Builth Wells MC
Lee Edmondson wins Cwmowen
Ashley Wood set the fastest first test on his ET James KTM 125.- 2 seconds ahead of Lee Edmondson. On their 2nd test Lee bounced back with an 11 second lead over Yamaha's Dylan Jones. Andrew Edwards defied the techno buffs by setting the 3rd fastest time on the Maico. He would have been in contention if he hadn't dropped the bike on the 3rd test and the old girl stubbornly refused to fire up for a couple of minutes. There were 4 laps for the Championship/Experts with 2 tests back to back at the finish. Lee Edmondson was the overall winner on the Edmondson Racing HM moto. The grassy test broke up as the day progressed and Ashley Wood had a couple of moments to contemplate the breathtaking landscape when the volatile mix of 125 power and loose loam left him sitting in the grass but he was quick to restart and he was a well deserved 2nd. It was good to see Dylan Jones riding and riding so well. He finished 3rd. Gethin Price was unlucky to miss the podium when he dropped 10 seconds on his final test. Dakar bound Tim Forman was 5th.
Shaun Buchan was the best Expert. His overall score of 1227 would have placed him 4th in the Championship class. David Brick was 2nd and Rob Reese was 3rd. Sprint champion Gethin Francombe moved up into the Experts but unfortunately he left his clutch behind him. He did well to finish. Gethin's brother Tommy also did well to finish 5th in his first enduro. David Price was the best Vet. Mark Perrott was the runner up and Peter Lewis was 3rd. Carwyn Davies broke his clutch reservoir. Paul Davies tore a quad muscle in his thigh. In the still misty air the sound carried for hundreds of yards. This was Paul first dnf since a gasgas mechanical in 1999. Peter Lawry was also in the wars when he drifted off the line and got bogged down in the details. All the best to you both for a quick recovery. In the Clubman class Martin - the name is on the shirt - Rowan was the winner. Adam (ET) James was 2rd and Aaron Martin was 3rd. Clublady Katie Walker was 4th. Kevin Buffton accumulated 3800 route points but still kept going to finish which is what it's all about. Well done. Results - Photos
Builth Wells MC's inspired decision to revive their classic open moorland enduro last year on Cwm Owen was recognised this year by it's inclusion in the ET James Welsh Enduro Championship. This helped to attract some top names in the Championship / Expert classes as well as a good entry in the Veteran / Clubman class. The course was a 35 mile figure of eight with two time checks and one special test, all located near the start/ finish area. This made it more enjoyable for the riders pit crews, as there was nearly always a bike to watch around the test. It was a great sight to watch the championship riders going around the grassy test. A good sized entry of just over 80 riders turned up to ride. The weather had been mainly dry on the weeks leading up to the event, which meant the ground was pretty hard and the course was going to be all ride-able.
At !0.00am Gethin Price (above) & KORR Racing's Greg Evans led the field away from the start on the southern loop. Thirty minutes later they were back for the first of their 5 tests. Greg was the last championship rider off the ST line. He had to replace a complete rear braking system before he could start but he still set the fastest time. The flat corners & the loose loamy soil of the Special Test were a real challenge to the riders ability to lay the down without the back end breaking away. The speed and precision they had was superb to watch, and there was only a few seconds separating the riders at the end of each test! There was plenty of time on the time checks for riders to take it easy as the times were very slack. But the constant rough terrain meant that riders were slowly getting worn down as the day went on. There were two road crossings in the event where riders had to get off and dismount. Alan Ryland decided that his wife's KTM 125 was too heavy at one point near the one road crossing. He decided to take a break but then realised his legs were hooked up with the bike. The end result being both rider and machine on the floor with one very dented exhaust pipe! I'd like to be a fly on the wall when he goes home to tell the wife Alison about that one!
On his 3rd test Greg Evan's throttle cable began to fray and he had to replace it. The work took 8 minutes out of a 35 minute allowance but he still cleaned the check and - with all 5 fastest tests - he took the overall win Ashley Wood of Llandrindod Wells on the Steve Plain GasGas was the runner up and Championship leader Edward Jones from Llanidloes was 3rd. Alun Jones set championship times to win the Expert class ahead of Wayne Price of Hundred House. Wayne was having a few problems starting his KTM XC 250f. First his electric start packed up, and then he lost his kick start half way around the lap! Anthony Griffiths took 3rd by less than a second from Robert Reese. Who was that masked stranger in 5th? It was Paul Herbert (right). "Hi Ho Silver away".
