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Oxford Ixion Club Championship

oxford ixion mccA fine gathering of 65 riders quietly waited in anticipation for the start of Ixion's first round of the 2017 club championship. Much rain and frost on the preceding days meant for a shortened course as waterlogged areas of the farm were a no no. The dazzling 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 for a good days trialing.

Expert class contender John Cowley TRS 280 totaled 13 marks and ran out a comfortable winner posting the best score of 1 dab at section nine a slick camber to traverse before a short blast up a muddy bank. Rob Warner 300 Mont split the Cowley brothers losing 27 he had a dab at section two a tricky ditch crossing that took marks from all. Third place man Tony Cowley was consistent at sub ten this was tricky dropping to a steep right hand uphill sandy camber though Gorse before looping out with the pivot turn required without losing momentum to reach the ends.

Best youth B on the hard route was Oscar Jones he dropped 73 Bret Harbud was 3 adrift both rode 125 Betas.

Liam Anderson turned in the best card for the intermediate class with a total of 84, cleans first and last laps at section six was no mean achievement, the sub started with a steep sandy drop with a loose turn before a third gear climb out over roots.

On the standard yellow clubman route Adrian Steele was a class act on the 250 Beta losing a miserly (for the conditions at least) 35 marks he took best clubman having had a couple of steadying prods at section three this wasn't as easy as it looked a boggy stream crossing next a slippy drop had to be ridden with care before turning to a choice of lines out the swamp.

Gerry Minshall battled on to take best Pre 65 amazingly section four the Graded Hill was not a problem for the little James this section deteriorated badly as the mud dragged up the bank although many cleans were recorded as the rules allow you to foot all the way.

Ryan Tompkins had a rock-steady ride and aced the novice class cleaning section 1 every visit.with several slick sandy climbs and cambers to negotiate. Mark 'woody' Woodburn was only two marks adrift in the novices with a unfortunate 5 at section eight lap three putting paid to any chance of the win. Possibly the toughest of the day this number eight there was a 40 yard blast to a lonesome willow then a soft turn though deep mud before dropping off a ledge to the lower field and then a climb back out to a more friendly terrain by which time the ends were in sight.

Youth B victor was Findley Belcher piloting the 125 Beta around with some controlled rides including section seven a problem for most, a 30 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 White eased course is always very popular at Oxford and today was no exception with Steve McHugh giving a master class choosing the right weapon for the frosty conditions from his armory the mighty 4RT it could be heard echoing through the woods on the way to record 32 cleans with a final count of 17 a massive 40 clear of his nearest rival. Kevin Fossey was his name but to his credit an ageing from the day 348 Twinshock Montesa wasn't the easiest of machines to put around this farmland course.

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

Report Ken O'Brien

John Cowley 280 TRS 13
Rob Warner 300 Mont 27
Tony Cowley 250 Sherco 52
Jason Clifford 250 Beta 68

Liam Anderson Beta 250 84

B Oscar Jones Beta 125 73

Standard yellow route

Adrian Steele Beta 250 35
Ali Haigh " 44
Phil Tucker Vertigo 300 49
Alan Taylor Yam Pinky 50

Ryan Tomkins 250 Gas 77
Mark Woodburn 4RT 79

Youth B
Findley belcher 125 Beta 71

Brit bike
Gerry Minshall James 250 101

White easy route

Steve McHugh 4RT 17
Kevin Fossey 348 Mont 57
John Mitchenson 250 Mont 61
Kevin Allen Bantam 185 63
Phil Knapton 250 Gasser 66


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