Blackdog Woods, near Frome was the venue for round five of the Midwest National XC Championship on Sunday. Although conditions were just about ideal for the 11.00am start, a succession of short, sharp rain showers were to then make the going decidedly slippery, particularly on the fast, open field sections of the course. On a day of great action which again catered for both Adult and Youth riders, the main Expert class was to produce a Husaberg 1-2-3 as Welsh rider Jon Hinam displayed super control to take the win ahead of Tyson Maytom-Jones and Aaron Smith.
Right from the off, the eventual Experts top three made their intentions perfectly clear by leading the pack and that's the way it remained. Both Hinam and Maytom-Jones eventually completed a total of 17 laps in their three hour duel, Hinam's winning margin being by nearly three minutes. In the Veteran Experts class, Gary Baker took the win, one full lap ahead of Marcus Barnes whilst third placed Dave Potts led home a group of four other riders consisting of Lewie Davis, Lee Neale, Graham Reid and James Browning who had all managed 13 laps.
In the Clubman 2T action, it was the Stagg brothers who dominated proceedings with Andy finishing one lap ahead of Adrian. Getting home in 3rd spot and on the same lap total as Adrian Stagg was Mike Owen with Andrew Clink ard, Brett Hohls and Simon Prideaux completing the top six. The winning margin in the Clubman 4T class was also by one full lap, the victor being Ashley Stokes. In a tight, tense battle to finish runner-up, Ben Shuttleworth, Peter Ballinger and Will Smith completed 13 circuits of the Blackdog Woods venue. The verdict in that clash was to be earned by Shuttleworth, nearly four minutes ahead of Ballinger.
Sportsman 2T honours went to Mitch Frost whilst Callum Collins led home Alex Knott, Callum Reynolds and Meciej Berdysz in the battle to be the second finisher past the chequered flag. There was also to be a very tight tussle for the runners-up slot in Sportsmen 4T.As Jack Liddiard claimed the victory, Tom Austin, Brett Gough, Steve Curtis and Andrew Rippa all recorded a total of 11 laps. Austin though was to get home in 2nd spot, seven minutes ahead of his rivals.
In the final Adult class for those very experienced Veterans, Steve Davey was first past the flag aboard his GasGas. Davey's closest rivals in the tricky going proving to be Gavin Bailey, Paul Kingston and Alan James.
Once the three hour Adult blast had been completed, it was then time for the Youth riders to take centre stage and display their skills.In Group 1 for the oldest competitors, victory belonged to Jake Morgan a full lap ahead of Charlie Frost, Dylan Bayton and Jack Penhaligon. In what was a very tight finish, just a very narrow ten seconds separated the eventual runner-up Frost and Bayton. Youth Group 2 and Dean Edwards was to be top lad, once more a full lap ahead of the next four riders, Jason Billam, Archie Box, Jacob Derrick and Joshua Brown who all completed ten Blackdog circuits. Managing 11 laps, Jordan Ridgeway was the Group 3 victor chased hard by Isaac Atherley, Freddie Box and Conner Smith. The final group for the youngest competitors of the day was to see both Ben Harvey and Alfie Webb finish level on a total of eight laps completed. Victory though was to go to Ben who was just under one minute clear of his rival. Also giving their all in an entertaining Group 4 was Ethan Hall, Harry Neale, Kian Thomas and Sam Harding.
Well done again to the Midwest MCC for their organisation of another sporting XC event and to all the riders for the manner in which they adapted to the rapidly changing conditions!!.
Midwest MCC made a welcome return to Twinhoe, Midford near Bath after a break of 3 years. The event was run on a Saturday to allow the gentle folk of Midford to enjoy their Sunday morning devotions in peace and tranquility.
The Adult race was flagged away at 11.00am. The weather was warm and sunny. The start was up a steep hill that spread out the field before filtering the riders through a gate into the lap for real. Dan Beavan took the holeshot ahead of Arran Wells and Arron Smith was 3rd. 5 minutes before the start Arron had an anxious moment when his float got jammed and petrol poured out of his Husaberg. Fortunately some vigorous tapping with the starter's flagpole on the carb shook the float loose. Danny Andrews was less lucky. His KTM took 40 minutes to fire up but despite the lost time he put in 13 laps.
The course swept along the side of a gently sloping valley and combined a rich mix of fast open going where the stubble could lead to trouble and tight technical woodland climbs where the route was rooty.
At the end of the first lap Dan Beavan had pulled out a 15 second lead over the 2nd placed rider - veteran Jack Twentyman. Aaron Smith was in 3rd but he moved up to 2nd and took the lead on lap 3 as Dan's day began to unravel. A deer and a dear woman with a camera both threw themselves into his path and then the tape from his goggles got caught in the trees to unseat him for the 3rd time.
Arron Smith held the lead for 3 laps but he had taken a hit to the chest at the Tea till Dusk on Wednesday night and he was struggling to maintain the pace. On lap 6 Derek Bawn took the lead in what was proving to be a fast moving and exciting event. Daniel Price had a good opening lap and then he dropped back but by lap 14 he was within 2 seconds of the leader. Closely following Daniel was Scott Altass in 3rd on his new Midwest Husaberg. For the 3 top riders the final lap was full of drama. Derek Bawn was low on fuel and he had to pit for a splash and dash. Daniel and Scott gave chase but within yards of the finish line Daniel collided with a back marker and Scott seized his chance to take second place. Daniel emerged from the shrubbery to hold onto 3rd and Dan Beavan - despite his problems - finished 4th. A good measure of the closeness of the racing is the stat that Derek Bawn and Scott Altass jointly set the fastest lap time.
Rogershill Raceway's Danny Hall held off a challenge from Alistair Bramwell to take the Expert Vets on his newish KTM 250. Gary Baker was 3rd. Darren "DoDa" Jones had been off the bike since the Welsh with an arm injury. Unfortunately his return to competition was marked by a return to the injury list as he caught the arm on a branch. All the best DoDa for a swift recovery.
Jesse Say clocked up 19 laps to win the Clubman 2T class and Sam Hoskins on 18 laps was the runner up. Roger Holland was 3rd. Chris Wheeler was forced to retire when he lost his exhaust.
Ben Shuttleworth was the best of the Clubman 4T class with 19 laps and Llewelyn Pavey on 18 laps was 2nd. The 3rd man home was Ben Lewis.
Mark Saunders won the Vets ahead of Simon Bailey and Steve Davey. Ben Simpson retired when he dropped his bike and bent his exhaust. Kevin Sealey also came in when he lost his no spark
Take a sprinkling of stars which included Daryl Bolter, Jon Hinam, Arran Poolman, Matt Ridgway, Alex Rockwell and Simon Wakely, throw in a top quality venue and great organisation, the end result being a very exciting three hour, competitive blast of memorable XC action!!. Winner of Sunday's super second round of the Midwest XC National Championship was to eventually be Husaberg mounted Wakely, and what a clever, calculated performance he produced, keeping Bolter in his sights before taking control with just two laps remaining.
Early leader after lap one of the Experts contest at Chavenage though was to be fast starting Ridgway just ahead of Hinam, Wakely, Bolter and Rockwell with Poolman surprisingly down in 12th.Whilst Ridgway aboard his rapid two-stroke Yamaha was to eventually disappear from proceedings after six tough laps, the leaderboard was already changing. By lap three, Bolter was now the man in charge with Midwest supported Rockwell now 2nd,Hinam 3rd and Wakely 4th.Getting in the groove, Wakely though was now on the move and after five circuits, Si was up to 2nd all be it still nearly a full minute behind the flying Bolter. Gradually reducing the deficit as already mentioned, Wakely eventually moved to the front of this enthralling contest with time running out, repelling an outstanding last gasp effort by Bolter to thus earn a great win by just an incredibly tight three seconds. Taking 3rd was Hinam whilst Poolman charged hard in the closing stages, passing Rockwell for 4th on the final lap!!.
