Ashby de la Zouche
Sunday 4th September
A great course and good weather attracted a large entry to the final round of the GBXC Championship series last Sunday. Utilising the full scope of the Eastern Old Parks Farm venue the Fast Eddy racing crew put on a huge lap that saw even the Pro riders taking over 10 minutes to complete.
Ashby always attracts a good entry and this occasion was no exception. The fast and flowing course utilised freshly cropped stubble fields, plantations and several wooded sections which all together made for a challenging but fast course.
The first race of the day saw an exceptional line-up of Veteran riders. Chris Wagstaffe was in with a chance of securing second in the Veterans class Championship overall as long as he finished ahead of Craig Parkes but he also had to contend with Jason Hope, Ray Whittall, Paul Sagar, Dave Dunne, Pete Benton and last but no least Pete Freeman, father of Brad who was in the same race in the Youth class. It had been a while since Pete had ridden competitively but he had lost none of his speed and lead the race at one point, before his son overtook him on his way to overall victory.
Wagstaffe got off to a great start, stretching quite a lead before the pack even left the first stubble field but Jason Hope and Pete Freeman kept him in sight, as did a handful of other Vet riders. Hope eventually made it to the front of the class although the lead changed hands on several occasions as Wagstaffe charged on to take second in class followed by Freeman Senior in third.
Freeman Junior had overtaken the whole field on his way to winning the race outright. Starting from the last line on the start grid Brad quickly worked his way to the front by lap four and never looked back. Quite an achievement considering the vets started over a minute ahead of him as the race began.
The Youth class title came automatically with his overall race win as Andrew Bull matched Freeman lap for lap although some six minutes behind in second place in the youth section, just ahead of Jack Staines in third spot.
Katie Walker was back on form at the head of a large entry in the Ladies class, taking the win just ahead of Hannah Murray and Jade Gordon, all three on nine laps.
Jamie Callow worked hard for his Sportsman class win and will soon be joining brother Jeremy in the Clubman ranks if his form is anything to go by. He took the win ahead of Adam Glasby and a great ride from Steve Furr who finished third in class.
Alan Stockdale had a hard ride to win the Novice class as Sonny Stewart and Scott Tatchell snapped at his heels for the whole two hours of the race.
By the time the afternoon race started the stubble fields had bermed up nicely and the sun shone as the Pro and Expert riders left the start line.
Fresh from his impressive outing in the Sprint cross event, LPE Kawasaki rider Ryan Voase took to the front of the Pro class and set a tremendously fast pace, using all his MX skills to keep ahead of Tom Sagar in second place. There was no way Voase could maintain such a fast pace for two and a half hours following such a prolonged lay off from racing and eventually Sagar took the lead and never looked back as Midwest racing's Husaberg mounted James Jackman tracked and passed Voase just after the halfway point. Voase retired with dignity having reassured himself that he was still capable of riding with the best. Ben Wootton on his CF Racing Kawasaki 450f was far behind Jackman but suddenly increased his pace to catch and pass him and eventually take second spot behind Sagar. Jackman completed the top three as Frontrow GB team riders Carl Jones and Tim Forman finished off the Pro top five line up.
The Expert class also contained a host of very fast riders and the tussle between Joe Wootton and Derek Bawn lasted for the whole race with CF Racing KX250f mounted Wootton eventually coming out on top. Ross Benton picked up the pace and finished in a solid third ahead of some very quick boys.
The Sheffield massive was out in force and it was Rich Cookland who topped the Clubman 4T class to take the bragging rights home with him, just bating the finish flag to post an extra lap over friend and rival Ryan Armitage in second spot. Ian McMann rode his way into third past a host of regular GBXC Clubman contenders who were all fighting for the final Championship points that were up for grabs.
Luke Williams had sweet revenge over Jeremy Callow following Callow's Sprint Cross success. Williams lead the Clubman 2T class home with Callow less than a minute behind him. Callow had ridden for some time with a rear puncture but nothing should take away from Williams' success. Jane Daniels grabbed third in class ahead of Reece Morewood and Harry Hillier-Rees.
The Ashby event drew this nationwide championship series to a close for another year and proved to be one of the most competitive and hard fought rounds ever staged. It was fast and definitely suited any rider with MX experience but taking into account that the series has run from Devon in the South to Gisburn in the North with a terrific mixture of both technical and fast tracks across the whole series all class winners have proved themselves to be worthy Champions at national level.
Paul Edmondson and the Fast Eddy team must be congratulated for putting on such a quality series of events in all weathers and across all types of terrain throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Next year promises to be even bigger and better. Watch this space.
Racing was fast and furious at Eastern Old Parks Farm, Ashby, over the weekend and competition was so fierce that onlookers may have though these were the opening round of the 2011 GBXC Sprint Cross and GBXC Championship rather than the final rounds.
Fast Eddy and his crew utilised the whole of this huge venue to set out a fast and flowing five minute Sprint Cross course and a fourteen minute GBXC course which saw riders in and out of plantations, woodland sections and ditches all, joined by sweeping stubble-field loops which were bathed in early autumn sunshine for most of the weekend.
BSEC Champion and Fast Eddy Edmondson Racing rider Tom Sagar topped the bill in the Sprint Cross event but didn't have things all his own way as LPE Kawasaki rider Ryan Voase turned out 'just for a ride around'. Voasey has been out of racing for quite a while and thought at one point he would never ride again competitively following a serious injury and prolonged recovery but as soon as he hit the sprint course, it all came flooding back and the race was on!
In the Pro/Expert class Sagar set the fastest times in the five runs during the morning session, closely followed by Voase, but a light lunch and some meditation saw the Kawasaki rider nail the fastest time of the day and win two of the afternoon's five race sessions. He was delighted with his performance and so encouraged that he entered Sunday's GBXC race.
Sagar had built a small lead and his two final runs added to it and he took the day in style by 25 seconds clear of second placed Voase as Sagar's FEER team mate Lee Edmondson took third in class, and the 2011 GBXC Sprint Cross Champions title in the process.
