Rob Warner

Bret Harbud

John Cowley

Rowan Hill

 Roger Jones

Ryan Tompkins

2016 Club Champs Round 1

Report Ken O'Brien

Pictures by Gary Dowzall, others can be found at

A fine gathering of riders quietly waited in anticipation for the start of Ixion's first round of the 2016 club championship.
Much rain on the preceding days meant for a shortened course as waterlogged areas of the farm were a no no.
The sun was low in the sky the temperature never rose above zero and to these elements add four laps of ten sections with slick cambers and turns the scene was set.

Expert class winner Rob Warner 260 Mont 4RT totaled 32 marks and ran out a comfortable winner posting the best score of 3 dabs at section nine a drop before turning tight over roots with a slick camber to traverse before a short blast up a muddy bank.

Darren Wheeler 250 Gasser pipped Steve Clarke 300 Gas Gas over from the Vale of Evesham with most cleans for the runner up spot.
Steve was consistent at sub ten where he went clean although this was tricky dropping to a steep right hand uphill sandy camber though Gorse before looping out with a pivot turn required without loosing momentum to reach the ends.

Best youth B on the hard route was Bret Harbud who persevered with the difficult conditions, a ton was his tally but is rewarded with a first place in the champs after round one.

On the White clubman route John Cowley was a class act on the aging 260 Honda Twinshock losing a miserly 8 marks Phil Ducker 300 Gasser took best clubman having a solitary dab at section two this wasn't as easy as it looked a simple sandy climb next the slippy drop had to be ridden with care before turning to a choice of lines out 'the swamp' or low growing branches.

Alan Taylor 1963 Triumph Tiger Cub also battled on to take best Pre 65 amazingly section five the Graded Hill was not a problem for the little Cub this section deteriorated badly as the mud dragged up the bank.
Alan was a very creditable fourth overall on this modern route.

Rowan Hill took best Novice and George Clarke best Youth B

Ducati Engineering supremo Tony Cowley also riding a classic 250 Honda had a rock-steady ride at section three a twisting drop to the edge of the marsh before climbing to the ends cards a prod here and there was all he needed.

Also worth a mention Graham Grove was out  for the first time in twenty years and took best Intermediate with some controlled rides including section eight a problem for most a long ninety yard climb before hitting a lattice of roots flat-out to have any chance of conquering there was a sting in the tail as well a downward camber with the final uphill climb becoming gripless as the day went on.

The Blue eased course is always very popular at Oxford and today was no exception with Roger Jones Gas Gas just getting the better of Ryan Tomkins Sherco by a single mark.
Both lost four apiece at sub four a stream crossing with a boggy exit then a choice of five lines back over a steep sided ditch followed by a tricky camber.
Local Motorcycle dealer Craig Polden Started off in fine form with some nice cleans but was plagued with machine gremlins so an early bath.

Many thanks to the observers who braved the sunny but bitterly cold weather.

Red Route      
Expert  Rob Warner  Montesa  32
  Darren Wheeler  Gas Gas  44 MC
   Steve Clarke Gas Gas  44
 Youth B  Bret Harbud  Beta 125  100
Novice  Rowan Hill  Montesa  55
Youth-B  George Clarke  Beta 80  70
 Clubman  Phil Ducker  Gas Gas  13
Twinshock  John Cowley 260 Honda  8
Pre-65  Alan Taylor  199 Cub  45
Intermediate  Graham Grove  Beta  73
 Blue Route      
   Roger Jones  Gas Gas  37
   Ryan Tomkins  Sherco  38
   Jon Bailey  Beta  41
   Steve McHugh  4RT  51
   Derek Fowler Gas Gas   52


Full results can be found here .