Report Ken O'Brien
Cox's farm Beckley was the venue for the Oxford Ixion New Years Day Trial where a fine gathering of riders quietly waited in anticipation for the start of the first round of the 2022 club championship.
Much rain on the preceding days meant for a shortened course as waterlogged areas of the farm were a no no.
Four laps of ten sections were ridden with a variety of roots gullies cambers and a graded hill climb.
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.
James Carter Beta took best Expert on a most cleans tie-break from Chris Wickham both losing 55 marks.
Tom Hinkley 300 Beta was first up to tackle section seven a fourth gear affair starting with an angled fallen tree although finding grip before the start cards was the hard bit.
Once over this hazard a really slick climb ensued as an unexpected short sharp shower drowned one and all and made the going somewhat interesting Tom went on to record the only clean of the day here on the hard route.
On the 50/50 route a Master Mud Class was emerging as John Cowley Vertigo turned back the years to produce an outstanding performance losing a miserly 9 points.
John was inch perfect at section six where a crowd had gathered as word got round it was a possible stopper for most.
A drop over an awkward fallen tree then a slippy rooted bank before flicking the front end though a gap in the undergrowth then a plenty of grunt in fourth climb to the ends a great ride.
Tony Cowley was runner-up in class just edging Ian Watts by the odd mark.
On the Yellow route a twenty five plus line-up of Clubman Class riders were headed home by the one and only Paul Millhouse taking another Vertigo to a class win.
Paul lost 44 today but showed the old dog still had the wherewithal in these slick conditions section three for example a muddy camber and ditch crossing with a steep rooted bank a steadying prod was needed on his first visit then clean a good performance with pre-race favorite Alan Taylor coming home in second spot.
Notoriously good in the mud Alan produced some outstanding rides on the Graded Hill blasting the Beta to four superb cleans it was not for the faint-hearted drop the clutch in fourth gear and hang on.
Andrew Dobson Gas Gas over from the Nene Valley club was best Novice putting some good rides in on section two a series of short sharp cambered climbs.
Dave Hill was best in class for the Twinshocks piloting the little Fantic around with a spirited ride.
Cerys Walters Beta took best Youth A with Max Golla Beta Youth B victor well done to both as the deteriorating conditions made for hard work on the smaller cc machines.
The White easy route was well supported also with a class line up Wayne Hutton Taking best in class Britbike just ahead of Rabbit Allen who had to take six 5's for missed sections due to machine gremlins late on.
Martin Jones Aced the Sportsman class the Mont 4RT could be heard from afar as Mart pulled third and fourth gear flat out on the long and winding section ten.
Section one ' Gorse Bank' was exceptionally Grippy in places considering the conditions but Mark Davidson 200 Fantic made short work of this sub to claim best in class Twinshock.
Many thanks to all for your help on the day.
Expert James Carter Beta 55 17cl
Chris Wickham Beta 55 16cl
Tom Hinkley Beta 58
50/50 John Cowley Vertigo 9
Tony Cowley Vertigo 27
Ian Watts Beta 28
Yellow Middle Route
Clubman Paul Millhouse Vertigo 44
Alan Taylor Beta 57
Stephen Young Beta 66
Steve Peak Beta 68
Novice Andrew Dobson Gasser 78
Twinshock David Hill Fantic 87
Youth A Cerys Walters Beta 109
Youth B Max Golla Beta 121
White Eased Route
Sportsman Martin Jones Mont 4RT 68
Jason Farthers Gasser 80
Phil Seeley Beta 85
Twinshock Mark Davidson Fantic 92
Britbike Wayne Hutton Triumph 85
Kevin Allen BSA 88