CF Racing Kawasaki mounted Ben Wootton shot into fourth place with an ever improving set of runs, just ahead of Midwest Racing James Jackman whose trip to the ISDE has certainly had benefits as his speed has increased significantly.
Jeremy Callow and Luke Williams were fairly evenly matched in the Clubman class but Callow just edged Williams out by a few seconds on each run which added up to nearly a minute clear by the end of the day with Josh Snowden just 50 seconds adrift in third spot.
The Sportsman class proved to be just as close as the Clubman with Adrian Measures taking the win from Darren Thorpe with Jamie Callow battling his way into the top three in third place. Alan Stockdale stormed the Novice class by a clear three minutes overall on his way to victory with Richard Williams second and Ian Berry in third.
Veteran rider Jason Hope always performs well at Ashby, which is very Motocross orientated, and he gave some indication of what was to come on the following day as he won the Vets, but only by 30-odd seconds from Andy Daniels who took great pleasure in beating daughter Jane around the course on a couple of occasions. Jim Buchanan planted his 350 EXC firmly in third place in this very competitive class.
Brad Freeman revelled in the fast and sweeping course and took the Youth 13-16 class win by nearly two minutes from second placed Jack Staines as Dan Boam rode well to secure third spot.
For the final round of the series, Paul Edmondson added an extra Youth class, Under 13, which was very well attended. Ben Coleman became the first ever class winner followed by a very quick Hannah Murray and then Harry Edmondson in third place.
The Sprint Cross provided an excellent start to the weekend and was well attended by riders across all classes. It provided an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a different type of event and for riders of all abilities to try their hand at Sprinting and was hailed a resounding success by all who rode the event.
GBXC Sprint Cross results
The penultimate rounds of the GBXC Sprint Cross and XC Championship ran last weekend at the magnificent Berwyn Leisure Park, near Oswestry.
Paul Edmondson and the Fast Eddy Racing crew laid out a large course for the Sprint Cross on Saturday, quite fast but also quite technical, and an even larger course for the GBXC on Sunday.
Although both courses looked fast they were very rough in places and dusty too but Berwyn Valley is such a great place that the views and varied terrain more than made up for the roughness of the course which included a large motocross section, two woodlands and numerous steep climbs and descents. When riders said they were glad to get onto the tricky off-cambers for a rest, you know the going was tough!
Tom Sagar (above) lined up for the Sprint Cross, getting in some last-minute practice before flying off to Finland for the ISDE and he absolutely blitzed the whole course on his new Edmondson Racing 450 but he was closely followed by Gethin Humphries and then Jamie Powell in the Pro Expert class. Newcomer Carl Jones (right) picked up the pace in the afternoon, once he had a new back wheel in place. His original wheel shed 17 spokes during the first two runs and he complained of lack of traction!
Jeremy Callow was really on form and dominated the Clubman class, winning by nearly four minutes clear of Jane Daniels, who also had a very impressive ride and then Luke Williams in third place.
Karl Claybrook made a rare outing in the Veterans and topped the class by nearly three minutes from Jason Hope as Andy Daniels made the podium once again this season in another of his rare sprint appearances.
Nathan Rogers pushed hard to win the Sportman class with Adam Sanders and Steve Norbury very close behind. Alan Stockdale was top Novice followed by Dave Stirrup and Richard Williams. Brad Freeman dominated the Youth 13-16 class as Jack Edmondson went ball-out to catch him. Dom Thomas made the long journey north to take third place.
A slightly cloudy Sunday saw the first race of the day packed in every class. The Veterans line up was really something to behold with Ray Whittall, Chris Wagstaffe, Craig Parkes, Jason Hope, Paul Sagar, Jim Buchanan, Dave Selkeld and many other top vets all fighting for dominance.
Whittall set the pace early on but a series of small crashes saw him give up the lead to Jason Hope, who had Dave Selkeld glued to his rear wheel. These two swapped placed repeatedly throughout the race but it was Selkeld who eventually triumphed with Hope second and Chris Wagstaffe third.
Brad Freeman (left) spent the whole race chasing the two leaders. He started in the Youth class, just one row behind the vets and roared through the field trying for the overall win. He took third overall and another Youth class win with Jack Staines second and Dom Thomas third.
Adrian Measures lead the Sportsman riders home with Gav Tatchell and Steve Furr in tow, taking the other podium places. Tony Francis beat the other Tatchell brother, Scott, into second place, this time in the Novice class as Steve Totney battled hard to take third. Sophie Thomas headed the Ladies class followed by Gemma Holtham and Emma Ball.
Ben Wootton hammered his way to the front of the pack as the afternoon race began, closely followed by Carl Jones and Gary Daniels but things soon changed. Daniels retired after just one lap, an insect bike caused his leg to swell and his boot was bursting at the seams. Ben Wootton had a small crash in his tussle with Carl Jones and this off saw Wootton's throttle cable severed on the second lap leaving the field open for Jones to take his first ever win at his first GBXC race.
Joe Wootton took up the challenge on behalf of the CF Racing team, team-mate Huw Jones collapsed in a heap near the lap van as a wasp flew into his race shirt and stung him three times before he could get his shirt off, which severely damaged his chances in the race.
Wily campaigner Ady Smith followed Jones home for second in the Pro class, Smith having lost none of his speed or flowing style over the rough terrain as Gas Gas UK's Tim Foreman took third in class.
Joe Wooton eventually took the Expert class win ahead of Derek Bawn as Jamie Powell put his SS Racing Husqvarna onto the podium in third.
Jeremy Callow (below) was the undisputed winner in the Clubman 2T class some three minutes clear of Luke Williams who was followed by Jane Daniels in third. Rich Cookland nailed the Clubman 4T class ahead of great friend and rival Ryan Armitage with Josh Snowden fighting hard to retain third place.