Alastair Bramwell, Gary Baker and Marcus Barnes all completed a total of twelve12 laps at the top of the Veterans Experts class. Leading right from the start, Bramwell was to eventually take victory over four minutes ahead of Baker. Producing a similar result, three riders, Kevin Butcher, Roger Billam and Russell Benson also stood out at the top of the Veterans contest. Like Bramwell, Butcher was to lead from start to finish and was five minutes in front of runner-up Billam.
In Clubman 2T,Jesse Say, Shaun Couzens,Heiko, Andy Stagg and Sam Hoskins all managed eleven laps of the Chavenage venue. Going through the final time check, winner Say was nearly five minutes ahead of Couzens. At the top of Clubman 4T,eleven laps completed was to again be the magic winning total,a feat managed by James Heath, Peter Ballinger, Scott King and Chris Ginn. Whilst Heath took the win from Ballinger,the battle for 3rd was red-hot, the verdict eventually going to King, just ten seconds infront of Ginn.
With the top two in the Sportsman 2T class, winner Alex Knott and runner-up Chris Watkins both managing ten laps,the main battle was to decide who would claim 3rd spot.In total the next eleven riders on the leaderboard all completed nine Chavenage laps although there was a time difference of some nineteen minutes separating the eventual 3rd placed finisher Nicholas Fisher and Ian Potts in 13th!!.Sportsman 4T was to develop into a great battle for honours featuring Jack Liddiard, Tom Austin, Matthew Jones and Graeme Smart. On completion though it was to be victory to a delighted Liddiard whilst the next best and finishing 5th was Steve Rolstone who headed a whole group of riders who had recorded a nine lap total.
Making their first appearance of the 2011 Midwest MCC season, there was also racing for Youth riders at Chavenage, the XC stars of the future!!. Competing for ninety minutes, Jake Morgan, Dylan Bayntom and Callum Reynolds led the charge in Group one for the older lads and lasses. Managing an eventual seven lap total, Morgan took the win just one minute in front of Bayntom at the chequered flag. In Group two, Jason Billam, Jacob Derrick, Niles Reid, Archie Box, Mathew Whiles, Joshua Brown and Matthew Chadwick battled hard for victory. Although Box was to record the fastest lap time, just over two minutes was to separate the final top three of winner Billam, Derrick and Reid.
There was absolutely no doubting the winner of Group three as young Jordan Ridgway finished a full lap ahead of his rivals and also posted the fastest lap time in his group. In the tussle to finish runner-up, George Saunders was to get the verdict ahead of Aaron Webb.In the final Youth group for the youngest competitors of the day,the eventual top duo of Matthew Martin and Alfie Webb were in flying form, completing two more laps then the rest of their rivals. Victory was to eventually go to Martin, five minutes ahead of Webb whilst Harry Neale, Max Taylor and Harry Ridgway completed the top five.
2011 MIDWEST NATIONAL XC CHAMPIONSHIP (ROUND 1) AT CHAVENAGE ON SUNDAY,6TH MARCH, PROMOTED BY THE MIDWEST MCC REPORT AND PICS BY MIKE WOOD
The rolling Cotswolds venue of Chavenage is arguably the Mid West MCC's jewel in the crown as it provides XC riders with an absolute dream of a circuit.Situated in s steep sided valley,it possesses fast open grassy banks,tight, testing woodland,stream crossings and naturally undulating terrain which can even provide some airtime for the more ambitious, all combined in an eight mile lap,so no wonder the entry was bursting at the seams for the opening round of the 2011 Midwest National XC Championship on Sunday.Despite having to use a new paddock and start area for the event,Midwest MCC again excelled with a simply super lay-out that was to produce three hours of great action.Taking the win was Midwest supported star Simon Wakely,just over one minute ahead of the spectacular Matt Ridgway whilst Welsh lad Jon Hinam took third.
Indeed aboard his Husaberg machine, Hinam had led the opening two laps of the Chavenage contest chased hard by Wakely, Ridgway, Tyson Maytom-Jones, Derek Bawn, Jack Twentyman, Aaron Smith and Australian youngster Ben Burrell. Third time around and Wakely was in charge with Ridgway eventually getting past Hinam on lap seven. From here onwards the battle for glory intensified with Ridgway closing Wakely's advantage right down to just four seconds at one point. However displaying his class, Wakely remained totally composed and in control before going onto take the win from Ridgway, Hinam, Burrell, Maytom-Jones and Bawn who all like the victor also managed the same 13 lap total.
They maybe old but they again proved that they are still very competitive as at the top end of the Veteran Experts class, Marcus Barnes, Mark Perrott, Alastair Bramwell and Stephen Grimshaw all completed twelve Chavenage laps. Taking the win was Barnes but he was certainly pushed hard to the chequered flag by a very determined Perrott. Indeed Perrott had actually led the contest for the opening five laps, eventually finishing just 14 seconds behind Barnes whilst 3rd placed Bramwell was less than a further minute in arrears in what was a simply absorbing contest.
Craig Parks and Kevin Butcher finished as the top two lads in the Veteran racing at Chavenage. Parks certainly proved to be the master though of the Cotswolds venue, not only earning the win some fifteen minutes ahead of Butcher but also recording the fastest lap time in his class. Battling for the right to finish 3rd,Roger Billan despite being one lap down on the leading duo was to earn that particular verdict aboard his GasGas machine.
Clubman 2T generally provides good entry levels and ultra competitive action, and Sunday's racing was to be no exception to that rule. The leading nine finishers were all to manage a total of 11 laps with Pete King taking the win from Sam Hoskins, Shaun Couzens, Jesse Say, Danny Morris, Chris Gunter, M Goddard, Renzo Gistri and Andrew Donald.King's winning margin of just over one minute was evidence of just what an intriguing contest this really was!.
Over in Clubman 4T it developed into a tough three way scrap for honours between Ben Shuttleworth, James Heath and Peter Ballinger. It was though Shuttleworth who was to be king, taking control on lap two after passing fast starting Reg Sheppard before racing onto the win, nine minutes ahead of Heath. In the tussle to finish 4th,Colin Yeend was to get that particular verdict ahead of a group of eleven riders who had all managed a ten lap total.
The Sportsman 2T class produced one of the clearest winners of the day as James Reeves finished a full lap ahead of runner-up Steve Mann with Tom Dexter in 3rd.Although in the battle to be runner-up, Mann, Dexter, Chris Watkins, Alex Knott, Callum Collins, Nicholas Fisher, Dale Wiltshire, Matthew Harris, David Barnes and David Pilgrim all completed nine laps there was to be a margin of seventeen minutes which separated them at the finish.
In the final class, Sportsman 4T,,Tom Austin, Richard Hathway, Maciej Berdysz and Mark Lonergan led the way by blasting to a total of ten laps apiece.. Although Hathway was to post the fastest time in this group, he still had to settle for the eventual runners-up slot,nearly three minutes behind winner Austin.So after this super Midwest National opener, the preparations are underway for round 2 on the 17th April, don't miss out and get your entry in now for another great Midwest MCC promotion!!.
Matt masters mud and ice at Midwest
With most of the country in the grip of the worst November weather for 17 years, the Midwest team did a great job to run the 7th and final round of their Hewitt XC Championship this weekend (Nov 28th) at Toplands farm, Ford near Chippenham in Wiltshire. Toplands is a new venue and although it was not at it's best in the icy conditions it showed considerable promise. The course incorporated the Chipping Sodbury MX track as well as a large woodland and surroundings grassy fields. Matt Ridgway was riding his new Off Road Experience 250 2T. He lost a footrest but he still kept his balance and won. James Jackman was the runner up and Darren Wheeler was 3rd. This may be Darren's last race for a while but he has retired on a high as Hewitt XC Champion. After the race Matt said that he thought the Yamaha was awesome and he was pleased to have won first time out.
