IT’S Remembrance Sunday this weekend, which means very few events on Sunday as we respect those who lost their lives protecting our freedom. That means the always popular Northern Experts Trial takes place, as usual, on Saturday, November 11.
The Manchester 17 guys and gals are in charge once again and will be staging the event near Crag Hall, Wildboarclough, near Macclesfield, signed off the A537 Macclesfield to Buxton road and the A54 Congleton to Buxton. Closest postcode is SK11 0BD then follow the flags.
The course will be familiar to old hands and the loop, of around six miles, from the start takes riders first to Clough House for a couple of openers before diving into the deep, dark gully in the trees of Plantation emerging into daylight higher up the hill at Ben’s Ditch.
Riders then loop out on the fells to Correction Brook and new hazards at Norman’s before heading back to take in Cumberland Corner, usually more very tight rocky streams. Another big loop follows which will cross the A54 to take in Holt Gully and Cut Thorne before the lap finishes in the woods at Eardleys Burden. It’s then time to refuel and head out for lap two.
As TMX went to press just short of 120 entries had been received split into Experts, 50/50 and Clubman.
Last year’s winner Richard Sadler is back to defend his Northern Experts crown but the Beta rider will face both riders who pushed him close last year, Gas Gas duo Michael Brown and Dan Thorpe. These three finished on 16, 17 and 19 marks respectively last year and will surely enjoy renewing their battles.
Chris Pearson will be challenging for Sherco, Richard Timperley joins in on Gas Gas while GG importer John Shirt makes a surprise entry in the Experts after enjoying some enduro outings lately.
Last year’s 50/50 winner Darren Wasley returns and is always a front runner and will again face Kieran Hankin and Julian Ingham among the 40-odd entrants in the class. Jess Bown and Louise Alford will be looking to mix it with the boys on this course.
The 50 plus Clubman entry is impossible to choose from and as of Monday evening last year’s winner Steve Gerrard’s name was not in the list. Runner-up Mark Timperley was though, but as to who will make the eventual podium is anyone’s guess – although an each way bet on Katy (Sunter) Thorpe wouldn’t go amiss.
Start time is a bright and breezy 9am, an early kick-off essential to get everyone back to the finish before it goes dark now that the clocks have altered.