CHG 19th Annual Sphinx Trial, April 15, 2012 - First round of the ACU Trailbike Championship

Previous Years: 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

2012 Results

Report by Steve Venn

This series is now a popular well-established variation of traditional Long distance road trials.

The Sphinx is now in its 19th year and a 70 mile tour of the Cotswolds taking in 30 sections was planned.

A well-travelled entry of 100 riders arrived at Hazleton village hall to the usual warm welcome and enjoyed a cold but pleasantly dry day. The previous week's rain meant slippery sections, with the championship riders having to tackle 6 harder deviations to the standard route sections.

Section 6 in Humblebee wood part of the famous Sudley castle estate, proved to be the first real test with turns over roots.

The drama unfolded with all the main contenders losing marks here. Paul Sargent lost 5, Gavin Moore lost 3, their only marks for the day, but it was too many!

Julian Page many times champion lost 2 and Gary Marshman and Henry Bendall lost 1.

All these Expert trials riders were upstaged by Graham Lavis and Alan Newman who recorded the only amazing clean rides here.

The following section was new to the trial with an incredibly steep off cambered climb with very little run up, and a committed attack needed, surprisingly this caused very few problems and many clean ascents were achieved, but it did catch Marhsman for a slack dab!

The clubman riders quietly continued with the regular standard route Sphinx sections.

On his first road trial Adam Colburn only lost 2 marks all day, closely followed by Russell Sprigg on 4 and Neil Turner on 5. In 4th place was the ever improving Nigel Tustin who lost just 8 marks, he also secured the Mark Kirby award for best working club member.

The enduro class was won with an impressive score of only 3 marks lost by Ben Spriggs, beating Stratford ace Pete Barnett, wrestling his mighty Suzuki 400 around also on 3 but with a slower test time.

The Pre 65's had a hard day on the road but never complained, with Scottish Pre 65 2 Day stalwart Ian Wixon on his sweet Triumph twin getting the better of Colin Hedges Matchless. The ladies award winner was a determined Grace Hagan.

The championship riders continued to impress, with a fast special test proving crucial. Section 28 back at Hazleton farm was the decider, Page was on 2 as was Marshman but he had a faster test time.

Bendall and Moore were on 3. Marshman dropped a further 1 mark, to leave Page needing a clean to win the opening round of this championship. Page hesitated at the final very tight wiggle between trees and also cast a dab to avoid a five for stopping. So a worthy winner in Gary Marshman on his CRM Honda, his first LDT premier.

Langley Hill was not used this year as the club have an "open" trial there on 27th May. There will be a route suitable for trail bikes and Pre 65's.

Preview by Steve Venn

The Cheltenham Home Guard MCC are proud to run the popular ‘SPHINX' long distance road trial as the first round of the ACU Trail Bike Championship this year, on 15th April.

The format will be similar to past events, with a 70 mile route around the Cotswolds using green lanes private land and road work, to include 30 sections a hill climb and special test.

As this is now a championship round you will be able to walk the sections before riding them. The sections will be of the usual standard or in some cases slightly eased (not so tight) with the added challenge that six sections will have an alternative championship (harder) route in them.

An excellent days motorcycle sport is expected what ever your skill level, and these half dozen tougher bits will be there to test the championship class ‘A' contenders only not the regular riders.

The village of Hazleton continue to be our welcome hoists, providing food before and after the event and your entry fee includes 2 food vouchers. There are classes for twin shock, Pre65, enduro as well. See back of TMX or online for entry details, or phone that very nice man secretary of the meeting David Eeles 01684 298098. Entry limit is 120 so get them in!!