Midwest's 6th round of Hewitt Cross Country Championship took place at Ditteridge near Bath on the 24th October. From the start, the course used a couple of stubble fields then went into a large steep grass field with slippery cambers that climbed into woods which had some extreme obstacles, logs and a rock sections. The climbs had hard and easy routes. With the sun and blue skies, the ground dried quickly after Saturday's rain.
The 3 hour race started at 11.00am with the expert class first away. Dave Nuttall took the hole shot closely followed by Arron Smith and Darren Wheeler with Derick Bawn close behind. The woods proved to be a challenge on the first lap before the best lines had developed. On the second lap Ollie Moyce appeared first with a good lead followed by Darren Wheeler, Arron Smith, Derick Bawn and Rich Warner. Ollie Moyce extended his lead riding his new Kawasaki before his clutch failed leaving Derek Bawn on a ktm to take the win. In second was Darren Wheeler on a Yamaha and young Arron Smith was 3rd on a Huseberg 250 2T. The top three all completed 21 laps. Jack Twentyman - in his distinctive yellow strip - was the Best Vet Expert with 20 laps ahead of Chris Brown and Triss Ball on 19 laps. George Bayliss won the Clubman 2T and Mark Hamblin was the runner up. With 20 laps each they will be looking forward to next season in the Experts. In the Clubman 4T class Freddie Davis was the winner from Jez Dance. The Vets award went to Terry Hoskins and Moe Godding was the runner up.
The venue for round 4 of the National Hewitt XC Championship was in Black Dog Woods - part of Lord Baths Longleat Estate near Warminster Somerset. The course - laid out by the Midwest team - started in two large open fields laid out as motocross type going then entering the woods for a ten minute loop which was tight and technical. The woods were unusually dry but still had some wet parts and not using any fire roads in the woods riders were given a good test. The large expert field kept the crowds of spectators entertained with drama from the first corner until the finish three hours later with the very close racing and the lead changing all the time.
The flag dropped at 11.00 o'clock for the experts. At the first corner Rich Warner rounded in the lead followed by Matt Ridgway, Jeremy Box, and Malcolm Lean. There was drama for Ollie Moyce when he collided with the sideways Pete Kyte and fell off. By the time he had picked his bike up he was in last position with the charging pack in the distance.
At the start of the second lap Jamie Paget was in the lead. This was a great effort from a lad who broke his sternum only 4 weeks ago. Tyson Mayton-Jones was right on his back wheel closely followed by Jon Hinam then young Aaron Smith and in fifth was Ollie Moyce storming through field from last place.
In the Veteran Experts Dave Potts took the holeshot followed by Gary Baker and Jack Twentyman. On the next lap Gary Baker was in the lead with Dave Potts and Marcus Barnes close behind.
In the Clubman 2t Jason Hamblin took the lead followed by Mark Hamblin Aaron Wells and Pete King. The next lap Mark Hamblin moved into the lead followed by Jason Hamblin and Pete King.
The Clubman 4t Freddie Davis got the holeshot followed by Jez Dance and Philip Gilder. On the next lap it was Freddie Davis, Jez Dance and Philip Gilder.
The Vets class saw Peter Fry leading at the first corner from Darren Jones and Ashley Jones, next lap Peter Fry was still leading Alan James moving up to second and Chris Davis third.
Sportsman 2t Chris Stevens took the lead from Sam Hoskins and Wayne Tibbles next lap Sam Hoskins moved into the lead with Wayne Tibbles and Alex Knot close behind.
Sportsman 4t Kevin Park led from Anthony Mallett and Oliver Craig, second lap Michael Jones took the lead from Colin Baker and David Sharp.
Jamie Paget set the joint fastest lap with Tyson Mayton-Jones before easing up to save any further injury to his chest before the Naterjack next weekend
Matt Ridgways run of bad luck continued when he lost the coolant on the second lap, Rich Warner had problems with his exhaust and DNF,
Gary Baker lost time when he stopped to replace a damaged hose when leading but still finished forth in the Vet/Experts.
Despite his crash on the first corner Ollie Moyce powered through the field to win the Premier. Jon Hinam was the runner up and Tyson Maytom Jones was 3rd.
The forecast rain only came after the finish with the afternoon youth race having bright sunshine for the late spectators stopping off on their way home from Farleigh which is only 15 minutes up the road.
The super Chavenage venue, scene of last months successful staging of the first ever ACU British Enduro Sprint championship witnessed yet more action at the weekend as the Midwest MCC held the second round of their Hewitt National XC series. Once again a bumper entry was in attendance to tackle the very dry, undulating Gloucestershire circuit, with for the first time racing for Youth riders. The kids in attendance proceeded to produce some great competition after first witnessing Midwest Racing supported riders Ollie Moyce and Tyson Maytom-Jones score a great 1-2 in the main Adult event aboard their Husaberg machines.
Indeed it could have been total domination for the Midwest team as in the opening few circuits of the Experts Adult event, Jamie Padget was also keeping his teamates company up at the front until a re-occurrence of a recent hand injury was to eventually force him out on lap four. Earlier in the contest it was though the very experienced Ady Smith who had led the pack away to commence their three hour blast aboard his two-stroke KTM before dropping back to 5th spot. Another rider initially in contention for honours and producing some very impressive lap times was James Jackman until retiring on lap eight after his Yamaha lost all of its gearbox oil and seized. So, after passing Smith before the completion of lap one, the immaculate Moyce led all the way to the chequered flag, finishing two minutes ahead of his very determined teamate Tyson Maytom-Jones whilst third placed Darren Wheeler was charging hard and just a very narrow five seconds behind Jones.
In the Veteran Experts, winner Gary Baker and Alastair Bramwell both completed 13 laps.From here onwards,the next ten finishers all managed 12 laps with Marcus Barnes taking 3rd ahead of Terry Beecham, Stuart Keedwell and Chris Brown. The other class for Veteran riders at Chavenage produced a very interesting contest as the top ten finishers all managed a grand total of 11 laps.Although both Roger Billam and Richard Newman posted a fastest lap time of 15 minutes 14 seconds, it was Billam who was the class winner, nearly five minutes ahead of Malcolm Elliott whilst Newman finished 3rd.
Clubman 2T and Arran Wells,Jason Hamblin,Mark Hamblin,Dan Morris and Andy Stagg all completed a total of 12 laps and both Wells and J Hamblin recorded an identical fastest lap time of 14 minutes and 35 seconds.Victor though was Wells just 26 seconds better than Jason Hamblin with the other Hamblin,Mark in 3rd.The top four in Clubman 4T,Daniel Price,Fredie Davis,Shaun Couzens and Darren Morgan also managed 12 laps of the flowing Chavenage circuit each. Taking the win in this class was Price,21 seconds ahead of Davis.
Sportsman 2T and Wayne Tibbles was to be the first man home after blasting to a total of 11 laps completed,48 seconds infront of Sam Hoskins.Also managing 11 laps was Chris Stevens and David Threadingham the respective 3rd and 4th placed finishers.Likewise,the top two finishers in the Sportsman 4T,James Heath and Joshua Fusco also completed 11 Chavenage laps.Heath not only recorded the fastest lap time in this class but also finished an very impressive 5 minutes ahead of runner-up Fusco whilst John Brown,Michael Jones,Kevin Park and Steve Curtis completed the top six.
As mentioned for the first time,a Midwest MCC event staged XC racing for youth riders.In a separate race lasting for 90 minutes and on a shortened circuit,there was four different groups.For the oldest kids in a MX2 class,George Hayes scored a great win,a full lap ahead of runner-up Jack Liddiard.In the Big-Wheeled 85cc class,the top three of Lewis Dowdeswell,Joshua Ford and Sam Widdicombe all managed 10 laps.In a race to the chequered flag, Dowdeswell was to earn the win,22 seconds ahead of Ford.