This had been a tough GBXC round both in the Sprint Cross and the main event on Sunday and riders were glad to get it over and done with. The average laptime for the last race of the day was around 15 minutes, which proves just how big and how tough the course at Berwyn really was.
Two great events as the 2011 GBXC nears it's finale in early
September. Well done to fast Eddy and his crew.
It is not often that a new venue comes onto the scene these days but Paul Edmondson and the Fast Eddy crew really excelled themselves with the setting for the fourth round of the GBXC Championship near Welshpool.
Rolling hills connected two superb woodland sections with fast and flowing trails winding through the trees and through a small quarry section, exiting onto open fields littered with ditches, a perfect combination of fast stuff and technical challenges to keep all riders happy. Combined with a huge parking and paddock area, this venue really had it all.
The brand new venue was christened on Saturday as the third round of the GBXC Sprint Cross Championship attracted an excellent entry with a quality line up of riders from Pro to Youth and everything in between willing to set the pace around the new course. The Sprint course used just over half of the venue, a large section was held back for the main GBXC races on Sunday.
Following a sighting lap the action got underway with the Pro riders posting times of just over 5 minutes initially but as the day wore on and the course bedded in these times dropped to just under the five minute mark for the fastest riders with Clubman riders averaging between five and a half and six minutes a lap.
Nine runs throughout the day saw Tom Sagar (above) take the overall win and the Pro class victory followed by Fast Eddy Edmondson Racing team mate Ben Burrell in second as Lee Edmondson completed the top three for the team. CF Racing's Mark Roberts rode the wheels off his KX250F to finish in fourth as Midwest Racing's James Jackman completed the top five.
Derek Bawn was by far the quickest Expert rider but young Liam Garbett rode exceptionally well to take second in class as AMCA MX rider Jamie Powell put his speed to good use claiming third in class.
As usual the battle of the day was in the Veterans class. These guys seemed to have forgotten they are over 40 as they posted some of the fastest times of the day. Jason Hope was the early leader with Mark Perrott hard on his heels and Andy Daniels putting in his customary fast laps to stay in the top three but it was a slow starting Ade Bradley who finally triumphed as Hope's bad back finally got the better of him as he slid to fourth with Perrott second and Daniels third.
Jeremy Callow instantly got to grips with the course and stayed at the top of the Clubman class throughout the day despite being pushed hard by Luke Williams, who eventually finished in second spot with Josh Snowden grabbing third place just a few seconds adrift.
The younger Callow, Jamie, emulated his older brothers success and topped the Sportsman group by a significant margin over second placed Dilwyn Williams and Richard Williams. Mark Lonergan kept two minutes clear of Alan Stockdale to take the Novice class win.
Brad Freeman was exceptionally quick in the Youth 13-16 class and finished fifth overall on his way to winning his class. Jack Staines and Jack Edmondson battled hard to take the remaining podium spots and Staines came out fractionally ahead to take second with Jacko third.
The massive paddock slowly filled on Saturday afternoon as many riders came to watch the final runs of the Sprint then walk the course ready for the GBXC rounds the following day. Despite being a virgin track the land damage was minimal as the ground held up really well and provided the Sunday racers with a slightly bedded in course to follow until they hit the unused section where they would literally be breaking new ground.
The Vets were first off on Sunday and the fast guys soon pulled quite a lead but the first two were followed into lap scoring by a handful of Sportsman riders and alarm bells began to ring loudly. The race was restarted as it became clear that leading Vets had overshot the turn onto the new woodland sections, realised their mistake and rejoined the course while the following bulk of riders merrily continue around the shorter Sprint course to emerge ahead of the faster Veteran riders.
A restart was the only solution as the riders laughed and joked at the chance of having a sighting lap.
With order restored the race began and Jason Hope took and early lead, closely followed by Mark Perrott as Vet favourite Ade Bradley was stuck mid-pack. By the end of the first lap Bradley had closed on the leading pair and the battle commenced in earnest with all three riders leading the race at different times. Only in the closing few laps did Bradley managed to pull clear of second placed Perrott, adding to his victory in the Sprint, while Hope was solid in an unchallenged third position.
The Youth class witnessed a tremendous race between Jack Edmondson and Andrew Bull. Brad Freeman had crashed out early in the race leaving the door wide open for either of this pair to take the win and eventually Bull triumphed with Jacko in second spot following a slight hiccup on the final lap as Jack Staines took third. Bull even placed fourth overall in the race ahead of some seriously fast riders while Jacko posted the second fastest lap of the day behind veteran campaigner Ade Bradley.
Jamie Callow maintained his good form and added to his Sprint class win by taking the Sportsman group ahead of Steve Furr and Graham Owens. The Novice class was very close between Graham John Hayward and Steve Totney with Hayward eventually winning as Totney took second and Anthony Frances third. Gemma Holtham was best Lady rider followed by Wendy Swales a couple of laps adrift.
The course was in perfect condition by the time the afternoon race began. CF Racing's Pro class rider Mark Roberts set the pace early on aboard his KX250F as Ben Burrell kept him in sight. Tom Sagar was trying out a 2012 Fast Eddy Edmondson Racing 250XC, taking a break from his usual 4T 450 and he certainly got to grips with it. By the third lap he had control of the race and never looked back. Burrell followed him closely but Roberts had far from given up and pushed hard to the finish for a well-deserved third place. Roberts' CF Racing team-mate Ben Wootton pushed his KX450F to fourth place while Gary Daniels put in a stylish performance to take fifth spot.
Derek Bawn was consistently posting sub 7-minute laptimes and took his second win of the weekend in the Experts from Jamie Powell and James Paczynski. Jeremy Callow matched his brother's double win by taking the Clubman 2T class from Luke Williams and David Dudley as Ryan Armitage finally got the win he deserved in the Clubman 4T's. Armitage has been dogged by bad luck, combined with minor injuries but, for once, everything went his way as he beat Andrew Cooper and Gareth Delahay for the class win.
