For the third round of the ACU S3 Parts National Championship the series moved away from mud and climbs of the Cotswolds and Berkshire to the rocks and streams of Mid Wales.
Dry warm conditions at the start soon deteriorated as competitors moved to the first sections high in the Foel Forestry that formed the basis of the event.
Mist swirled around and strong winds and rain gave the entrants a tough day.
On the Hard route Chris Pearson – as ever at the back of the entry – took top points to see off winner of the first two rounds, Luke Walker.
Pearson posted six on his first card which Walker nearly matched but for a two on the waterfall of section 20 just before the punchcard chang.
Close on the tail of the leading duo was last year’s winner and dominant force in the championship James Fry on 11.
The back of the trial proved tougher but Pearson was best on 14 with Kyle Hayes keeping tabs on him on 19.
Time penalties, though, cost Hayes finish and he eventually finished sixth.
Walker and Fry dropped 20-plus scores but they were good enough to nail down second and third.
Good second card scores brought Hugo Jervis and John Crinson into the running in fourth and fifth.
A small selection of non championship riders took on the hard course.
And showing all their experience there were few marks separating them at the finish with Ross Danby losing just three on the first card to end one ahead of Sam Haslam and Dan Thorpe. Iwan Roberts and Tom Minta were lurking just a few behind the leading pair. Danby and Haslam matched each other on the second card with eight apiece, Ross coming out victorious by just one mark.
On the easier route Dave Clinkard had a storming first card cleaning everything up to section 20, where he parted with two dabs.
Darren Wasley dropped a dab early on but kept his feet up for the rest of the first card to lead on one from Clinkard and Phil Houghton on four.
The second card proved decisive with Paul Sagar posting the best score of 14 to hoist himself up to second behind Wasley, whose loss of 17 was enough to keep him ahead.
Huw Price had a great run to overtake Clinkard and Houghton and secure third.