This Saturday will see Manchester 17 club stage their Blue Riband event, The Northern Experts Trial.
And a full-house entry and a reserve list, just goes to show the popularity of the trial.
As ever, the Experts will be staged in the Wildboarclough area, near Macclesfield and will comprise two laps of around five miles taking in about 20 sections over a number of groups.
The sections will comprise the usual challenging mix of slippery streams, rockery and bankings. Entry is split into three classes, Experts, Clubman and a popular 50/50 option.
The Northern Experts class is headed by last year’s winner Richard Sadler from Leyburn, Yorkshire.
Saddles completed last year’s event without dropping a single mark and will be looking for a repeat on Saturday. Richard is on good form having recently finished a career-best second in The Scott Trial so will take some beating.
Looking to stop him, though, will be the ever consistent Dan Thorpe – a multi-winner of the Northern Experts – Richard Timperley, Chris Alford, Sam Yeomans and Sam Beecroft Penny while 2019 British Ladies Champ Jess Bown also tackles the full Experts sections.
The 50/50 class looks interesting and with around 60 contenders there are all kinds of computations but likely contenders include John Shirt Jr, Darren Wasley, Kieran Hankin, Andy Cripps, Phil Houghton and Tony Buckley.
And with a similar number tackling the Clubman course the result is totally beyond guessing! It is sure to be super competitive though.
The start will be at a bright and fresh 9am near Crag Hall, Wildboarclough, near Macclesfield which will be signed from the A537 Macc to Buxton and the A54 Congleton to Buxton. Nearest postcode is SK11 0BD.
As well as the Northern Experts the event also counts towards to club’s Edgar Trophy series. This takes in four events, of which the Experts is the last, and carries a prize of £400 for the winner.
Last year’s winner was Richard Timperley and Timps currently holds a slim five-point lead over Sam Beecroft Penny – so no pressure there then!