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I.S.D.E France 2001 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gordon Ayshford   
Gordon's Scrap Book
The Witley ISDE 2001, a story told from the viewpoint of the Team Manager, Gordon Ayshford in a scrapbook of words and pictures. Raw and uncut - as it happened. The words are from the reports that Gordon and Colin Boniface despatched daily from the ISDE press office to the Witley websites and bye-mail to the supporters at home. The pictures are from Gordon’s camera. The feeling of connection with the world back at home gave the squad a boost, knowing that they weren’t alone against the world, that the Witley membership was sharing the experience. Here the experience is encapsulated.
Hard at work in the Hotel car park
Report No. 1 The journey down was a steady cruise through France. Richard Alldred with his wife, Julie and their friends Mitch & Jan Hutchins as support crew in their 4wd sailed Tuesday night and arrived at the Team hotel on Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday morning three vans had set sail to arrive at the Hotel at 9.00 in the evening. Two hire vans, arranged by Neil Foster carried 7 of the 9 bikes, five riders: Neil Foster, Neil Challice, Peter Batt, James Jackman and Rob Carey and support crew members Brian Hegarty & Sarah Griffiths with Team Manager Gordon Ayshford. Darryl Peach's van completed the convoy with two bikes, outrider Darryl and support crew Alison Galpin with youngster Sam Peach on board. An air of anticipation, excitement mixed with apprehension filled the vans.
Melanie & Martine
A quick detour through Brive la Gaillarde; where the event starts, en route to the town of Bealieu sur Dordogne where the Hotel is located brought it home - we are here ; entered in the biggest International Enduro event of the calendar - the WITLEY WARRIORS are back. The 45 kilometre drive to the Hotel seemed to take forever after the drag through France but the view of Beaulieu across the Dordogne as we drove in was a worthy prize.

The girls in the Brive Tourist office Martine and Melanie had done us proud. A classic old French Hotel in a medieval town centred around an Abbey stretched out along the banks of the Dordogne - a dream setting and ideal to relax away from the tensions of the city of Brive with the ISDE carnival in town.Mitch, Brian Hegarty, James and Rob watch Richard making adjustments to Rob’s Bike

Thursday
brought liaison with the ACU, meeting Martine and Melanie of the tourist office to pay them the balance owing for accommodation, present them with a small gift each for all their help ( take their photo), Signing on as Team manager - Darryl taking the second managers pass and information pack and extra vehicle passes for two teams. Then came claiming / setting up the Witley pits within the chaos of GB area of the paddock. Both our Canopies and Darryl's van adequately staked the Witley claim, adjacent to the CSMA pits with Neil and Reg Bowker boosting the Witley presence.
A chance meeting with Derek and Betty Prior who had just arrived further increased the Witley membership at the ISDE. After that back to the Hotel for Mousse changing and bike set-up in the hotel car park. Neil Foster had been worried about the fitness of his right hand which had suffered small fractures a few weeks earlier but use of Neil Challice's mousse "tower" and a selection of levers from Darryl plus cleats saw him changing in sub seven minutes- quicker than he has ever done before and an invaluable boost in confidence which spreads through the intense confines of "the team". The Witley Warriors spirit is rising ready for battle.

Friday was the day for Riders signing on. Up early no breakfast out to walk some tests then into Brive to sign on - only minor dramas here. Waiting around for documentation to be submitted by the ACU and accepted by the organisers then a small panic for James Jackman due to the organisers lack of understanding of British insurance cover notes. A couple of phone calls and a fax from the UK and all is sorted. Friday afternoon some go to ride at the practise track then change mousses others stay in the pits to work on their bikes - 96 degrees F in the shade! Then a moment of panic the tyres bought from Michelin in the UK don't carry the 'E' mark and type approval no. and are not acceptable. The financial drain on the riders continues as they have to buy more tyres in the same compound, with the same tread pattern but with the magic markings - Mr Michelin is rubbing his hands.