In an incredibly tighter finish though,just a very slender 4 seconds separated Small-Wheeled 85cc winner Stefan Millward and runner-up Isaac Atherley.On the same lap total as the top two were Ross Jones,Jordan Ridgeway and Charlie Wood.The final class for riders aged 6 to 9 years saw seven gallant riders come to the start line.After 90 minutes of honest,competitive XC racing,Freddie Box was to take the win 27 seconds ahead of Josh Wilson,Luke Molter,Alfie Webb,Matthew Martin,Sam Nunn and Archie Hicks.Although finishing in 7th spot,Hicks did record the fastest lap time in this group,some 36 seconds quicker than Box!!.This was another great Midwest MCC promotion and there is certainly the promise of plenty more to come as the 2010 season unfolds!!,so get your entries in fast!!.
The 1st round of the 2010 Hewitt National XC Championship got off to a cracking start at Chavenage Farm near Tetbury on Sunday 21st February. Overnight snow had dusted the fields with a light frosting. The sun shone but the air was cold. The Midwest team mate of Ollie Moyce & Jamie Paget had organised a training session the day before & their first job on Sunday morning was to chip the frozen mud off their wheels. Despite heavy snow in the North, Craig Reynolds & Lewis Belfield had slogged their way down to ride at Midwest for the first time.
By the 11.00am, 208 riders were signed on & grouped in 7 ranks on the start line. As the flag dropped, Dave Nuttall whipped up his ktm to take the holeshot ahead of Aaran Poolman on his 09 Husaberg. In the slick conditions, the grass cambers of the opening mile were treacherous & by the 3rd corner Aaron had taken the lead. Jack Twentyman led of the Expert Vets away with Marcus Barnes close behind. Other Shooters were: Clubman 2T Robert Macfarlane, Clubman 4T Freddie Davis, Vets Kevin Butcher, Sports 4T Michael Jones.
The Chavenage course runs for 6 miles around a picturesque Gloucestershire valley & this year it will be the venue for the British Enduro Sprint Championship & a round of the ACU Hare & Hounds Championship. With such a busy schedule COC Simon Molter opted for a faster flowing course that would help to conserve the ground. From the start the riders skirted 4 fields before entering the first of 2 woods. There was less of the snaking through the trees than last year but there was a big hill. It presented a challenge but it's gravel base held up well. Darren Wheeler (left Martino) made short work of the climb but it gave a few riders a warming work out. They then skirted more fields before dropping down into the valley to cross the stream by the bridge. Turning into a wide pasture the course invited the competitive to wind open the throttle but there was still a bit ice about & several riders simply kept on turning & turning.
The course then climbed the steep side of the valley & entered the 2nd wood. At this point the marking clearly directed the riders along last year's easy route but an Expert Vet suffered a bit of memory loss & forgot why he was there. He took a shortcut up the old hard route. By the 2nd lap a couple of logs blocked the route as a reminder. Halfway around the 1st lap, Lewis Belfield's gearbox selector failed while he was running in 3rd. Fortunately the KB Racing team carry a full set of spares so Lewis could carry on.
As the bikes & riders flashed through the dappled light beneath the trees, the spectators gathered at the finish. Lap scoring was by transponder & there were 2 channels. The first through was Ollie Moyce (right JS) ahead of Aaran Poolman, Jason Fraser & Jamie Paget. The leading group were 30 seconds ahead of Dave Nuttall who slipped coming out of the gate & Premier team mate Rich Warner collided with him. Ian Francis pitted early with a loose plug. Kevin Bartlett snapped his chain on the start line. Tyson Maytom-Jones wrote off his Airoh helmet on a low branch. For Tyson most branches fit neatly into the low category. Dan Beavan & Ben Shuttleorth both retired with a snapped head bolts. James Blanch's clutch lever was jamming against his light switch assembly. James' solution was to have a fag. Neville Goodman was still nursing a hand injury he picked up in South Africa which would to be too much for him on the day. On lap 2 Derek Bawn dropped off the radar. He lost an hour getting back into race & he did very well clock up 9 laps. Matt Ridgway's dad John had 3 family members to support. His nephew Sam Tucker had been playing rugby the day before & he started the day with more bumps & bruises than most riders finished with. The close racing in the wet meant that mud became a problem for both the bikes & the riders. It clogged the rads & splattered their goggles.
By the halfway point the sun had begun to work it's magic & the course began to dry. The Chavenage course is very compact & a good crowd had turned out to support the riders. Ollie Moyce held onto the lead, closely followed by Jason Fraser but with less than 30 minutes to go Jason's new Suzuki ran out of petrol. He had only had the bike for 3 days & he wasn't too sure of the capacity. Ollie Moyce went on to take the overall win. He had enough of a lead to stop for a splash & dash on his last lap. Jamie Paget (right Martino) clocked in for his final lap with a half a minute lead over Darren Wheeler in 3rd. Jamie did well to get so much out of his Husaberg 570 in such slick conditions. Unfortunately he did not complete the last lap. Darren Wheeler was 2nd & Rich Warner was 3rd. Manchester Xtreme's Craig Reynolds had a worthwhile journey in 4th & Dave Nuttall pick himself up to finish 5th. Despite losing his gear selector Lewis Belfield finished 6th with 12 laps. Aaran Poolman finished in 7th His fastest time was only 1second slower than the winner's. Tyson Mayton-Jones nudged his way into 8th with one eye on the clock & one eye on the rapidly approaching Jeremy Box. Jack Twentyman won the Expert Vets ahead of Marcus Barnes. Aaran Wells was the best Clubman 2t & Pete King was the runner up. Freddie Davis led the Clubman 2t from the start to the finish. Mark Hamblin was the runner up. Kevin Barnes won the Vets ahead of Darren Jones. Sam Hoskins & Mike Ridgway both clocked up 9 laps in the Sports 2t & Macej Devdzy was the best Sports 4t as well as the worst selection possible in Scrabble.
After the event Ollie Moyce said that he hadn't had the best of starts & he had struggled with arm pump on the first few laps but it was probably the same for everyone. Once the course began to dry out he really enjoyed the ride & he was looking forward to a cheeseburger at the finish. Sadly the crowds had eaten all the buns.
Photos available from Jack Stringer
NB This report has been amended after correction to the provisional results.
With ground conditions already saturated and yet more rain expected, most riders entered for the final round of the Hewitt National XC Championship probably expected to instead have a day off and endure taking the wife/girlfriend shopping!!. Not so though, as the organising Midwest MCC again displayed their determination to keep the punters happy by deciding to go ahead with the event. Held at a new venue at Ditteridge in Wiltshire and taking into account the very wet going, Midwest thoughtfully went about plotting a four mile circuit which was to cater for riders of all abilities. The careful planning enabled a majority of the entry to not only complete the three hour marathon but also enjoy a good old day of mud plugging, the only problem spot being a climb out of a wooded section which with the event reaching the one hour mark had to be cut out. This decision was to actually prove to be pivotal in the outcome of the Expert contest eventually won by Darren Wheeler but more of that later!!.
So with the expected rain somehow thankfully bypassing the Ditteridge area and a strong breeze beginning to very slowly dry the extremely sticky going, it was time for blast off although for Wheeler it was a disaster. As the flagged dropped his Yamaha refused to immediately fire into life thus leaving him in last spot and already having to chase the disappearing pack. By the completion of a mud splattered lap one though Wheeler had remarkably already recovered back to 4th spot behind leader Rich Warner (right), Derek Bawn and Jeremy Box. Just one circuit later and Wheeler was out in front and there he remained until lap and that above mentioned change in route direction. Whilst Darren was mastering a steep muddy climb littered with fallen riders and holding a comfortable 38 seconds lead, officials then decided to cut out the slippery section. This sudden route alteration enabled the chasing Tyson Maytom-Jones (top) and Warner to not only catch but also pass a surprised Wheeler. Having one of his best rides of the season, Maytom-Jones then maintained the race leadership until his Husaberg mysteriously lost all of its water. Stopping to investigate the problem, Jones was now to be replaced at the front by Warner although rapidly Wheeler was fighting back.In a very tight finish, Warner thought he had taken the win but following a rightful protest from Wheeler following the earlier course changing incident, the latter was reinstated as the victor of the contest. Having his first ride since the ISDE in sunny, Portugal, Midwest team rider Ollie Moyce took an eventual 3rd spot with Bawn 4th,Keith Jenkins 5th and Jones nursing his bike home for a hard earned 6th.
