Chris Koch

Martyn Greatbatch

John Cowley


Tony Cowley


Rob Lewis


Ryan Harris


2013 James Cup Trial.

Report Ken O'Brien....

Archive Pictures by Gary Dowzall

Bad weather closed in just before the start as forecast with riders setting off for a good days sport at the Lower Riding venue where three laps of ten long wooded climbs were ridden.

Sections were a little less technical than the norm but all the same it was a South Midland Centre Expert championship round and a winner had to be found.

The average age of the Expert contingency was around forty years and make no mistake experience was in abundance as eventual winner Chris Koch lifted the Silverware for the seventh time having first triumphed in 1998.

Chris put a brilliant one dab ride in at section nine which began with a third gear blast over a lace of roots down to second for the next hazard a fallen tree and then the final assault in fourth gear thirty yards or so of slick mud and rocks.

A crowd gathered and waited patiently at section two after the word had got around it was a 'Stopper' a fairly short affair but the final steep loose wet climb was taking five after five.

Fondly known as 'Jotagas John' Cowley premiere winner in 1984/9 steps up to access the situation and after a few minutes pondering walks back selects bottom gear and makes it all look too easy to the rapturous applause from the gobsmacked public.

On the standard white route previous James Cup winner (1986/7) Tony Cowley lost 32 to take the Clubman class with three superb cleans on the fearsome graded hill which included a twist at the bottom. Once committed this fourth gear 1 in 2 gradient was not for the faint hearted with many riders peeling off for a two after persistent rain made it all or nothing.

On the blue easy route Martyn Greatbatch 250 Gasser ran out a narrow victor over Rob Lewis and once again it was experience that shone though with Martyn the only blue route rider to clean section 5 every visit.

Many thanks to all the observers for sticking to task and the emails from riders saying they had a great day of old fashioned sections.


Chris Koch Beta 300 64

John Cowley Jotgas 280 71

Michael James Ossa 300 90
Standard White Route
Tony Cowley Ossa 300 32

Alan Taylor Scorpa 250 58

Justin Heavens Beta 300 59
Blue Easy Route
Clubman Martin Greatbatch GasGas250 59

Rob Lewis Sherco 290 62
Youth B
Ryan Harris GasGas 125 74


Full results can be found Results .