A terrific weekend of racing at an exceptional venue has boosted the GBXC Championship significantly and certainly enhanced the series reputation for providing top-notch tracks and well run events which give excellent value for money
Well done Fast Eddy and his crew, who all offer a big thanks to the landowner Nick for providing such a great venue for a superb weekend of XC competition.
Moving from one end of the country to the other in just two weeks the third round of the GBXC Series set up camp in Gisburn, Lancs over the weekend. Set in the Ribble Valley, no venue could boast a more picturesque setting with the River Ribble slowly drifting past the lower sections of the course.
Local marshals policed the events throughout the weekend but several Clubman, Pro and Expert riders pitched in to assist at the start of Sunday's racing when some of the steeper hills proved too difficult for many riders.
With both the GBXC Sprint Cross on Saturday and the main GBXC event on Sunday a special venue was needed and Gisburn really delivered. The course was a cracker, unused for over 18 months, with plenty of varied terrain, which included steep climbs, woodland sections and plenty of fast and open field sections.
At first glance it seemed that the venue was going to suit the speed merchants but on closer inspection the true nature of Gisburn became apparent and the technical side of the course more than balanced out the fast parts.
The largest woodland section hid some very long and steep climbs capable of challenging every single rider regardless of class but heavy overnight rain saw a few course alterations during the opening race on Sunday.
On Saturday just over half of the main course was used for the second round of the GBXC Sprint Cross and although the day was mainly dry, torrential overnight rain certainly took its toll on some small sections of the course but a few minor alterations saw the GBXC Sprint Cross underway.
Fast Eddy/Edmondson Racing rider Ben Burrell was the man to catch throughout the morning session but Gav Houson was always within fractions of a second of the Aussie as Lee Edmondson tailed both of them. A sudden downpour during the lunchtime break made a world of difference and Burrell really tuned up the heat to win the Pro class with Houson second and Edmondson third.
Ryan Staveley looked fully recovered from a recent hand injury as he headed the Expert class leaving Derek Bawn some 30-seconds adrift in second place and Ross Benton in third.
Ade Bradley managed to turn up on time and went on to win the Vets class ahead of Mark Houson and Phil Smithson while Josh Snowden narrowly beat Jeremy Callow into second place by just seven seconds in the Clubman class with Luke Williams putting in several fast laps to climb to third.
Jamie Callow made up for brother Jeremy's lack of a win by taking the Sportsman class with 10-minutes to spare over second placed Liam Radcliffe with Steve Norbury in third spot. Alan Stockdale headed the Novice riders followed by Andy Thompson and Wendy swales. Brad Freeman again dominated the Youth class ahead of Jack Edmondson and Mike Gilby but it is fair to say that the downpour midway through the day really upset the applecart for many riders.
Overnight Saturday the course was again thoroughly soaked and some of the tougher climbs were taken out for the morning race but even the woodland section proved to be too much for some riders and was re-routed as the race was in progress. All the usual GBXC riders were present plus a good amount of local riders all relishing the challenge of a national event.
Ade Bradley shot to the front of the Veterans pack on the opening lap, chased by Craig Parkes. The open fields gave Bradley the advantage but Parkes kept him in sight, his technical abilities saw him pass the leader by the third lap and pull quite a significant margin. Once the technical woodland section was cut out the pendulum swung back into Bradley's favour and he closed down and passed Parkes, who posted the fastest lap of the race on his final lap. The two held position right to the chequered flag with Dave Selkeld putting in a fine performance to take third in class and overall.
A battle royal went on at the top of the Sportsman class with several riders all vying for top honours. Graham Owens made sure of his victory by 30 seconds from John Smith and Joe Wheeler. Scott Tatchell just beat the finish flag to gain a lap on his Novice competitors with Steve Totney second and Tony Francis third. Wendy Swales took the Ladies class win as Brad Freeman compounded his Sprint win with the Youth class victory. Mike Gilby took second with Jack Edmondson third in a hard fought class.
The afternoon racers were blessed with sunshine throughout their two and a half hour race. Tom Sagar managed to get to the venue in time from the Scottish six day trial, which he had driven to straight from the BSEC in Devon, and proceeded to dominate the Pro class and entire race from the first lap.
Ben Burrell saw off a strong challenge from Harry Hillas at the start of the race and went on to take the runner-up spot ahead of Lee Edmondson, a great 1-2-3 for the Fast Eddy/Edmondson Racing team. CF Racing's Ben Wootton rode really well and closed on the top three following a slightly slow start as James Jackman took fifth in the Pro's.
Top Expert was Biff Smith, who powered through the field to keep just ahead of Derek Bawn and Ross Benton. Joe Wootton started well but a loose brake hose saw him pit for 10 minutes then desperately try to battle his way back through the field as Luke Williams took the top Clubman 2T spot and Jeremy Callow once again had to settle for second in class, just ahead of Clubman 2T rider Luke Flack in third. Josh Snowden had an excellent outing in the Clubman 4T class, taking the win by over a minute from Lee Hattersley and Ryan Armitage.
Initially the heavy overnight rain helped the course tremendously in softening up the hard ground and keeping the dust down but the overnight downpours really didn't help the race on Sunday although by the midway point of the morning race, track conditions had improved dramatically and the afternoon racers enjoyed near perfect ground conditions.
This was another well-attended GBXC event which drew in regular and local riders and provided an excellent venue that ran well despite the weather in addition to providing superb scenery and amazing backdrops to the course.
Round four of the series moves to a brand new venue near Welshpool which as never had a bike over it so once again Fast Eddy is working hard to provide the best possible courses for this top notch series.
The annual pilgrimage to Devon took place over Easter weekend for many hardened XC riders as the GBXC show landed at Preston Combe Farm for the second round of the GBXC Championship series which was preceded by the opening round of the GBXC Sprint Championship.
