the major Teams including our GGUK Team managed by Steve Plain.
Steve had his two main riders competing which neither are extreme specialists but they both had promising results. We also had GG Factory rider Dougie Lampkin compete for the first time on GG so it was an important event for all concerned.
GGUK supported LEE SAMPSON and GG Dealer JACK LEE both competed.
DOUGIE LAMPKIN qualified an easy 3rd behind Knigher and Grimbo. A small clutch issue was sorted with an oil change to the new Putoline ‘Nano Trans GP’ gearbox oil. Doug rode a ‘box standard’ CC300 with only his factory Ohlins shock changed in the morning. Slightly lowered gearing and a set of Renthals was all Doug required.
Race1 went well apart from the clutch lever needing tightening after the first lap (sorry pal). Nevertheless Doug cruised to an easy runner-up place helped by the DNF of Jarvis.
Race2 went well again and he settled for 3rd after Jarvis had a flyer of a start. With only a 1 hour race distance Doug used his head and kept his 3rd place easy to finish 2nd overall for the day and the best possible debut for LAMPKIN on GG!
I must say Knigher was untouchable on Sunday...very impressive.
DANNY McCANNEY was 7th overall finishing 10th in Race1 after a few crashes and a much improved 6th in race 2. Danny had quite a big crash in Race1 which he had to pit for and straighten the gasser out. He also had to remove some ‘woodwork’ from his forearm which was quite nasty but being a manx lad this was swiftly removed by the hardman. He continued and was 10th at the flag.
A much improved 6th in Race2 was encouraging.
MATT MOFFAT has never ridden this type of event and was ‘in at the deep end’ with only MX experience to his name. Matt enjoyed the challenge and finished 13th at the finish. He retired in race2 after a crash which resulted in losing the small ‘pin’ in the clutch master cylinder / lever.
LEE SAMPSON had a worrying shoulder dislocation in Race1 which ended his day….more on this after he visits his Doctor..
JACK LEE had a fantastic day finishing 2nd overall in the Expert Class. Jack used his Trials experience and rode two smooth races. He kept out of trouble and it paid off.
Thanks to Kev and Luke for prepping Dougs bike and to Steve Plain.
Mixed results for MPS Racing Team
The MPS Racing team headed to Tong in Leeds last weekend for the first ACU extreme enduro championship held by Paul 'Fast Eddy' Edmondson. Arctic conditions over the past few weeks followed by a sudden down pour ensured the extreme venue was just that and offered the riders a multitude of different challenges. Despite the majority of the field on two-strokes, Jason Davis chose to ride the Husqvarna TE 449 in the event and proved how well the machine fares in tough conditions by placing second fastest four-stroke in the qualifying session. Unfortunately an ankle injury picked up prior to the event was aggravated during the first race and he was forced to retire having only completed a few laps. Team mate Joe Deakin dominated the highly competitive Expert class from start to finish onboard his TE 250. Winning both races Joe showed just how manageable the light weight 250 four-stroke Husqvarna is compared against a class filled with two-stroke machines.
Also in the Expert class was MPS rider Jack Rowland but unlike his team mate Jack's race was more mixed. Finishing ninth in the first race he was keen to improve on his result in the second battle but water in the electrics caused him to retire early. In the Clubman class Robert Johnson was separating the men from the boys; finishing third in the first race and first in the second race Robert gained confidence as the event went on and tackled the unfamiliar extreme sections with skill. If there was an award handed out for guts and determination it would have gone to Katy Bullock. Although Katy has only ridden in a handful of hare and hound events she navigated the extreme course onboard her WR 125 with confidence and called upon her trials background to show several of the more regular riders how it's done!
Katy Bullock "That by far the most difficult and exhausting event I've ever done. I wasn't sure what to expect and it was harder than I could have imagined but I'm please to have finished the first race. My little WR125 was perfect for the job with its light weight and torquey engine. To be honest I don't think I could have done it on anything else!"
Joe Deakin "It's been a while since I've ridden in an extreme event and wasn't too sure what to expect but the track layout and format was fantastic. Without the choice of a 'chicken run' at the more technical sections it would have been mayhem but the whole event flowed really well and I'm chuffed with my result. My bike never missed a beat all day and found grip where other rider were really struggling."