12 months on from signing for JST Gas Gas UK, Richard Sadler finished off a brilliant year by securing his fourth Northern Experts victory. 20 sections plotted over the Cheshire & Derbyshire Moorside awaited the 115 riders as they would complete 2 laps over the 10 mile course.Having escaped the worst of the recent deluge of rainfall, it was still tough across the moors on a cold November day with a couple of sleet showers thrown in the mix.
The main Northern Experts class saw 16 entrants, an increase in previous years. Richard Sadler back in the saddle after a outstanding 2nd place at the Scott trial produced a near faultless performance dropping just the two single marks on the opening lap, going on to complete the second lap clean. Second was a rejuvenated Richard Timperley, back to the sort of form we’re accustomed to after a mid season dip in form. Seven marks dropped and pipping Liam Walker to second by way of tie break. Timps with 1 more clean than Liam. Fourth was a frustrated Dan Thorpe who suffered a stall on section 18 to end his chances of a podium even with a second lap of 1. Fifth was Chris Alford who enjoyed his day but a few too many 2s left him slightly off the top of 3 on 12.
On the 50/50 Route, fourteen riders were separated by 10 marks with the top 7 on single figures. Forty eight riders entered with a somewhat surprise winner in Sam Atherton (Gas Gas) who’d been hanging off the side of a chair in recent times. 4 single marks lost at Norman’s, and the two at cookoo rocks secured him the win by tie break after Darren Wasley (Gas Gas) dropped a mark on a slippy section 4 at Holts gully. Last year’s winner Robert Loney (Beta) was 1 Mark away from making it a triple way tie break dropping a slack dab on the last section on his opening lap. Just missing out on the podium, S3 O40 champion Phil Houghton (Beta) on 6 marks the best of a 3 way tie break pipping Gavin Black (Sherco) & Billy Craig (Montesa)
Once again the Clubman route was the favoured route, fifty-one riders entered. As with the 50/50 Route the victory was hotly contested with the top 4 separated by just a single mark. Andy Turner (Beta) used all his experience to secure the win and was one of only 3 riders to produce a clean on a long and physical Norman’s. Tied for the win was Manchester 17s Scott Rowland who’d just taken delivery of a new Gas Gas, dropping 16 but losing out with one less clean. Completing the top three was Mark Reynolds who steered his lovely Honda TLR around the course for 7, a good ride for someone who’s only ridden a handful of times this year.
Report by Marty Hill