Saturday morning - breakfast missed again to get to scrutineering in Brive at 7.30. Bikes ( & tyres) all OK mechanically but trouble again with documentation. Neil Foster & James Jackman both have new bikes without original registration documents. Some explanation / filling additional information into boxes on the forms and photocopying then the bikes are accepted into the parc ferme. Everyone relaxes looking forward to a day off on Sunday.
Peter Stab organising the pits - broom in hand
Saturday also saw the arrival in of more support crew. Peter Stabb and Brian Foster ( Neil's dad) with Colin Boniface in Colin's car - again a chance meeting just as one of our vans drove up to the admin block. In the evening Witley's ISDE support veterans of Italy & Portugal, Dave Kavanagh and Roger Johnson rolled up on their bikes at the hotel just in time to join the Squad for a banquet of medieval proportions.Estella
Estelle, working for the promoters in the press office - the source of results and e-mail facilities. Colin had gained a Press Pass which gave invaluable access to this press facility which gave the opportunity to keep the Witley members at home up to date. Every morning after the riders were away Colin and Gordon devoted a couple of hours to rubbing shoulders with the international band of professional reporters and photographers compiling and despatching the report of events.
Last minute fettlingSunday morning - a message to Gordon from ACU jury member Frank Carter - problems with the documentation for Neil Foster & James Jackman's bikes again. The Clerk of the course (who is legally responsible for the road legality of all bikes - penalty imprisonment) does not recognise the documentation as valid. This problem also involves seven other teams including the whole US and Australia entry. Unable to get originals the only option open to us is to get a Police station to ratify the documentation. An member of staff, Elizabeth is prepared to accompany the delegation to the police station and interpret. A meeting is set for 2.00 pm. But when the time comes the clerk of the course appears and Elizabeth makes painstakingly detailed description of the vehicle licensing process for each case and at shortly after 3.00pm the Clark of the Course accepts all entries without troubling the police - phew. Moral of the story buy your bike at least a few months before the ISDE.

Slide 11
Monday, Day 1 of 6
A deceptive course, described as boring or a trail ride becomes tiring and treacherous when ridden against the tight 'A' schedule chosen by the jury to shorten the day to finish in eight and-a-half hours of riding - first rider starting at 7.00 am.

All the Witley boys get in ok. Neil Challice at 109th in his 300 two stroke class and Neil Foster at 99th in the 250 two stroke class were clean on time as is Neil Bowker of the CSMA team one above Foster at 98th (both on 250 KTMs). Neil Challice has dented his expansion chamber in a tumble so a replacement was bought form the KTM stand which Neil fitted Monday night. Peter Batt lies at 84th in the 125 two stroke class having lost 1 minute and has also damaged his expansion chamber but has kept the new one from Fabrizio of Husqvarna as a spare in case it cracks. Rob Carey overshot a corner with a group of riders, where the tapes were down which cost him 4 minutes. He is in 66 th. position in the 400 fourstroke class. Richard Alldred maintained the steady pace necessary to see a rider through six days and picked up 6 minutes of penalties from one tight check putting him at 39th in the 500 fourstroke class.

 

 

 

 


























Slide 14
Day two and the riders had ridden the same route as day one against the same schedule. Spirits were higher and times were better. Neil Foster had suffered a heavy fall at high speed - the first thing to hit the ground was his head though so no serious damage. The bike had taken a bit of a battering and Neil said it was pointing the wrong way when he got up to pick it up. Riding off - the rear wheel was bucking like a wild horse due to a buckled rear sprocket so Neil coaxed the bike to the next check where Dave Kavanagh heard him coming from far off. Dave thought it was a piston or big end gone. Neil Straightened the sprocket as best he could with a big iron bar and chiselled off the damaged teeth. All this cost him 3 minutes penalty dropping him to 152nd place.
Back in the pits he changed the rear sprocket and fitted a new chain loosely. At the start of day three, nursing a bruise on his shoulder and a tender head he finished fitting the chain, straightened out the hand guards and made other minor re-adjustments to restore the bike to full race trim.
James Jackman also took a fall but kept the engine running to avoid a repetition of day one's re-starting problems. Bike undamaged he changed a rear tyre before checking in to the parc ferme. This enabled him to stay clean all day and pull up to 38th position. Peter Batt had a smooth day, came in clean with a super quick rear tyre change and gain a couple of places to 82nd.
Neil Challice was maintaining his uplifting cheerful approach to the event which continues to pull the team along and put in a creditable clean day also changing a rear tyre. Special test times have caused him to drop to 121st but if he keeps this pace and attitude his position will probably improve as others fall by the wayside.