In the Veteran Experts contest at Ditteridge, Gary Baker was in great form, leading from start to finish and completing a total of 18 laps,two more than 2nd and 3rd place finishers Marcus Barnes and Terry Beecham. If Baker's victory was rather clear cut, the outcome of the Veterans class was an awful lot tighter. Eventual winner Toby Bevan,
Tony Hobbs, Paul Hoskins, Stuart Jones and Garry Price all completed 13 muddy laps. Although Hobbs led the early exchanges and recorded the fastest lap time, Bevan took control on lap two, his victory margin being nearly three minutes.
On his 125cc KTM, Nathan Etheridge was in supreme form at Ditteridge, leading the Clubman 2T contest from start to finish, in the process also recording the fastest time and completing two more laps than runner-up Ricky Sage. At the chequered flag, Sage had managed 15 laps, a total matched by Richard Multon, Neil Pettit and Keith Jones. In a super finish to this class, remarkably just over one single minute separated Sage, Multon and Pettit.
Although Josh Wyatt not only led the opening two circuits of the Clubman
4T contest ahead of Grant Churchward and Wayne Partington and also
recorded the quickest lap time,he was not to be the eventual victor of
this particular class.That honour was to go to Churchward who completed
a total of 16 laps,one better than runner-up Partington.
Eventual Sportsman 4T winner Scott King set a blistering pace right
from the off and had already forged a four minute advantage over James
Heath and Sean Smith on completion of lap one. King then went onto also
record the fastest lap time nearly two minutes quicker than the next
best Niki Richardson. So on completion, King had chalked up a total of 13
laps with Smith on 11 and 3rd placed James Tucker on 10.
Standerwick on the Wiltshire/Somerset border, another part of the vast Longleat estate, was the venue selected to host round 5 of the 2009 National Hewitt XC Championship on Sunday. The predominantly tight, technical woodland circuit ,cleverly plotted by the organising Midwest MCC and with the going rather on the soft side, was to produce a super test for all competing riders and a very exciting finish in the Experts class. After three hours of entertaining XC action, Matt Ridgway (above) was just 31 seconds ahead of a very determined Rich Warner in a contest which had seen the lead change hands on several occasions.
From the off it was though Warner aboard his KTM machine who grabbed the holeshot to lead the way ahead of Darren Wheeler, Ridgway, Neil Thomas and Derek Bawn. Lap two and Ridgway was now in control until an enforced fuel stop eventually handed the advantage over to Wheeler. Any hopes though that Wheeler held of claiming another Hewitt victory were to be dashed on lap eight when his Yamaha's radiator hose worked loose. Losing some fifteen minutes on the leading pack, Wheeler was relegated back to 6th spot, a full lap down on the leading quartet of Ridgway, Warner, Bawn and Steve Biddle. In a frantic race to the finish, Warner then inserted heavy pressure on Ridgway, but the accomplished young Suzuki rider remained composed to take the hard-earned win.
In the Veteran Experts class, the leading trio of Alastair Bramwell, Robert Sewell and Stuart Keedwell all completed a total of 13 laps. After holding a four seconds lead from lap one, Bramwell pretty much dominated proceedings all the way to the flag and finished just over nine minutes ahead of Sewell with Keedwell a further two minutes in arrears. Once again, Midwest MCC also promoted a class for Clubman Veteran riders with victory going to Trev Child. Aboard his 125cc GasGas, Trev remarkably finished a full lap ahead of Graham Reid, Terry Hoskins, Glenn Woodland, Garry Price and Stuart Jones.
Another GasGas pilot taking victory on the day was Clubman 2T rider
Ricky Sage. In the three hours, Sage along with Neil Pettit, Peter Kyte
and Richard Multon all completed a total of 13 laps. Although on the
opening lap Sage found himself chasing early leader Kyte, he patiently
waited before eventually taking control on his sixth circuit. At the
flag, Ricky was just under two minutes ahead of eventual runner-up
Petitt. In Clubman 4T,winner Grant Churchward was in super form,
finishing a full lap ahead of runner-up Wayne Partington and 3rd placed
The event was held in Norridge Wood in the shadow of Clay Hill part of the Longleat estate near Warminster. The Midwest team had laid out a superb course mostly in the woods where the many drainage ditches kept riders concentrated along with the tree stumps and roots and not using the fire roads there was no rest for riders .
Late entry Tom Sager along with his father Paul both winning there class which added a lot of interest for the many spectators Tom spending time signing posters and having his photo taken with his supporters. With the temperature souring the race started at 11.00 o'clock with the 200 riders facing a tough 3 hour race with the course changing as the race progressed it became very unpredictable with most experts having one or more falls. First class away the Experts saw Steve Grimshaw and Rich Warner arrived at the first corner together, 1st Tom Sager 16laps, 2nd Darren Wheeler,3rd Rich Warner, 4th Derick Bawn 15 laps, 5th Anthony Dean.
Next away the Vets EXP. Alistair Bramwell got the hole shot followed by James Browning and Dave Potts, 1st Gary Baker 15laps, 2nd Alistair Bramwell, 3rd David Grimshaw, 4th Dave Potts 14 laps, 5th Lewie Davie.
Clubman 2t Fredie Davies got to the corner first with Bebjamin Wyles right on his back wheel followed by Trevor Jones, 1st Nathen Etheridge15 laps, 2nd Trev Jones 14 laps. 3rd Peter Kyte, 4th Benjamin Wyles, 5th Neil Pettit,
Clubman 4t Simon Evens and Stuart Davy Fought side by side from the line right into the corner with Andy Chub close behind. 1st Grant Churchwood 14 laps, 2nd Jason Webb, 3rd Mathew Lefever, 4th Asa Hurly, 5th Simon Evens,
The Veteran class saw the most closely fought start with three riders together in line at the first corner Ian Griffiths Tony Hobbs and Paul Sager, 1st Paul Sagar 14 laps, 2nd Tony Hobbs 13 laps, 3rd Trev Child, 4th Glen Woodland, 5th Garry Clark,
The sportsman 2t Dan Price was the clear leader off the line, 1st Dan Price 14laps, 2nd Robert Dixon 13 laps, 3rd Robert Lees, 4th Scott Thompson 12laps, 5th Thomas Janikowsi,
The sportsman 4st A spectacular arrival at the corner by Nicholas Keen with back wheel off the ground with feet up at seat height standing on his arms nearly gaining control before colliding with James Tucker then falling off, 1st Scot King 13 laps, 2nd James Tucker, 3rd Kevin Parker 12 laps, 4th Steve Chesterton, 5th Tom Aston,
Expert class winner Tom Sager said he enjoyed the event and the woods were good but the ground became very unpredictable as the roots became exposed ,
Full results on Midwest website along with over 2000 photos of the event.
Next Event Round 5 26th July
After having to cancel their May event through the landowner withdrawing permission at the last minute, the Midwest team upped their effort by putting in a lot of work to produce a top class course & adding another mile of more technical going which extended the lap time from 14 minutes at the last event to 18 minutes for the fast riders. Darren Wheeler (left) won the event completing 10 laps in the 3 hours. He was some distance in front of the next 3 riders: Keith Jenkins, Rich Warner and Tyson Mayton-Jones (below), all 3 of whom battled hard for the runner up award right to the end of the race.
