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Rockshocks Classic Trials Championship            Round 2: Spen Valley  19/05/2024 

                                              Report and Photographs by John Dickinson

                                      Spen Valley MCC staged a cracking second round of the 2024 Rockshocks Classic Championship at Robin

                                      Luscombe's superb Leadmines venue at Greenhow, high above the market town of Pateley Bridge in the Yorkshire

                                      dales.

                                                                                           A fabulous dry sunny day helped things along but some observers on the steep,

                                                                                           exposed slopes felt the wind chill while others, sheltered behind bankings ended

                                                                                           their day like orange-faced celebs, as per series mastermind Gerry Minshall on

                                                                                           section 19!

                                                                                           A slowish start to entries built into just short of 100 on the day which was pretty

                                                                                           impressive with all classes represented, although fittingly Clubman Twinshock proved

                                                                                           most popular with getting on for 40 contenders.

                                     

                                       The Rockshocks formula of 20 sections lapped twice was the order of the day with Clubmen heading for section one

                                      - following a brief welcome speech by Nigel Scott - while Lusky led the Experts off to begin their day at section 12.

                            

                                       Sections were a mix of rocky becks which were super slippery, especially on the opening

                                       lap, and rocky outcrops on the steep hillsides, with the length contributing to loss of marks

                                       as riders tired as the Ends cards approached.

                                      Expert Twinshock saw nine finishers with a nice mix of machines on the podium, Simon HIrst

                                      taking maximum points having dropped just 11 marks on his Honda TLR  but there was an

                                      SWM in second ridden by Phlip Baxter while Chris Koch enjoyed a trip north from London for

                                      third place saying, "It is only five rounds so make the most of it, it’s so good to be able to ride

                                      at such a great venue."

                                                                                             In Expert Britshock Hudderfield's Chris Greenwood had the temerity to pip Robin 

                                                                                             Luscombe literally in his own field, the scores being 20 to 28 and both Bantam

                                                                                             mounted. Matt Chambers, only an occasional rider these days but a former winner

                                                                                             of the Scottish Pre-65 Two Day, took his very special Cub to third place.

                                                                                            Which leaves us with half a dozen Expert Air-cooled Monos that saw contenders

                                                                                            Miles Jones on his nice looking and sounding RTL Honda - with rebuilt cylinder head

                                                                                            after a valve guide broke loose electing to travel up and down with the valve - and

                                                                                            Lancastrian Chris Garlick on his Fantic two-stroke.  Miles lost just three marks to pip

                                                                                            Chris, one on the first lap and two second time round. Third was Yam mounted

                                                                                            Richard Allen, while better half Shani held court in her lemon themed al fresco parc

                                                                                            ferme party. I can attest that the French Fancies  were

                                                                                            exceedingly tasty!
 

                                      Clubman classes naturally sported much larger entries with the Twinshock numbers

                                      easily tops. And it was super tight at the sharp end with West Leeds club stalwart

                                      Howard Gulley pipping reigning class champ Derrick Edmondson by a single mark, six

                                      against seven.  And Derrick only just staved off Tom Green on a tie-break as Tom

                                      matched Eddy's score of seven. It was a Honda four-stroke rout with three TLR200s

                                      followed by the 250 model of James Lamin in fourth. But worth a big shout in fifth was

                                      Lancashire's Pete McCanna on his very standard Bultaco mixing it with and beating

                                      some much more modern machinery.

                                                                                  There was also a good turnout of Clubman Air-cooled Monos which was nailed by Pete

                                                                                  Ruscoe on his Honda TLM260 two-stroke who put it across the Yamahas of Andrew

                                                                                  Dawson and Stephen Barnes while fourth was Mike Jones on a GasGas Aire.
 

                                                                                 Finally, all the regulars turned out in Clubman Pre-74 Britshock where there was an eclectic

                                                                                 mix of machinery. Martin Gilbert who made yet another trip north from deepest Devon - only

                                                                                 just returned from a monster round trip to the Scottish Pre-65 - but made it worthwhile with

                                                                                 victory on his Bantam with regular rival Darren Walker a close second, C15 mounted. Chris

                                                                                 Myers was on just a single mark until he stopped for a drink and butty after the first lap and

                                                                                 then instantly dropped two fives saying, "My concentration has totally gone!" He recovered

                                       to just hold off Cub mounted Ian Myers (no relation) on a tie break after both parted with 17, Chris's laps being four

                                       and 13!
 

                                     There was quite a high retirement rate of 22 non finishers, some machinery related - Tim Blackmore suffering

                                     punctures and some with fatigued riders but no one was complaining as it had simply been a great trial at a

                                     superb venue.