Slide 17

Rob Carey ran a similar day to Challice again changing only a rear tyre and leaving a planned oil change out - this can be a day 3 job- to stay clean and fall only one position to 67th. Rob's aggressive style on the tests must be paying off and he was wearing his favourite black racewear yesterday.
Richard Alldred put in a monster day staying clean on the going and putting in some good special test times he opted to change the rear tyre and remove the front; leaving fitting the new tyre for the 10 minute working time before the start of day 3. He pushed the bike in on the rim for a clean day at 32nd in the class- 7 places higher than the day before.


Day three working time Richard fitted the front tyre, tightened the rear security bolt and spindle, changed an air filter and got out on time in good spirits. Support crew members Darryl Peach, Peter Stabb, Brian Hegarty, Colin Boniface and Gordon Ayshford had their work cut out getting all the riders through the working times of day 2 evening and day 3 morning but proved their worth ensuring no riders incurred any time penalties. Witley Club member Neil Bowker, riding in the CSMA team didn't have as much luck - having stayed clean on the going he fell victim to a swollen rear mousse due to the high temperature and having lost 2 minutes dropping him to 143rd position he gave up and took the bike in on the rear rim. Thankfully in the cool of the morning he was able to fit the tyre within day 3 pre-start working time and get away on time.

Wednesday 29th - Day Three and a new route to contend with. Running to the 'A' schedule the day promised to be shorter by half an hour. The good start they all got and the good results from day two had the Warriors hot on the trail. after the first lap the lads reported the route to be a trail ride with plenty of fast going and one big hill to contend with.
The hill started with a sharp right turn off a minor road up and over a steep ridge then up and up at about 1in 2 with a limited choice of line in the fine sand between boulders. Neil Foster put the hill in the classification of "when you've done it once you know you don't want to do it again".

Knowing he would never get up the hill without a clutch something had to be done. By chance Darryl Peach, Peter Batt, Brian Hegarty and Gordon Ayshford were visiting the check as Neil Pulled in and Luckily there was a KTM van at the check which provided a complete lever/ master cylinder, hose & slave cylinder system against a number, signature and promise to pay later. Shielded by a screen of support crew to protect Neil's repair work from disturbance from passers by the clutch system was partially fitted before the time check and finished immediately after so Neil got away without losing any time.

At the end of the day Peter Batt, first in on his 125 was clean on time, changed a front tyre and mousse the old mousse having lost some resilience. Only on the way back to the hotel did he reveal that he had had a big "off" when cross-rutted in a track early in the day when riding from the start out of town to the start of the loop that was lapped twice. This fall had hurt his shoulder and knee and though it had not slowed him up any on the bike he was having difficulty climbing in and out of the van.
Next in was Neil Foster in the 250 class he repeated Richard Alldred's routine of the night before in changing a rear tyre and taking off the front to fit the new one during the next mornings working time. Neil had fully recovered his spirits after the heavy fall from the day before and was cheerfully re-appraising his assessment of the course as a deceptive fast trail ride that was very tiring, all riders showing signs of fatigue now.
James Jackman should have been next in riding a 250 4 stroke but we knew he was suffering starting problems and had lost time so it was not too worrying when Rob Carey came in next on the 400 4 stroke. Rob was on song and performed his tyre change cleanly to get into the parc ferme without time penalties. Worry began to set in when Rob said he hadn't seen James but on Richard Alldred's prompt arrival on the 520 4 stroke he reported that he had seen James who was now 43 minutes late.
Richard repeated his daily ritual of a rear tyre change - the big engine takes its toll on the rubber and rode into the parc ferme with time to spare he will do an oil change next morning.
Finally James rolls in does a tyre change and gets in to the parc ferme 43 minutes late. A shame he is loosing time but at least he is still within the hour late which would have excluded him from the day's results which are currently not looking too bad at all.
Results are now being published in a consolidated list not in classes so an overall position can be established. James is at a creditable 43rd in his class of 48 riders and 443rd overall out of a total field of 461 still running. Richard is at 356th overall holding 32nd position in his class of 41 over 500cc riders. Rob is lying at 342nd position overall and 61st in the 400 class of 98 riders. Peter lies at 318th overall and 78th in the 125 class containing 100 riders. The 250cc 2-stroke class of 200 riders which holds all 2-strokes over 125 has Neil Challice at 310th overall and 119th in the class, Neil Foster at 281st overall and 107th in the class and between them WItley member Neil Bowker riding for the CSMA team at 288th overall and 109th in the class. The 'Witley Warriors 1' team of Neil F, Rob C & Richard A are at 48th in the team results and 'Witley Warriors A' at 57th with a total of 104 teams in the competition. There are 8 British teams above Witley and 6 below with no one in between so they will have to hang on in there when the going gets tough to recapture the chance of the honour of best British team that they achieved in Portugal 1999.

