Pics Tilde Tighe. Words Tim Tighe
Harry Edmondson posted yet another victory in the Steady Eddy Xtreme series as round two of this seasons series took place at a cold but sunny H2O just outside Oswestry on Sunday. He took the lead from the start and never looked back but it wasn’t all going to be plain sailing.
Billed as an ‘introduction to extreme enduro’ the course was perfect, until the cold weather took hold, then it became much harder than anticipated even though the sunshine thawed most of the frozen areas. The large amount of woodland was unaffected by the cold weather and as with most Fast Eddy layouts there were plenty of lines to choose from at each of the trickier sections but along the valley floor and the steep slopes surrounding the valley it was slick to say the least. The hard-packed moto-x track also needed to be approached with care at the start of the two-and-a-half hour race but as the laps passed and lines appeared the whole thing became slightly easier. The course held nothing that could really be considered extreme by Pro rider standards but the cold and icy patches wore riders down and it became very hard going for many riders inexperienced with these types of conditions.
So, Harry Edmondson headed the Clubman class and had a healthy lead until he lost his rear brake a quarter of the way into the race. With so many slippery descents and just a front brake young Edmondson’s race suddenly became very interesting as a hard-charging Henry Yardley kept the pressure on for the next handful of laps. Edmondson really deserved his win, many riders would have quit with the loss of the rear brake in these conditions but he kept it going and eventually finished nearly five minutes clear of Henry Yardley in second spot. These two were the only riders to clock 11 laps, and each one was hard earned. In third spot came Jack Spencer at the head of a gaggle of Clubman riders who had been close together throughout the race.
With the top nine places going to Clubman riders, Geraint Rogers, riding in the Clubman Vets, sneaked into the top 10 with nine laps under his belt. He was followed by Steve Norbury, second in class, who had a belter of a race and just edged Darryl Mead to third in class.
The Youth result seemed to be a foregone conclusion as George Yardley rode exceptionally well and was cruising at the head of the class but disaster struck just laps from the end when he crashed heavily just past lap-scoring on an open field. It was enough to see him DNF which was a great shame considering his terrific ride. Mathias Salin had always been in contention and took the Youth class win by some distance over Jamie Williams with Zac Ward filling the final podium place.
Nils Ogden was a lap up on fellow Sportsman riders as he swept to class victory, the only Sportsman inside the top 20. Ricky Downes and Robert Crayston battled it out for second and third spots with Down finishing just ahead of Crayston.
Jason Clark headed the Sportsman Vets as Nick Barrow and Neil Myers closed him down over the final few laps but Clark had a considerable margin by that stage and he finished at the head of his class.
The Novice ranks were full of expectant and energetic riders, many eager to try a taste of extreme terrain for the first time so Lewis Moore did very well to take the win at the head of such a large class. Luke Ames nailed second spot with Gage Whyte taking third in class.
The event turned out to be tougher than planned but that is often the nature of extreme events when the weather takes a hand in proceedings but the majority of riders stuck at it and gained invaluable experience of what to do when the going gets tough. The course included a few new sections which all rode well but it was a hard-riding day and the course didn’t make things easy.
The third and final round of the series is in a couple of weeks time at Westwood near Sheffield on Sunday December 10th. It proved to be a cracking event last December.