5. Hafren Rally

Cliff jump­ing Starters 154 Re­sult 24th (1st in Trail bike class)

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Features -

Hav­ing suf­fered the dis­ap­point­ment of me­chan­i­cal fail­ure last time out, the team and I were des­per­ate to fin­ish off the year with a good re­sult. With the event tak­ing place in the midst of hur­ri­cane Abi­gale it was another wet, cold and bru­tally windy af­fair. And if that wasn’t enough I did my bit to end my race early by lit­er­ally run­ning out of road and rid­ing off the edge of a Welsh moun­tain. In what was one of the big­gest am­a­teur-hour mo­ments of my life, I had just passed Patsy Quick (the first and only Bri­tish woman to fin­ish the Dakar in Africa) be­fore launch­ing my­self into obliv­ion. Patsy wit­nessed it all and within sec­onds of me crash­ing and rolling down the hill­side, she was at my side check­ing if I was OK. Her cool­ness and mat­ter-of-fact re­sponse im­pressed me to the core and within sec­onds she had some­one slow­ing the other rid­ers down at the top of the hill to pre­vent any­one re­peat­ing my id­i­otic rid­ing and land­ing on us both. Her pri­or­ity then turned to get­ting me back on my bike, and with no way back on track, gave me clear in­struc­tions of how to get down the moun­tain and back to the pad­dock. Pass­ing a Dakar rider would’ve been a story to tell the grand kids, but it wasn’t even on a timed stage – it was a li­ai­son sec­tion where there was noth­ing to be gained. Even three months on it’s still em­bar­rass­ing. With the bike se­verely twisted, my head bang­ing from the im­pact and my wrist in se­ri­ous pain, I limped back to the pad­dock and got my­self to­gether while me­chanic Rowan straight­ened the bike. With two laps to go it was time to man up and head back out to com­plete the race. It’s fair to say the crash took the edge off my pace, but the end re­sult was good. From 200 starters I was 24th over­all and won the trail bike class, which the AJP can be rid­den in due to its trail bike ho­molo­ga­tion.

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