Rockshocks Classic Trials Championship Round 10: Oswestry 17/09/2023
Report and Photographs by John Dickinson
No photos available from round 8 as John wasn't at the event
As the eleven round 2023 Rockshocks Classic series approaches its culmination, the Oswestry gang staged the penultimate event at their cracking Belle Isle venue which was enjoyed by a healthy entry of around 70 contenders.
The venue was set on a hillside with parking at the top, sloping away down the hill into a wooded area with several streams with sections plotted in streams and on the hillside, plus one or two ascents up rock filled channels which had no running water but were still wet and greasy.
As ever the Clubman classes were most popular with riders spread pretty equally between Air-cooled Mono, Twinshock and Pre-75 Britshock which is good.
So, starting with the Clubmen, it was the usual suspects battling it out in Britshock with the 250 BSA four-stroke of Darren Walker coming out on top by a single mark from Wetherby's Ian Myers on the Cub. Chris Myers' five marks dropped in section eight spoiled his run for maximum Champs points on the whispering little Tribsa twin. First Bantam home was NIgel Greenwood, just one mark behind Chris.
There was a new winner in Twinshock as Andrew Dawson put his Fantic into top spot in a very closely contested class. He finished just a single mark ahead of the Honda of runner-up Thomas Austin while Steve Bisby, back on the Ossa, just pipped Jim Williams for third on a tie-break after they contrived to drop five marks apiece.
And it took a tie-break to separate Devon's Martin GIlbert and Steve Williams at the top of Air-cooled Mono, the Fantic just getting the nod over the Honda. In fact it was tie-breaks down the order with series regulars Pete Blowers and Keith Burgess tied for third place. Pete's Montesa 309 just edging the Yam TY on this occasion.
Section 14 took most Clubman marks, into a rock bed stream with high banks and very narrow which meant keeping the bike straight which was difficult as it got pulled from side to side by the rock's ridges. The final left turn up onto the bank was then laced with embedded rocks.
The select band of Experts tackled slightly harder sections Twinshocks providing the usual Fantic versus Honda battles but Championship leader Will Tolson proved to have the measure of his challengers dropping just three marks. This was a super ride as title contender Miles Jones finished seven marks adrift but was in turn seven ahead of third placed Richard Webster.
Air cooled Mono was closer and it was the Gas Gas of Mark Atkinson with a three mark advantage over Patrick Edwards and it was great to see Richard Allen back in action and back on the podium.
Sole Britshock Expert James Francis took his BSA round for a respectable score of 26.