Matt Ridgway had a day when nothing went right for him. His bike refused to start & he was last away in his class but he had overtaken all but four riders before they entered the first wooded section and at the end of the opening lap he arrived at the clock in first place. Unfortunately it was then he realised that he wasn't wearing his tag so he had to run 400 meters to the van, collect his tag, run back & clock before setting off after Darren..Matt caught him three laps later and both refuelled within sight of each other at the half way point but two laps later Matts race ended on a steep down hill section. A root flipped the back wheel sideways throwing Matt off the bike which continued to make its own way down the hill. When Matt picked the bike up the throttle cables had been ripped from the throttle assembly.
All classes were fiercely contested keeping the large crowd entertained. Many gathered around the river crossing in the hot sunshine as the riders struggled to climb the wet bank.
Results: 1st Darren Wheeler 10 laps 2nd Keith Jenkins 10 laps 3rd Rich Warner 10 laps 4th Tyson Mayton-Jones (right) 10 laps 5th Derek Bawn 10 laps 6th Jeremy Box 10 laps
Next event 14th June at Twinhow
The unusually warm early spring weather continued to shine on the first round of the Hewitt National Cross Country Championship on Sunday 22nd March at Chavenage Farm near Tetbury. There was no need for an alarm as the morning chorus sang out at 5.30am. In the clear blue sky above, the silver undersides of jets at the tip of their jetstreams were lit by the before dawn sun like falling stars. While below the stars of the Enduro world descended on Gloucester at the start of a perfect day
The land at Chavenage adjoins an airstrip which gave the 300 riders plenty of room for to park. The 7 mile lap consisted 2 blocks of deciduous woodland with tight twists & turns on the side of a gently sloping valley linked with fast open going for over taking. The ground was in perfect condition.
The Championship & Experts were combined into a 50 strong single class. The start was at 11.00am. With dead engines the 2 strokes were quickest away. Jeremy Box on a KTM took the holeshot from Dave Nuttal. Matt Ridgway in 3rd was "Box"ed in but by the second corner he had taken the lead. Hans Kaashoek led away experts veterans. In the Clubman 2T class Trevor took the hole shot & in the Clubman 4T class it was #291. Asa Hurley had a shot at a few spectators when he had to swerve to avoid a fallen Richard Cox & he went through the tape. Richard wasn't the only rider to take a soil sample away from the first corner. Several riders were deceived by the fresh shoots of spring grass. Tony Hobbs led away the Vets. Andy Stagg was the last rider away as his chain snapped on the line & he had to replace it. Sportsman Joshua Fusco's KTM retired on the line when a head bolt blew. Jack Baber's first race started badly when his clutch seal developed a leak on the way to scrutineering & he became an unwilling spectator.
The crowds attention then turned towards the finish line & at the end of the opening lap it was Midwest sponsored rider Ollie Moyce on a Husaberg 450fe who was the first to arrive at the control. Matt Ridgway arrived a moment later & slotted into the second gate. Each rider worn a transponder wristband. Ollie missed his first swipe & Matt retook the lead. For the next ninety minutes Matt & Ollie carved their way through the field. Young Scott Clifford's 16th birthday celebrations came to abrupt end when he hit a tree & ripped a hose but with a recent win in the youth class at Stourport he has a bright future. Marcus Barnes lost the end of his exhaust & retired noisily. David Lean also retired after a sudden shortage of rear wheel spokes.
There were a couple of big hills on the inward half of the lap. One had it's own less steep bypass. Ian Clark overcooked his Gasgas 300 & looped out with enough force to snap his bars. Sportsman James Tucker snapped his brake lever but he had a spare in the van. Julian Crimp lost time when he stopped to assist an injured rider but he had a good ride at Reading's Chairman's Chase on the previous day so he was philosophical.
Race leaders Ollie Moyce & Matt Ridgway (right) were on a one fuel stop strategy & at the halfway stage Matt was first into pits & Ollie arrived a moment later. For safety reasons Midwest ban any outside assistance in the refuelling area. Unfortunately lifting a fast filler full of a petrol whilst sitting on a bike can be tricky & Ollie lost his balance. He fell into a jumble of tools & was pinned under his bike. Matt got away cleanly but he also had his problems in the woods & dropped time after colliding with a back marker. With forty minutes to go Ollie had a 60 second lead but Matt was closing & as the 2 riders started their final lap Matt took the leading. Riding on their limit both riders crashed. Matt burnt his arm on his exhaust & wrote off his helmet. Ollie got away with less damage & took the win by 14 secs from Matt. 2008 Champion Darren Wheeler was 3rd. Gary Baker on a Husaberg won the Expert Veterans ahead of Jack Twentyman. Nathan Etheridge was the best 2T Clubman from Pete King. Wayne Partington won the 4T Clubman ahead of Jason Webb. Roger Billam was the best Vet from Tony Hobbs. Richard Cox who crashed on the first corner picked himself up & finished 7th in his class.
After the race Ollie & Matt stopped to congratulated each other on what was for the spectators a gripping spectacle. Ollie said "I really enjoyed the race & I'm glad to have won but I wish Matt hadn't made it such hard work". Matt was also pleased with his performance but he required hospital treatment for his burnt arm & he may be unable to compete again for a week or two.
Before the race Matt Ridgway's dad commented - as a relative newcomer to Enduro from the world of MX - how pleasant & helpful everyone had been. As a first time visitor to a Midwest event myself I would like to say how pleasant & helpful the Midwest crew were. The entries will be filling up quickly for round 2 on April 19th.
Photos available from Jack Stringer
DVDs from Alan Campbell of Zebedi
Postscript Thanks to Midwest Racing for the loan of their new Husaberg 450fe. Ollie Moyce said everything there is to say about the bikes potential by winning the race. It was nimble in the woods & a rocket on the straights. My memory of the 80s Husabergs was of great lumps of metal waiting for a tow. It was a 'berg that sank the Titanic. But the combination of Swedish innovation & Austria manufacturing over the past 10 years has revolutionised the marque to produce a worthy challenger to the new BMW G450X. The 450fe can be hooked up to a computer & I think the kind people at Midwest had programmed the course into it for me because the bike knew exactly where to go & precisely how to get there. I particularly like to revolutionary adhesive that the bike has been coated in. From the moment I sat on it I was glued to it. Thanks also to Martin Harding. At 64, Martino is a testament to the life affirming benefits of off road riding.
5th at Midwest Bradley King's report
I did my first race for the Midwest club today on what was a very good varied track at chavenage NR tetbury. the weather was spot on leaving a hard pack surface through the fields and wood. the front row was packed out with there not being a championship class we were mixed in with the experts. i got a top 10 start but struggled to make up the places and the first four of Matt Ridgeway, Ollie Moyce, Darren wheeler and rich Warner pulled loads of time on me as i ended lap1 in 7th. i tried to make up the places before my pit stop at the hour and a half mark i was 5th and a long way behind 4th placed rich. i got my head down and managed to gain time each lap and was under a minute behind rich but he got through just in time to make another lap and the flag dropped just as i came round. if i had made another lap it woulda been close. i was disappointed with my result as i was hoping for at least a top 3 but i rode well in the second half and still felt fit and strong at the end. next week i will be preparing for gbxc and the french uem round.
Brad king - enduro and hare scrambles on GAS GAS UK EC250 - www.freewebs.com/bradking25 - supported by K4OFFROAD, TALON, STEVE PLAIN M/CS, MICHELIN, GAERNE, NAU, RENTHAL, MOTUL, KRIEGA, ROGERSHILL RACEWAY AND RUSH RACING.
In an incredible conclusion to the 2008 Hewitt National XC Championship, Gary Baker, Derry Millin
g and Darren Wheeler all entered the final round of the series at Blackdog Woods, Chapmanslade with a mathematical chance of winning the Experts title. Within two dramatic laps though, it was to be all over for the unfortunate Milling after a heavy crash resulted in a broken leg, get well soon Derry !!. So it was now a two-way shootout instead between series leader Baker and Midwest Racing supported Wheeler. In the race to the flag, Wheeler was to be the victor completing eleven laps during the three hour blast whilst Baker finished one lap down in 4th spot.