Preston Combe Farm proved to be the ideal setting in the gently rolling hills of South Devon and provided a fantastic course for both events which incorporated flowing, open field sections linking together several woodlands and plenty of highly technical challenges in and out of a slow flowing streambed running across the width of the venue.
That both events ran over Easter weekend in perfect weather conditions was a real bonus. The Devon GBXC round attracted plenty of local riders in addition to many regulars and the event stretched into a holiday over a four-day period.
Smart thinking from Fast Eddy and the GBXC team ensured that a course ran within a course with the Sprint riders utilising around 60% of the main course for their 10-minute lap with plenty of variation throughout the shortened course.
Around 50 riders entered the Sprint which was a very laid back affair. Riders had four runs before lunch and four after with the Pro Expert class posting times around the seven-minute mark, Clubman, Vets and Youth riders around eight to eight and a half minutes and the Sportsman/Novice riders around nine. Times for each run were combined with the fastest overall taking the class win.
The Sprint gave Fast Eddy a chance to get some serious bike time under his belt in preparation for the BEC and he proved to be the man to beat. Only Ben Burrell managed to best him on two accassions and was in line for a third when he outrageously claimed a roo had jumped in front of him causing him to crash, wishful thinking! Tom Sagar was just getting the hang of his new 350XC when he clouted his hand on a post and retired to the Accident & Emergency room of the local Macdonalds with a badly crushed finger.
Lee Edmondson rode very well to keep in touch with the leaders and took a well-deserved third place ahead of Kawasaki Race Spec rider Jamie Paget and local lad Steve Holcombe.
Rich Cookland had a great ride and took the Clubman class and took the win but was pushed throughout the event by Jeremy Callow who took second spot by just nine seconds. With Luke Williams in third just over 40 seconds adrift.
Darren Thorpe's consistency handed him the Sportsman class on a plate, a five minute margin eventually panned out between him and second placed Barry Stoyle with Oakland International rider Steve Norbury just losing out to take third in class. Alan Stockdale just pipped Danny Carr in the Novice class.
Brad Freeman was in form in the Youth bracket taking the class five minutes clear of Dominic Thomas with Dylan Baynton in third.
Race of the day was in the Veterans class. The Daniels family was well represented by Dad Andy who rarely makes and outing but he took the class over a minute clear of the super-fast Ade Bradley with Dennis Harrison taking a solid third.
Andy Daniels: 'This was the first time I've tried Sprint Enduro and it was spot on. I felt as if I had been riding all day but it was broken down into eight to nine minute chunks. An excellent format and a really good course, a real cracking day!
Sunday dawned clear and bright for the first GBXC race of the day and over 100 riders lined up at the bottom of the big start hill.
First off were the Veterans, led by Craig Parkes who put in a very fast lap on the opening lap but then, by his fourth lap, started suffering with arm pump as Ade Bradley slipped into lead followed closely by Dave Dunn and Gary McCoy. Bradley is finally getting the hang of XC racing after three years at it but when he stopped halfway around the course, mid-race, to ask where he was (Devon? - no, his position in the race) and was amazed to find he was leading by nearly a minute, his pit crew may need to keep him better informed in future although his strategy is fairly basic: A flag drops, he races flat out until another flag is waved and it's time to stop! Simples.
Dave Dunn managed to get within 16 seconds of Bradley but some of this was down to Brad constantly stopping to ask directions. Gary McCoy went all out to catch the leaders but a sequence of big crashes saw him finish in third place.
Brad Freeman again dominated the Youth class but had serious competition for most of the two-hour race from Andrew Bull who eventually took second place. Harland White finished third, a lap down on the leaders but he only just missed gaining an extra lap by a few seconds.
Darren Thorpe pulled out over a minute lead from Graham Owens to win the Sportsman class as Dean Veal rode hard to third place while in the Novice class Steve Totney's timing was spot on as he passed lap scoring seconds before the finish flag was waved, to post an extra lap and win the class from Alan Stockdale and Tom Russell.
Sophie Thomas put in nine laps to win the ladies class but Gemma Holtham had the leader in her sights for quite some time and eventually settled for second place with Steph Jewell in third. Not bad considering it was Steph's first full outing this year.
A slight change to the course for the afternoon race saw the inclusion of a small gulley section very close to the start, which was not used for the morning race on the opening lap. The more experienced riders in the Pro/Expert and Clubman classes negotiated it with ease but Jack Twentyman, riding in the Expert class didn't get out of the start field before having a big crash which saw him retire from the race less than a minute after the start flag had dropped.
Local rider Steve Holcombe set the pace early on but Tom Sagar rode hard, ignoring the pain from his crushed finger, to take the lead and leave Holcombe to battle with Benny Burrell, (Burrel took second place and Holcombe third). All three had CF Racing rider Ben Wootton breathing down their necks throughout the race, eventually finishing fourth with Chris Dustow taking fifth.
Derek Bawn had an excellent outing, winning the competitive Expert class by two-minutes from Joe Wootton as Stan Watt enjoyed the climate down South taking third in class. Jeremy Callow was top Clubman 2T rider and must surely move to the Expert class next season, with Luke Butler taking second and David Jones third. Rich Cookland duplicated his success in the GBXC Sprint by winning the Clubman 4T class from Lee Hattersley and Gareth Delahay.
The Devon GBXC is always a favourite amongst riders. The course is awesome and combined with a Bank Holiday weekend, plus fantastic weather, it really set the benchmark for the season. A superb event, which ran as smooth as silk thanks to Paul Edmondson and the Fast Eddy Racing crew.
The opening round of the 2011 Great Britain XC series got off to a great start at the Sweet Lamb Rally Complex near Rhayader in Mid Wales. Sweet Lamb is an excellent venue that will be familiar to many riders as the home of the Hafren Rally and a fast and furious stage of the Welsh 2 Day in the past. The vast panorama of open moorland stretching away in all directions. After light overnight rain the weather was perfect on the day.
