The annual pilgrimage to Ashby Moto Park just after the Christmas festivities dust has barely settled was a chance for a laid back outing for two XC races and an early finish then off to the pub!
Keith Staines and Paul Edmondson run this small event for the dedicated few who are missing getting muddy on a regular basis although the track was in pretty good shape and even the woods were not too difficult compared to other years.
The day started with a one-hour Youth race that was won by Jack Sandland, who battled his way through to the lead position and tackled the two new huge mounds in the centre of the MX track with ease, much to the surprise of dad Kev.
Tradition dictates that there is always a slight delay before the start of the adult’s race. This is to accommodate site owner Keith Staines who is never prepared and also likes to make an entrance, although he spent quite some time taping his trousers around his waist, unable to find any traditional bailing twine long enough to do the job, he did eventually make the start, unrecognisable in a new shirt and helmet.
The Experts were first away and surprisingly Harry Edmondson got a poor start for once (stalled it!) but within half a lap he had fought his way to the front. He proceeded to put on a brilliant riding display of smart moves and impressive jumps to take the win and lap virtually the whole field. Alec Everitt was in second spot, a lap down on the leader as Adam Castledine took a solid third place.
There was quite a battle in the Clubman class as James Palmer took the win whilst fending off several challenges from Chaz Chater on a BW85, the finished level on laps but Palmer had gained a significant lead over the final few laps. Darren Cox took third in class, a lap down on the front pair.
Keith Staines suffered throughout the race as his tape job on his trousers failed miserably but he forged onwards to take the Veterans class win, apparently it is difficult to change gear when you have one hand on your trousers for most of the race. Kev Sandland, unable to pass Stainer because he was laughing too much, eventually took second in class just ahead of Nigel Travis in third.
Nick Whitehead took an impressive win in the Sportsman class. He warmed up on the pipes and tyres before the race and looked as if he had been practicing constantly over the last few weeks (in preparation for Eddy’s Xtreme at Tong) so it was no real surprise that he took the class win by a clear lap and was well up amongst the overall places by the end of the race. Matt Davis and Louis Allen fought over the remaining top spots with Davis just pipping Allen to the post.
The Novice class was another close-run affair with Darren Thorpe just beating Dan Laight to the finish flag to take the win while Brad Jefferies nailed third place.
It was a cracking day out with plenty to challenge riders as the course went from woodchip to slippy mud in places with the odd ice-covered ditch thrown in for good measure, but most of all it was fun and very enjoyable for both riders and spectators.
Well done Keith and Eddy.