Yet again proving that XC riders are the 'toughest' breed of off-road competitors, a 200 plus strong entry braved rain, sleet and even snow in the bitterly cold conditions and help wrap up another superb Hewitt series. At just after 11 o'clock it was the Experts class who led the charge into the dense Blackdog Woods and thus begin the first of their five mile long laps. On the conclusion of that hectic opening circuit it was Wheeler who appeared first aboard his Midwest Husaberg and despite briefly losing his advantage for three laps to Rob Pollard, he was to regain his leadership and earn the eventual win, a full lap ahead. Critically though both Pollard and Tom Smith both finished ahead of Baker. With a riders best seven results from the eight Hewitt rounds counting towards the final championship standings, Wheeler just edged out Baker by a very tight one point !!.
In the Veterans Experts class, Alastair Bramwell required just six points to mathematically take the Hewitt title, his closest challenger being Jerry Adams. Although it was to be Ade Dark who took the win on the day, Bramwell kept his composure to produce a great ride. Keeping Dark in his sights, Bramwell matched Dark's nine lap total finishing seven minutes down at the flag in 2nd spot. With Terry Beecham, Hans Kaashoek and Stuart Keedwell also in the frame, Adams finished down in 16th spot, completing three laps. Earlier in the contest, Marcus Barnes had been well in contention for a top six slot until retiring on lap eight.
With the Clubman 2T title already in the bag, Ben Roberts was a non-starter at Chapmanslade so it was his closest challenger Seb Dexter (left) who was to take the win on Sunday. Completing eight laps,a total also matched by Dean Reed, Triss Ball, Anthony Rymer and Andy Howes it was to be a race to the finish. At the flag, Dexter was some twelve minutes clear of Reed and Ball, whilst less than a minute separated Rymer in 4th and Howes 5th.
Over in Clubman 4T,series leader Tyson Maytom-Jones required 18 points to earn the title. Having already proved victorious in six of the earlier rounds, Maytom-Jones must have been in confident mood on Sunday, however his hopes of success were then dealt a worrying blow on just the opening lap of the contest when he picked up a rear-wheel puncture .With the tyre coming off its rim, the Husaberg rider (right) remarkably managed to somehow nurse his machine back to the parc-ferme. Following a quick change of rear-wheel, Maytom-Jones still managed to complete the event in a remarkable 2nd spot behind his main rival Gary Syms. Also recording a total of eight laps in this group was Matt Dark, but it was a relieved Maytom-Jones who was to take the championship win.
Having already secured the Hewitt Veterans crown, Guy Mansfield-Smith wrapped his 2008 campaign in style with another win at Chapmanslade. At the conclusion he was to be just over two minutes ahead of Robert Shore after both riders had managed a total of eight laps. Two circuits down and hotly disputing 3rd spot in this class was James Browning, Stuart Jones and David Johnson.
In the well supported Sportsman 2T class, Paul Jones had already wrapped up his Hewitt title, so was a non-starter at Chapmanslade. In his absence, Daniel Hosznyak scored a convincing win, one full lap ahead of Dale Hall, Jeff Cripps, Lee Neale, David Mears, Daniel Price, Darren Vincent and Robert McFarlane. Likewise over in Sportsman 4T,the Hewitt champion John Bradley was a non-starter. So it was Glenn Woodland,a previous winner at Ston Easton who was first past the winning post some five minutes ahead of Garry Price.
More new venues and professional organisation, always catering for riders of all abilities, resulted in bumper entries and a great Hewitt XC series in 2008.See you all in 2009 when the forward thinking Midwest MCC will be also introducing classes for the up and coming XC youth riders.
FINAL HEWITT CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
After ten laps of the latest Hewitt National Cross-Country championship round at Midford, near Bath on Sunday, Expert rider Darren Wheeler (left) appeared all set to record another victory. Leading the contest, Wheeler was forced to eventually retire from proceedings after losing his Husaberg oil breather pipe. Despite his frustration, the Midwest supported rider did gain some consolation though by taking home a trophy donated in memory of Nick Phillips who just a year earlier had been tragically killed in a farming accident. The trophy was awarded to the rider posting the fastest lap of the day, with Wheeler recording a time of 8 minutes 44 seconds on his sixth circuit.
With Midford another new venue in 2008,the forward thinking, ambitious Midwest MCC organisers were rewarded yet again by a bumper entry. At just after 11 o'clock, the Experts led the charge up the hill and onto the fast flowing, grassy track. Quickly Wheeler took control only to be halted by that afore mentioned mechanical gremlin. In his absence Gary Baker completed a grand total of 19 laps to earn a deserved win and the top award, one circuit ahead of Jeremy Box, Derek Bawn, Derry Milling and Neil Thomas who were separated by just 2 minutes 37 seconds.
In the Clubman 2T class, Ben Roberts produced a stunning performance to finish a full two laps ahead of his closest rivals. Triss Ball was to eventually take the runners-up slot over three minutes ahead of Seb Dexter. The next three riders all completed a total of 15 laps with Stuart David the fastest ahead of Simon Prideaux and Richard Multon. Over in the Clubman 4T class, Tyson Maytom-Jones recorded another victory chased hard by Jason Webb. Although Webb posted the fastest lap time in this class, he was nearly three and a half minutes behind Jones at the chequered flag.
Sportsman 4T resulted in victory for Paul Jones, a full lap ahead of Troy Webb, Jeff Cripps, Wayne Tibbles and Benjamin Wyles who all completed 15 circuits. In a tight finish to the Sportsman 2T battle at Midford, John Bradley, Colin Smith and Garry Price all recorded a total of 14 laps. In the chase to the chequered flag, Bradley was to be the victor, just over four minutes better than Smith. There was also close finishes in both Veterans classes at Midford. In the Experts group Alastair Bramwell, Jerry Adams, Gary McCoy and Marcus Barnes were the leading group. Although Adams posted the fastest lap time,he was still 1 minute 37 seconds behind Bramwell when the finish flag eventually dropped. Guy Mansfield-Smith, Andrew Taylor and Robert Shore disputed the Veterans honours on Sunday, enjoying fifteen laps of the grassy going. Taking the eventual victory was Mansfield-Smith some 1 minute 9 seconds better than Taylor with Shore in 3rd.
RESULTS HEWITT NATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP (ROUND 4)
Regardless of the terrain, three hours of non-stop cross-country racing is a severe test of endurance for any competitor and machine. So, throw in a challenging seven mile lap and scorching temperatures and that battle to reach the finish line also becomes a stern examination of a riders physical and mental strength. At Chavenage on Sunday during round three of the Hewitt National cross-country championship, an event again superbly promoted by the Midwest MCC, the heat was to be further increased by the appearance of top enduro rider Daryl Bolter (above) and Chris Tett.
Despite the welcome inclusion of Bolter and Tett, Midwest Racing supported rider Darren Wheeler (right) was looking for an hat-trick of Expert class wins and he made a fantastic start to Sunday's event, and by the completion of the first seven mile blast had already forged a big early advantage with Bolter in tow. From here onwards a superb contest developed as the lead changed hands following required fuel stops. With just two laps remaining, the gallant Wheeler's challenge was then effectively destroyed by a fall. Remounting and quickly firing his Husaberg back to life, he still managed to take 2nd spot a clear eight minutes ahead of Chris Tett with Rich Warner 4th,Gary Baker 5th and Derek Bawn 6th.
