Oxford Ixion James Cup

oxford ixion mccBad 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.


James Cup Chris Koch 300 Beta 64


First Class John Cowley 280 Jotagas 71
Second Class Michael James 300 Ossa 90


Standard White Route

Tony Cowley 300 Ossa 32
First Class Alan Taylor 250 Scorpa 58
Second Class Justin Heavens 300 Beta 59


Blue easy.

Martyn Greatbatch 250 Gasser 59
Rob Lewis 290 Sherco 62
Bradley Taylor 280 Ossa 71
Ryan Harris 125 Gasser 74
Neil Harris 280 Gasser 81


Report Ken O'Brien