Thursday 30th - Day 4.
Overnight rain greeted the riders, causing the French organiser's to change to the gentler 'B' time schedule for a reverse run of Day 3's route. Neil Challice, arm strapped to his side was back on form with his humour, now having the opportunity to gee-up James, Rob, and Richard that had previously been starting after Neil had set out. This lifted the mood as the weather brightened with most riders looking forward to a good day; knowing the gnarly parts of day 3's course would pose no problems in the opposite direction.
Start times remained unchanged, with Peter Batt away coolly and calmly as usually at 7:55am, the very experienced rider and even more experienced bike - having been Peter's mount in the 1999 Portugal ISDE! Darryl Peach - Pit Manager with full control of the morning work area and the evening pit sessions, has allowed the riders to make full use of their daily 15 minute evening and 10 minute morning maintenance time.
This morning Neil Foster fitted the front tyre as planned as well as fitting a clean air filter. Peter Stabb - Darryl's apprentice & pit area tea maker, has stepped forward to carry out the unseen tasks of mousse and filter cleaning so essential to keeping bikes breathing and gripping.

James Jackman, next away was unruffled by yesterday's lost time and fitting a new plug late in the day before had finally overcome the hot starting problems. But James' bike now perversely proved reluctant to start from cold which delayed his getaway.
Rob Carey gave his bike a quick check over and was away in high spirits.
Richard Alldred last away at 9.57 performed minor adjustments and an oil change - with a slight panic as the drain plug turned itself into a puzzle when being re-fitted eating up time so Richard took his clean air filter with him to change at a slack check.
Away on a new route the riders left the support girls Alison Galpin and Sarah Griffiths to run the same route to the laundrette and supermarket - fundamental to the performance of the team - washing riding gear and preparing food for the hungry riders as soon as they return to the pits in the evening. The quantity of food, high energy and isotonic drinks that these boys put away to rebalance the body chemistry and replenish the thousands of calories they burn up during 8 or 9 hours continuous riding has to be seen to be believed !


Neil Foster roars in having had his best day yet "I'm really getting into it now" he announces "about time too" an anonymous response "sometimes the bike really feels a part of me", "sometimes it nearly is".
James Jackman manages to complete the day without further loss of time and replaces a very worn back tyre ( how much wheelspin James ?) to give maximum grip on the next day. The usual local pit scroungers are around looking for old tyres - they pick up James' old tyre they throw it back to take two others from more careful previous owners.
Rob Carey is late and as the worry starts to set in Richard Big-Bird Alldred swoops in on time. He has seen Rob and as Richard changes his rear tyre he describes Rob's location and problem - a smashed water pump casing. Darryl sets out to help on Rob's identical spare bike as Richard calmly removes the front tyre to once again push the bike into parc ferme on the rim - this time by choice with minutes to spare. The true essence of the ISDE team spirit is showing through -timing actions precisely to avoid the mistakes that can happen when you are rushing, while dispatching an outrider to bring aid to a stranded team-mate.
In the meantime however, resourceful Rob manages makeshift repair before Darryl gets to him. Loctite to the rescue: within a pack of various products that had been supplied to the Witley Warriors as product sponsorship for the event was some metal filler/ adhesive and RTV silicone gasket sealer. A portion of this was being carried by each rider and Rob built the water pump casing back together using the metal filler - the main spigot had been separated and was hanging from the hose - then sealed the assembly with RTV. The cooling system refilled using water from a stream, brought to Rob by helpful Belgian Enduro fans and he was riding on his way. Back in the pits Rob removed the old damaged pump case as Darryl returned, then pushed the bike into the park ferme - late but nowhere near "houring out" the exclusion from the days results that happens if you check in more than an hour after your scheduled time.
 