An impressive field of 122 riders lined up for the morning race in ranks of Vets, Youths, Sportsmen, Ladies and Novices. A hairpin, a climb and a steep bank soon spread the riders out. The podium places went to the Vets with Ade Bradley taking the premier on the Bentons Haulage Suzuki. Chris Wagstaff was the runner up and Dave Dunn was third. All three clocked up a magnificent 13 laps.
Brad Freeman in 4th won the Youth class on a Fast Eddy big wheeled 105cc KTM with 12 laps. Andrew Bull from Witney in 7th also did 12 laps to take 2nd and Lewis Hughes from Ogmore was 3rd.
Gavin Tatchell - who recently won at Fowhill - was the only Sportsman to record 12 laps. Graham Owen from Crumlin was the runner up and Pitt was 3rd.
The Novice class went to Steve Totney who finished 26th overall ahead of Anthony Francis and Scott Tatchell. Gemma Holtham from Worcester was the Best Lady with 8 laps.
The afternoon race was dominated by Fast Eddy Edmondson Racing Team. Tom Sagar took the Premier, Ben Burrell was the runner up and Lee Edmondson was third. Ben Wootton from Welshpool was 4th. All 4 clocked up 18 laps. Midwest Husaberg UKs James Jackman had to settle for 5th in the Pros after some mid race spannerwork. Derek Bawn was 5th was the best expert - only one lap down on the leaders. Rhys Davies was the runner up and Steve Hughes was 3rd,
To be continued..
With team principal Paul Edmondson on organizing and event duties it was left to the other riding members Tom Sagar, Benny Burrell and Lee Edmondson to battle for top honors at the opening round of the 2011 GBXC series.
Some early close racing soon turned in to Tom showing his class and speed aboard his bigger 450 capacity machine and within three or so laps of a fast and flowing course, he had almost a minute lead over his rivals. Nearing the virtual half way mark of the two and a half hour race, Tom switched over to "reserve" fuel facility to pit on the following lap and take another splash + dash two laps before the end. A good win which saw him push right to the very end, showing his commitment to improving an already good level of fitness when he could have easily gone in to "Cruise Mode" and still taken the premier position with ease.
The team's new recruit, Aussie Ben Burrell had a great race to finish on the second step of the podium after a slow start round the first corner. Ben took his time to pick off all the riders in front one by one, to eventually catch the three front runners near the end of the third lap. A similar fuel stop before the half way mark saw him up to second place ahead of a close battle with the third "Fast EDDY" rider Lee Edmondson.
With LEE's little 150 XC revving hard due to the fast going, Ben took full advantage of one less fuel stop to gain 2nd position, and the place that he would hold on to right the way through to the chequerd flag.
A great finish for the young Aussie to add to the experience he is gaining since becoming part of the Fast EDDY Team. Well done Ben, keep up the good work and let's hope the 1st round of the up and coming WEC can continue with your impressive results of late.
With such a fast course in places, many would see the little 150 XC two
stroke bike of Lee Edmondson at a distinct disadvantage? Well, we were
pleased to say the combination of him and the bike showed nothing of the
sort. In fact Lee was to hold on to the leading two in the early stages of
the race before a planned "Two Stop" strategy was implemented by
mechanic "Joey". A trouble free run and a considerable gap back
to the fourth place rider saw a complete fast EDDY race team grace the
podium at the end of two and half hours of safe and enjoyable riding.
A super start to the 2011 GBXC series.
Thanks to Joey and not forgetting Big Dave and Mr. Charles + friends as well as Abigail for their help as marshal's for the day that shows the team can put a "Little Extra" back in to our sport that we enjoy so much.
Regards, Derrick Edmondson.
With the championship hosting its first sprint event on Saturday, Sagar started his weekend off in the best way possible with a convincing win in the timed lap session.
In Sunday's main event, Sagar started promisingly again, settling into a race-long battle with Rose once more, before pulling the pin in the final stages of the event to finish over two-minutes clear to take the win and the 2010 championship title.
Sagar commented, "That was a great weekend of racing. I really enjoyed the sprint event on Saturday and with the win from that I felt really positive about the main event. The battle with Jordan was great on Sunday, but the enduro-focussed RMX proved to be the perfect tool and I was able to open up a comfortable gap to take the win and give the RMX450Z its first championship title."
Team manager, Paul Edmondson, commented, "Big congratulations to Tom. He's ridden well all year and won every GBXC round he's entered. Before the season began the new RMX450Z was a completely unknown entity for us, but from the moment he swung a leg over it at the press launch in Devon, Tom clicked with it and felt comfortable. Next stop the British Championship, with a bit of luck".
Tom Sagar and Paul Edmondson will be back out in action at the British Enduro Championship on 25th and 26th September, where they both hope to clinch their respective championship titles.
Full race results and championship standings unavailable at time of issue.
Team Sponsors: Putoline, Suzuki GB PLC, Metzeler, Moose Clothing, Lazer, Smith, Gaerne, DEP, MXM Graphics, Renthal, Talon, Regina, Optima Racing, Fasteddyracing.com, Rygor Commercials.
Tom Sagar came back to the GBXC series with a bang at the weekend, winning round three of the championship, held at Great Ayton in North Yorkshire in convincing style.
To confirm the GBXC credentials as a truly National championship the team moved north for the 3rd round to Great Ayrton in Yorkshire. Speaking at the Welsh, Paul Edmondson explained that he would like to vary the going in every round to give each rider the opportunity to shine & the 4 mile long lap at Great Ayrton - with its climbs & descents - would suit the technical specialist. On the day the weather was fine & the ground - away from the bog - was dry & firm.
