The 37th annual Wyegate trial tested riders and bikes to their limits in the lower Wye Valley, across 29 observed sections, writes Ben Falconer.

Of the 90 starters, 17 failed to finish the 100-mile course which started and finished at the Orepool Inn, Sling near Coleford.

For many, the day was a matter of survival, faced with daunting rocky gullies including Pant-Glas, Sunnyside and Craig-y-Master. These proved to cause few problems for the front runners, who saw the trial decided at a very slippery Nannies Lane section.

Until reaching section 23 at Nannies, former winner Rob Breakwell and Andy Frost were still clean, Rob having deftly piloted his KTM enduro bike through New House Farm’s tight sections which were studded with angular rocks and Andy doing the same on his Sherco Trail bike. Disaster struck for both at Nannies however, with a maximum five mark loss, allowing Amory Falconer and Simon Welch to battle it out for top spot after the only other challenger, Glyn Moses had to foot at Pant-glas Steps. Both had already double dabbed at New House Farm’s second section and both recorded an additional dab, but Amory took the overall win on a tie break of furthest travelled on the least marks lost.

It means that a new name is on the Wyegate Trophy, and last year’s winner Simon will see his name etched on the Pre 65 trophy won by his brother Matthew in 2023. Simon has coached Amory for more than 10 years in the ACU Western Youth Trials Development Squad, and this was the second time that Simon has been beaten by one of his pupils, albeit by the narrowest of margins.

Third placed David Maslin pipped Rob to third place, with a very assured ride for just five marks lost, and other riders of bigger trail and enduro bikes also put in some impressive performances, including Tom Pike (Kawasaki KDX 220) on 9, Chris Morris (Husqvarna TE 300) on 12 and Roger Brain (Beta X Trainer 250) on 14. The class for trials-based bikes which are not eligible for the overall win, was won by former 4 time Wyegate winner Chris Koch, aboard his Fantic Seven Days model.

The club wishes to thank all volunteer observers, landowners, and Gloucestershire and Monmouth Councils for their help in assisting with the event.

Provisional results:

Wyegate Cup & Best Under 25: Amory Falconer (250 Gas Gas Pampera) 3 marks lost.

Pre65 trophy: Simon Welch (250 Royal Enfield) 3.

First class awards: David Maslin 5, Rob Breakwell 6 (both KTM EXC300), Glyn Moses (Scorpa T Ride 280), John Roberts (Gas Gas Pampera 250) both 6, Ray Samways (Sherco X-Ride 290) 7, Tom Pike (Kawasaki KDX 220), Richard Jenkins (Gas Gas Pampera 250) both 9.

Haines & Co Trophy for best non trail or Pre65 bike: Chris Koch (Fantic Seven Days), 9.

John Price Cup for best working club member: Rob Breakwell

Eddlestone-Dike award for best over 60: Glyn Moses.

Amory Falconer. Photo: Colin Jones.
Amory Falconer. Photo: Colin Jones. (Colin Jones)
Rob Breakwell. Photo: Colin Jones.
Rob Breakwell. Photo: Colin Jones. (Colin Jones)
Roger Brain. Photo: Colin Jones.
Roger Brain. Photo: Colin Jones. (Colin Jones)
Simon Welch. Photo: Colin Jones.
Simon Welch. Photo: Colin Jones. (Colin Jones)