British Team positions at the end of Day 4 now stand as :
14th Wales A, 18th Wales B, 28th British Army A, 32nd North Riding, 37th Southern MCC, 38th Yeadon & Guisely, 40th CSMA (including Witley Member Neil Bowker), 51st Witley Warriors 1 ( Neil Foster, Rob Carey & Richard Alldred), 59th Wirral Off-Road, 66th Witley Warriors A (Peter Batt, Neil Challice & James Jackman), 76th Team Cornwall, 81st Ramsey MCC ( Paul Edmonson, Juan Knight & David Knight- who is out through injury), 83rd British Army B, 86th West of England, 88th TBM, 92nd Scotland.
Witley Warriors may be losing some time and have lost one rider but are still in the running. The Endurance element of Enduro is becoming key as many in the field are suffering injury and mechanical breakdown. Day 5 has been reported by the British outrider Geraint Jones to be the most challenging day. Witley Warriors are going into battle armed with the full power of the Witley & District MCC membership and the will to win.

Friday Day. 5
A new challenge awaits the Warriors... There has been some torrential rain overnight which persists as heavy showers while Peter Batt gingerly sets off on the new route at his usual 7.55 start time though the field has been compressed due to withdrawn riders bringing the others start times slightly earlier. There has been a lot of road work involved this year and Friday has more than the previous days. In the wet conditions care must be taken to avoid throwing the event away in an unnecessary incident on the roads between the true Enduro off-road mileage.

During the morning 10 minute work time Rob Carey fits the new water pump that he had removed from his spare bike the night before - to get away on time - without the rear tyre change he had planned to perform the night before but which had been overtaken by the damage repair.
On the start line Neil Foster heartily greets Pedro and Lars as he has nicknamed the Spanish and Swedish riders on his minute with whom he has struck up a strong non-verbal comradeship. Neil takes to the road sharing Peter Batt's hope that the "challenging" sections about which they had been warned the day before would require the trials competence they both held.
James Jackman still uncertain as to the cause of his bikes starting misbehaviour find his apprehensions unfounded as this day the bike fires up first kick. Perhaps it is the cool damp "English" weather today that the bike has been set up for, though thankfully the rain has abated.

Richard Alldred, for the first time getting some advantage of a later start as the sun is out and the day is brightening. Richard calmly fits the front tyre and is away.


The course does as predicted have its challenging obstacles including an almost impassable hill and slimy grassy sections
which many of our riders struggle to negotiate and cost time.
As the track conditions deteriorated the route was changed to eliminate the 'stoppers' and the check times excluded from the days result - to the relief of Neil Bowker (Witley member riding for CSMA) who had skidded into a ditch on
that check costing him 2 minutes and requiring the assistance of two passers-by to retrieve the bike. Neil Foster also reported falling off at the top of a bank, leaving the bike behind and running down the slope to avoid falling over
and rolling down after which he had to climb back up the bank and climb back on the bike - engine still running. The special tests on the first lap were sodden fields requiring cautious both-feet-down riding to pull the bikes to a halt to make the speed-limiting tight turns of the indoor-motocross style tracks. During the afternoon the mud dried into a very grippy surface which rutted easily and some fast times resulted.