The AM race was for the Sportsman, Veterans, Youths & Novices. Vet Craig Parkes from Redditch took the win with 14 laps from Sportsman Jeremy Callow. Gary McCoy was 3rd & he took the Vets runner up award & Keith Jenkins in 4th completed the Vets podium. If fact 6 out of the top 7 were Vets. Brad Freeman in 8th was the best Youth. Aaron Edwards was the runner up & Michael Gilby just pipped Jon Hill to 3rd place. Welshmen Harry Hillier-Rees was runner up in the Sportsman class ahead of Gareth Owens. Mark Hillier-Rees was 4th. Gavin Tatchell won the Novice class ahead of Tom Granger & David Simpkin - both from Market Harborough. AM Results
For the PM race, the GBXC team tightened the screw with the inclusion of an epic hill. Tom Sagar, who elected to miss the second round of the series in Devon, after suffering from tendonitis, was back on top in the series that he won in 2009, taking the third round win with a lead of over six minutes. Gary Daniels in 2nd won the best Experts award & Pro James Jackman kept the Championship in his sights with a 3rd. Oliver Hart from Penrith was 4th & he took the Experts runner up award. More Welshmen swept over the finishing line with Derek Bawn in 5th completing the Experts podium & Sam O'Neil from Maesteg in 6th. Rhys Davies in 7th won the Clubman 2T & Alex West in 8th was the runner up. Luke Williams in 9th was the best Clubman 4T ahead of Richard Cookland. PM Results
After the race Sagar commented, "It's good to be back and even better to be back on top. To be honest it pretty much ran like clockwork and with the British Championship around the corner I didn't want to take any silly risks today. As ever, the RMX450Z ran perfectly and just continues to impress me more and more. If we can carry on like this, then there's a chance I can put a championship title under the Suzuki's belt in it's debut year, which would be nice."
Sadly for teammate Lee Edmondson, he would not enjoy such a successful day after being forced to retire through injury.
Team manager, Paul Edmondson, commented, "Well done to Tom. The most important thing from this round is that he's finished it injury free. We've got some big events ahead of us, and while it's important to stay fit and healthy he needs to be on a bike as much as possible to stay fit, so events like this are important for him. Lee on the other hand had a bit of an off today, but it doesn't seem too serious, so should be out at the next event."
Team Sponsors: Putoline, Suzuki GB PLC, Metzeler, Moose Clothing, Lazer, Smith, Gaerne, DEP, MXM Graphics, Renthal, Talon, Regina, Optima Racing, Fasteddyracing.com, Rygor Commercials.
The second round of the 2010 GBXC Championship series returned to Devon on the 13th June. The weather was sunny & warm. 140+ riders lined up on the broad start line for the AM race. There were 5 classes. Craig Parkes squeezed between Dave Dunn & Gary McCoy to take the holeshot in the Vets. Dave's moment in the sun was short lived as he retired on the next lap. Mark Hillier Rees was the quickest Sportsman away. Number 999 - Gavin Tatchell was on an emergency call in the Hobby class & Joe Wooton led off the Youths. Keith Jenkins from Southam took the Premier with Gary McCoy taking 2nd & Ade Bradley was 3rd. In the individual classes Jane Daniels from Wigan won the Ladies with a impressive 9 laps from Stephanie Jewell $ Gemma Holtham. Jeremy Callow in 6th overall was the best Sportsman ahead of Welshmen Danny Morris & Graham Owen. The Youths gave the old boys a run for their money. Joe Wootton from Welshpool clocked up 10 laps to win the class & finish 7th overall. Brad Freeman was 2nd & Ashley Bowden was 3rd on 9 laps. Brad proved the resilience of youth by finishing 25th overall after falling on the first corner under the wheels of a following rider. The crash looked serious but Brad picked himself up, dusted himself off & carried on. Well done. In the Hobby/Novice class Tom Granger & Gavin Tatchell both moved up a place on their first round performances to take 1st & 2nd. Neil Birch was 3rd. Micheal Windsor & Mike Vaughan were unlucky to retire after completing 8 laps each. The winners were presented with their awards after the race by Paul Edmondson & they basked in their glory & the Summer sun.
After lunch - the PM race. With round 1 winner Tom Sagar out of action with tendonitis, it was up to Lee "Stan" Edmondson to represent the Putoline Suzuki fasteddy team. He didn't have the best of starts - crossing the line after the first lap in 5th - but by lap 4 he had made his way to the front & he was leading. Jamie Paget had been an early contender but he injured his hand on lap 4 whilst running in 2nd on his Midwest Husaberg & he had to retired.
The red dust of Devon began to rise in the afternoon although a steady breeze did it's best to blow it away & amid the heat & the dust Lee Edmondson & Steve Holcombe became locked in a tremendous battle for the lead that came down to the final fuel stop. Both riders entered the pits together but Lee was the first away & he took the win. Steve was the runner up & James Jackman finished 3rd on the Poole MC Yamaha. All top 3 riders clocked up 13 laps. Steve rode well to keep up with Lee & he had the consolation of the best Expert award. Ade Deeley from Cwmbran in 4th was the Expert runner up & Sean O'Neal was 3rd. With 12 laps, the best Clubman 2T award went to Tom Hirons, Rhys Davies from Banwen was 2nd & Alex West from the Wirral was 3rd. In the Clubman 4T the Welsh invasion continued with a win for Gareth Delaney from Maesteg. Luke Williams was 2nd & Josh Snowden was 3rd.
Lee Edmondson, “Naturally I’m delighted to get another win under my belt after such a tough start to the year. The RM-Z250 ran really well and with such fast and technical sections it really was the perfect tool for the job. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now with renewed enthusiasm.”
Glorious Devon once again proved to be a great location for the Great British XC series. Round 3 will be near York on the 4th July.
"Just wanted to say what a fentastic venue and great effort put on by the GBXC team. Well worth the 4 1/2 hour drive to compete at a brilliant event". Dennis Harrison.
Overnight showers did nothing to dampen the sense of anticipation for the first round of the 2010 GBXC series at Coney Green farm near Stourport, it simply soften the brick red soil into an ideal ground for good racing. The Wyre forest venue is a spectacular location close to the M5 where the wooded Areley hill ponders the Severn River as it flows south out of Bewdley. The parking area was excellent & the paddock was a blaze of Putoline, Suzuki & Goldentyres sponsors banners. Optoma Loans donated the prizes & the whole event was filmed by the Blood, Sweat & Gears.