Shaun Buchan from Llanbister aboard his KTM XC 200 took the win in the Clubman class from Chris Bailey, with Matt Willey of Llandrindod Wells riding a Gas Gas 250 coming third. The veteran A was won by Paul Davies. Jason Rees was second and Peter Lewis third. The Veteran B was won by Allan Price. Phillip George was second and Nigel Pugh third. Joe Griffin was the winner in the sportsman class. Garry Standon was runner up and David Farmer was third. The majority of the entry finished on gold. Robert Hamilton returned for a second year to give his old PE an airing.
Near the end of the opening lap Ross Morgan crashed into a ditch and he was helicoptered to hospital. Ross's dad Darren was competing in the Vets on a new 2011 KTM 250 & he was hoping to do well but he naturally retired to assist his son. All the best Ross.
Edward Jones still leads the Championship but with Greg Evans missing the Welsh to compete in Europe, he is ahead under the "less 2 " rule.
"A great event, friendly people and probably some of the best open moorland going left to ride. Thanks to the Builth wells club for all the hard work they put in to make this one of the most enjoyable enduros of the year. Again, thank you." Tony Brabazon.
Classic Cwmowen Report by Bob Mullins
This Sunday I loaded up the Kawasaki & traveled back to the 1980s for the return of Builth Wells Mccs Cwmowen Enduro. The first Cwmowen was run in 1981 & in 1983 parts of it were used as the Special test in the ISDE. The Cwmowen with it's big lap run entirely on open moorland was a unique event that attracted all the top riders but in 1994 the complexity of collecting permissions from the graziers became too odious & the event ended.
A great feature of the old Cwmowen was that the start was in a pub. The oak beams were hug with hams & open hearth crackled away winter & summer. Sadly the pub has closed & is now a private dwelling so the start was moved to the top of the hill. The weather was very 1980s with pre-climate change sunshine. The course was a figure of 8 with one check & the Special Test at the centre. The lap was 30+ miles & skirted around the edge of the common where the rain water drains away to form steep sided streams & bogs. The riders had to constantly balance the need to drive on with the knowledge that at any moment something nasty can & will rise up out of the rushes, There were four laps for the Championship & Experts class. 3 laps for the Clubman & Vets. 2.5 laps for the Sportsman. The test was timed by Harry & Jessica Hockley with transponders.
At 10.00am Builth Wells chairman Gethin Price led off Andrew Edwards. Before the start Clerk of the Course Dave Price briefed the riders over the PA. He advised caution & instructed the riders that where arrows formed a gate they must go between them. His words must have been ringing in Jozef Henessy's ears as he wandered off the course & hit a ditch a mile from the start. He did not appeared to be badly injured but the St Johns Ambulance were sufficiently concern to evacuated him by Air Ambulance.
One entrant who needed no advise on riding the Cwmowen was Geriant Jones (right Keith Bowen). Geriant wrote his doctoral thesis on evaluating the moisture content of peat by studying the fauna & there was still plenty of moisture about despite the dry weather.
Andrew Edwards was lying in second when he went over the bars catching his boot on his throttle cable & ripping it out of the carb Jonathan Williams hit a rock in the reeds which broke off his peg & threw him. His back was badly grazed & he retired.
Steven Summers from Morriston lost momentum on a camber while climbing out of a stream. He tried kicking down for a lower gear but found neutral. With his weight on the downside, he toppled into the stream & he was unable to move. Rowan Jones & Warren Slater stopped to assist him but it was decided to wait for the ambulance before attempting to move him.
62 year old Bob Hamilton from Liverpool got in a couple of laps on his 1980 PE 250.
With only 3 Championship riders circulating, Dave Price decided to cancel the last half lap & replace it with 2 tests back to back. One round went to Gethin Price & one round went to Rowan Jones. Gethin (above Mike Davies) was the overall winner. Rowan was the runner up & David Brick was 3rd. Neil Thomas was the best & only Expert finisher.
Geriant Jones won the Over 40 Experts class & Paul Davies from Neath was the runner up. Shaun Buchan was the best Clubman. J.Cripps had to settle for second despite lightening his KTM by disguarding his rear bumper. David Lewis from Llangollen won the Best Over 40 Clubman.
The Cwnowen is more than a race, it is an adventure. The Builth Wells club have made a considerable effort to recovered something precious & we should all show our appreciation. I certainly had a great day.