Report Ken O'Brien

Pics Gary Dowzall


The institution known as  Oxford Ixion Trials club presented the James Cup Trial at what some would describe as the ultimate South Midland Centre venue 'The Lower Riding' with its long wooded climbs.

This event included a round of the SMC Expert champs with three laps of Eight Double-Subs to take in.

Chris Koch took the honours equalling the record five wins of Steven Rees.The weather was kind and the sun was bright at least for the first lap and then the rain came but with Koch calling in all his experience pressed on where others watched.

Section one was tough,a downhill hazard with fallen trees and roots to cover before the assent over similar terrain,Koch who in his advancing years as an Expert made it look easy.

There were twenty runners on the Hard route today and other notable rides were that of Vince Branch who rode the Ultra-Slick cambers of section thirteen with a loss of only one after three laps and that of Gary Chandler who excelled on the infamous Graded-Hill section which is impossible to walk let alone ride up,ripping to the summit in 4th gear on every visit.

The popular standard route was headed home by Western Centre Raider Nigel Tomkins piloting the 250 Beta around for a loss of 28,Nigel cleaning the stony Climbs of Bill Faulkner's section 3/4 on all visits.

Bill incidentally has won this event on four occasions 1955/59/61 and 1965 for the record.After his recent win at the Ivan Davis cup Montesa mounted James Fletcher put in another good ride with a narrow victory in the Novice class which included three smart cleans on section seven a really tricky rooted climb with an awkward drop to the river and a very loose muddy climb to the ends cards way up on the track.

The Blue eased route was as ever well supported but today had a special significance for a certain Kevin McCullagh who was riding his 200th Ixion event spanning fifty years and a winning performance was duly provided.


 Class Rider  Machine  Marks Lost
James Cup Chris Koch Beta 36
Expert 1st class Vince Branch Gasser 79
Inter Darren Walters Beta 124
Youth A Bradley Cox Gas Gas 86
Standard Route      
Clubman Nigel Tomkins Beta 28
1st Class Mark Elms Mont 40
Novice James Fletcher Mont 71
1st Class Jason Fletcher Beta 76
2nd Class Mike Clarke Gas Gas 86
Blue Eased Route Kevin McCullagh 4RT 50
  Chris Joyner Mont 89