Sunday was overcast & cool but dry. 250 riders were signed on. The morning race was for the Vets, Sportsman, Youths & Ladies & used a slightly modified course. In the Vets Adrian Bradley from Solihull was the overall winner with 10 laps from Jack Twentyman & Richard Main was 3rd. The Sportsman class went Ryan Armitage from Sheffield, 2nd.Jeremy Callow & 3rd Jamie Callow. Jane Daniels was the best Lady with 9 laps ahead of Helen Spiers on 8 laps & Gemma Holthan was 3rd. Rob Edwards from Oswestry won the Hobby class with 8 laps, Tom Granger was 2nd & Gavin Tatchell from Maesteg was 3rd.
The main race started at 1.00pm. Paul Edmondson flagged the riders away in 4 ranks - Pro's, Expert , 2T & 4T. A broad climb up the hill gave the whole entry a safe run into the first corner, Tim Foreman took the holeshot in the Pro class on his Steve Plain GasGas 300 with Tom Sagar's Putoline Suzuki RMZ450 rumbling at his shoulder like the forecast thunder in the leaden sky. Tim has recovered well from his broken foot but he has picked up a purple thumb. Out of the corner the course ran along a fast straight at the top of the field with a series of chicanes to sort the riders into some kind of order before they entered the trees. At the front - while Tim & Tom were sorting themselves out - British Championship motocrosser Dorren Coutts from Horsham got hold of a berm & whipped passed them both with a slingshot. Dorren was riding in only his third Hare & Hounds & he is clearly a quick learner.
In the Expert class Steve Holcombe was fastest away followed by James Berrill. Ben Ridgers' Honda was reluctant to start & needed a bit of encouragement. Local rider Liam Garbett was the quickest 2T off the line but Rhys Davies from Banwen outbraked him into the corner. The first 4T away was anyone's guess as both he & his bike were covered in mud. Rumours are it was Gavin Tatchell who had enjoy the morning race so much he had taken his brother ride in the PM Race.
Paul Edmondson's expert eye had visualized & created an intricate course that weaved it's way through the woods like a rollercoaster before climbing to the fields at the top of the hill. By the end of the first lap Tom Sagar had taken the lead from Dorran Coutts. Lee Edmondson was 3rd & Luke Hill - competing in his first H&H - was 4th. With most riders on a 2 stop strategy, the lead changed temporarily at mid race but overall the order remained the same. There was a big hill in the woods that needed a lot of commitment to get up & a steady feel for the brakes to get down. It was too big for Gavin Tatchell's chain & he retired on lap 4 but for the most part the course flowed as smoothly as the river across the fields. The RAF team of Paul Owens, Martin Pickard, Matt Spiller & Dave Blackburn rode in a tight formation with Paul manning the rear gun.
On the last lap Tom Sagar dropped his bike in the trees but his 30 second lead gave him time to pick it up before Dorran could catch him. Lee was 3rd & Luke was 4th. Steve Holcombe won the Experts & Tom Norton was the runner up. Tom was also new to the H&H & had traveled up from Horsham with Dorran. Derek Bawn from the valleys was 3rd. George Bayliss was the Best Clubman 2T ahead of last weekend's CTR winner Rhys Davies in 2nd & Chris Pryce was 3rd. Gareth Delahay won the Best Clubman 4T & Ironmen from the City of Steel - Lee Hattersley & Richard Cookland - were 2nd & 3rd. Throughout the event the spectators were kept up to date by Roger Harvey's commentary & afterwards he spoke to riders. Tom Sagar said how well the bike was going & what a great preparation it had been for next week's BEC in Lossiemouth. Dorrren said how much he had enjoyed the event & how professionally run it had been.
Registrations for GBXC riders can be downloaded from www.gbxc.co.uk and entries are available from Mandie on 01543 370070.
GBXC 2010 DATES
SAGAR CROWNED GBXC CHAMPION GBXC Rd 7
The seventh and final round saw the GBXC series head to north Wales near Llangollen. After bad weather during the week it looked like the race would be a wet one. After walking the course on Saturday, conditions would be perfect. The track was very flowing and had alot of mixed going from muddy woods to dry flowing fields.
The pro class line up was still full of the regulars and with championship still undecided the race was going to be exciting.
With Tom knowing that his starts haven't been great, he knew that he would have to work hard to keep with leaders and to secure the championship.
The flag dropped and Tom found himself in the middle of the pack behind Aston Bird (MPS Husqavana) . After the second lap Tom was in fifth behind Daryl Bolter (KTM), Greg Evans (KTM), Aston Bird and Si Wakely (MPS Husqavana). Tom knew this wasn't good enough to win the championship. Then on the fourth lap Bird stopped on a corner on the mountain which put Tom 4th but 3rd in Pro's as Bolter is in the Pro Lites class.
A lap later saw Birds team mate Wakely have a massive crash which would see him pull out. Tom knew that if he stayed where he was, he would win the series, but Ash Wood was closing in. After an hour and fifteen Tom came into fuel, it was a good fuel stop and had pit board signs that he was catching Evans. Tom got within 20 seconds of Evans, but with two laps to go Evans had slowed with a blown shock so had to pit. Tom was now leading the pro class but still second to Bolter. On the last lap Tom took his time and made sure of getting to the finish safely.
Tom reached the finish and took the pro class win. Tom was greeted by Steve Ireland and Paul Edmondson who sprayed the victory champagne. Tom had taken the 2009 GBXC Championship.
"I am so pleased to have taken the championship. The race has been the most physical this year. After 2 laps had gone I didn't think I would catch the leaders but I had to dig deep and after I fuelled everything clicked. I would like thank all my supporters at the race cheering me on, all of my friends and family for their help and to all my sponsors for their continued support".