I WAS ON GOLD UNTIL..................


Its a line that can be heard the breadth and depth of the country as tired and frustrated enduro riders recount their tales of woe at the fickle hands of fate, i was on gold until....  It had started well for Ben Harding, a last minute decision to ride the Major Hadley Portsmouth run hare and hounds near Rowlands Castle Hants meant that we had arrived to a beautiful woodland scene, sunlight filtering through the trees now laden with spring leaf. In places the ground oozed primeval sludge   but generally it was dry. 10.30 Start, Ben riding Expert was off in his group after the Championship line up of about 10 riders and  the experts numbered 14. At the end of lap 1 Ben was making progress and was 6th overall in the timing and going well. Ahead Tom Ellwood was flying and was lapping at least a minute quicker that his nearest rival, Aaron Smith who had an off on lap three . By lap 2 Ben had got up to fourth in the timing behind Ellewood, Smith and Elliott Beken who was the first expert rider and lapping consistently. Smith then crashed and placed Ben 3rd, Smith would recover his 2nd position by the halfway stage but for the early stages it meant that Ben who was slicing seconds off the difference between himself and Beken was lying 3rd overall.

Lap 7 and the half way point, Beken Pitted first followed by Ben who we turned around in formula 1 time to allow him to exit first and get a minute and half advantage. Then it all went wrong for the flying youngster when the throttle stuck open and despite attempts to fix it the cable was found to be broken where it enters the carb and the inner cable catching causIng the throttle to stick. A £20 part that spoilt a fantastic result.