In the Experts class for Veteran riders, the first ten riders home at Chavenage all completed a total of nine laps. So, the verdict was decided by who was the quickest to the chequered flag. First man home was Marcus Barnes who after a full three hours of competition held a remarkably slender advantage of just 11 seconds ahead of runner-up Alastair Bramwell. Winner of round two of the Hewitt series, Jerry Adams, finished a further 2 minutes 25 seconds down on Bramwell and thus earn a very determined 3rd place finish.
Clubman two-stroke racing saw victory go to Seb Dexter. Like the Veteran Experts, speed was to be the deciding factor as the first eight riders home all completed nine laps. Dexter finished Sunday's event 2 minutes 34 seconds clear. In a couple of very tight scraps to the finish line, Ben Roberts beat Matthew Woodham, the winner at Chavenage during round one back in February, by just 8 seconds for the runners-up slot whilst a narrow 6 seconds separated Dane Palmer and Nerys Williams in 4th and 5th positions.
Sunday's event saw Midwest Racing supported Tyson Maytom-Jones record his third victory of the series in the Clubman four-stroke class. However his march to victory was far from comfortable after he suffered an early scare on lap one, bending his gear lever. Undeterred, Maytom-Jones (left) along with Gary Sims, Wayne Partington and David Fowler all completed nine laps. At the finish, Tyson eventual winning margin was to be just over three minutes.
All of the leading riders in the Veteran class at Chavenage managed a total of 8 laps. Taking victory in another extremely tight contest was Husaberg mounted Robert Shore, just 16 seconds in front of James Browning. Completing the top five in this class was Guy Mansfield-Smith, David Johnson and Pat Poole.
Over in the always well supported Sportsman classes, victory went to Jeff Cripps and John Bradley respectively. Sportsman two-stroke winner Cripps held a 3 minute 19 seconds advantage over Paul Jones. In the Sportsman four-stroke competition, whilst Bradley took the win, his closest challengers also completing eight hot Chavenage laps proved to be Stephen Walker, Garry Price, Nathan Kennedy and Andy Chubb.
RESULTS HEWITT NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY SERIES Rd3
EXPERTS 1 Daryl Bolter 2 Darren Wheeler 3 Chris Tett 4 Rich
Warner 5 Gary Baker 6 Derek Bawn.
At the beginning of 2008,the Midwest MCC promised to introduce new venues for their Hewitt National Cross Country championship. So keeping to their word, virgin land at Ston Easton in Somerset was selected for round two of the current series although typically the unpredictable British weather did its very best to ruin proceedings. Following persistent rain during both the previous day and overnight, ground conditions were left rather soggy in both the pits area and out on track. However the Midwest MCC are a very determined bunch, and refusing to admit defeat they decided to proceed with Sunday's event, a move which to prove totally correct as raceday was to be blessed by pleasant warm, sunny and most importantly, dry weather.
Although the saturated terrain, featuring plenty of open blasts along cambered banks, uphill turns and a ride through a fast flowing stream claimed many victims on the opening laps, the top Expert riders made a fast start. Indeed before the traffic became congested and the ruts axle deep, the eventual top five riders, Darren Wheeler (right), Derry Milling, Rich Warner, Jeremy Box and Gary Baker all recorded the fastest lap time of the day on the opening circuit. Aboard his Midwest Racing supported Husaberg, Wheeler, the round one winner, was again to be victorious completing 13 laps, a total matched by both Milling and Warner. At the finish, Wheeler's winning margin was to be just over three minutes.
In the Veteran Expert class, winner Jerry Adams finished one full lap ahead of his closest rivals Marcus Barnes, David Lote, Stuart Keedwell, Alastair Bramwell and Gerald Poole. In the battle for 2nd place, Barnes was a clear seven minutes in front of his challenging pack.
Mitch Pearce produced an incredible performance in the Clubman 2T class at Ston Easton, completing 12 laps which was a full two more circuits than runner-up Ben Roberts. In a tight tussle to the chequered flag, Roberts was to be just a minute ahead of Andy Howes whilst a slender 43 seconds separated the next four riders, Jez Dance, Peter Kyte, Seb Dexter and Gary Taylor. Completing a great day for the Midwest Racing team, Tyson Maytom-Jones was the top Clubman 4T rider at Ston Easton. Leading the contest from start to finish, Maytom-Jones was a full lap ahead of two incredibly tight battles. Kye Banks beat Gary Sims by just 24 seconds for the runner-up slot whilst David Fowler outgunned Adrian Francis by 28 seconds for 4th spot.
Over in Sportsman 2T,Benjamin Wyles, Jeff Cripps, Paul Jones, Wayne Tibbles and Daniel Hosznyak all completed nine laps. At the flag, Wyles was nine minutes ahead of runner-up Cripps. In the battle for Sportsman 4T honours, John Bradley, Scott King and Colin Smith were locked together on 8 laps completed. Whilst Bradley took the win some twelve minutes ahead of his rivals, King just edged out Smith for the right to be runner-up.
In the final Ston Easton class and completing another super Midwest MCC promotion, Guy Mansfield-Smith was top Veteran, just over a minute ahead of Stephen Milling whilst David Johnson took 3rd.Round three of the Hewitt National cross country championship is due to take place on Sunday, May 11th.
RESULTS HEWITT NATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP Rd2
EXPERTS 1 Darren Wheeler 2 Derry Milling 3 Rich Warner 4
Jeremy Box 5 Gary Baker 6 Derek Bawn.
Following a heavy overnight frost which had seen temperatures drop to minus 6 centigrade, Conditions were decidedly slippery for the opening round of the 2008 Hewitt National Cross-Country series at Chavenage on Sunday. Whilst the wooded sections remained frozen, the open fields slowly started to thaw and it was not until well past the halfway mark of the three hour blast that the going started to improve. Right from the off,the cambered downhill corners saw numerous riders parting company with their machines. Giving a clear indication of just how tricky the early stages were, eventual Experts class winner Darren Wheeler aboard his Midwest Racing supported Husaberg posted an opening lap time of 28 minutes,25 seconds.
Eventually, Darren (left) was to complete a total of 9 laps of the seven mile circuit, a total matched by all of the leading to six riders in the Experts class. At the finish, Darren the 2007 Hewitt championship runner-up had reduced his lap times by over ten minutes. When the chequered flag fell, Wheeler was seven minutes ahead of Chris Dustow with Rich Warner 3rd,Dave Nuttall (right) 4th,Gary Baker 5th and Neil Thomas 6th. In the Clubman 2T class, the top four of Matthew Woodham, Martin Hillman, Ben Roberts and Peter Kyte all completed a total of eight laps. Woodham's eventual winning margin was just over three minutes.
Over in the Clubman 4T action, the top three of Tyson Mayton-Jones (left), Mark Saunders and Wayne Partington also recorded a total of eight laps during their three hours of competition. At the finish Mayton-Jones was a clear eleven minutes ahead with Saunders a further one minute plus in front of Partington.
Aboard his GasGas machine, Paul Jones was a convincing winner of the Sportsman 2T class at Chavenage. Jones finished a full lap ahead of runner-up Daniel Hosznyak who in turn just edged out 3rd placed Shaun Street by a very narrow ten seconds. Whilst Stephen Walker topped the Sportsman 4T class, the battle for 2nd place was very tight with just one minute forty seconds separating John Bradley, Lee Burgess and Nathan Kennedy.
The new class in the 2008 Hewitt championship is for Experts Veteran riders. Taking victory at Chavenage was the 2007 Hewitt Veteran champion Gerald Poole, completing 8 laps, his winning margin being just over one minute ahead of Jerry Adams. With Poole now in the group for Experts, it was Guy Mansfield-Smith who took the win in the other Veterans class. Mansfield-Smith managed 7 laps, a total also matched by James Browning, Paul Hoskins, Andrew Taylor and David Jarman.
RESULTS HEWITT NATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP Rd1
EXPERTS 1 Darren Wheeler 2 Chris Dustow 3 Rich Warner 4 Dave Nuttall 5 Gary
Baker 6 Neil Thomas.