All Witley Warriors make it back to the finish in high spirits. Neil Foster chose to do nothing more than clean and check-over their bikes ready for the short 67 km ride to the final day motocross on Saturday.
James Jackman has been fired up by some good motocross tests and chooses to change his back tyre to his strength at motocross its best chance. He also plans to change his gearbox sprocket some time on Saturday before getting to the motocross because he doesn't want to take any chances when going for the holeshot! Rob Carey arrives in much the same mood also putting on a new rear tyre.

Peter also in high spirits also planned minimum maintenance until he noticed that the large dent in his expansion chamber picked up at the beginning of the week has propagated a crack which he hastily repairs with the Loctite metal filler from the Witley Warriors Loctite product sponsorship pack.




Richard Alldred shares the view of other ISDE veterans Peter Batt and Neil Foster and restricts his pit work to cleaning the bike to cat calls of 'tart' from the other riders already in the pits. It is later in conversation about the course when the
riders are asking each other the "did you see ..." questions that it is revealed that the pretty flower pots seen on the first lap but which were obliterated by the second lap was the handiwork of the last Witley rider through on the first lap - Richard Alldred who had slid off on a bend in the wet road to carry on into the front garden of the house to score a 'strike' as all the pots were sent clattering in all directions. Again bouncy and bubbly the riders are thankful to the members of support crew that have been able to visit the special tests during the week to cheer them on and are all looking forward to the final test on a real motocross track.

The final day ride to the motocross on Saturday does not require the level of out-check support that has been present during the week so now is the time for a vote of thanks from the Riders, myself Gordon Ayshford; Team Manager & reporter extraordinaire and the whole Witley membership who have been represented with the greatest honour at the 2001 ISDE in Brive-la-Gaillarde in France - by the support squad that have supported the riders through the event: Darryl Peach, Alison Galpin and their son Sam (9 months - in whose sunny presence makes it easy to keep your temper despite the trials and tribulations around you) who took charge of the Pits, Sarah Griffiths who took on a great deal of the cooking and washing duties, Brian Hegarty, Roger Johnson and Dave Kavanagh, for a mixture of out-check and pits duties, Peter Stabb for making the tea ( methode a-la-millbridge) and assisting with pits servicing and morning work times, Colin Boniface for gaining access to the press office and his overall enthusiasm for Witley in an event of these proportions plus wearing the union jack outfit and specially to Brian Foster, Julie Alldred and the Alldred's friends Mitch & Jan Hutchins who effectively ran the outcheck allocated to the Scots crew between them for most of the week.

Day 6 - Saturday 1st September.
Uncertain of the start times which are often re-shuffled for the last day to give arrival times at the motocross track in line with the starting order for the motocross an early morning began the agenda for everyone. The whole squad shared the rider's outwardly relaxed image which, for Gordon Ayshford the Team Manager and probably most of the others was shrouding the usual pre-race nerves.
The start times were more or less the same as previously meaning quite a long wait for Rob Carey and Richard Alldred but this did not drag due to the packing up activity and wisecracks flying about the pit creating a unique atmosphere. All riders used their morning work time for a final check over the machines and minor adjustments- James Jackman ensured he had his new gearbox sprocket and necessary tools so that he could do the change at one of the checks. All away the pits were tidied up and all support crew left in the vans for the 40 or so kilometre drive up the A20 to meet the riders at the final check by the motocross circuit. First race billed for 1.00 p.m.

6.30 p.m. At Uzerche Motocross Track.
- Just in from the last Race in which Richard ( big bird ) Alldred flew the flag as the only British rider in the 500 Fourstroke class dominated by top European riders. Maintaining a steady pace and looking stylish in the air he produced a proud performance after a gruelling event with such a heavy bike.
The race before Richard's had been the second 400 cc Fourstroke race in which Rob Carey had held up well in a highly competitive class. Showing some signs of fatigue on the jumps his style picked up noticeably as he passed close to the endless chain of supporters or cameras standing three or four deep that lined the outer perimeter of the track.

Also looking forward to playing to the crowd was James Jackman in the earlier 250 Fourstroke race but having fallen ( while showing off ?) he had the old trouble re-starting, was guided off the track by marshals to re-start the bike - then had to argue to until he was let back into the race several laps down. The 250 Two-stroke class had two Witley riders in the same race - Witley Warrior Neil Foster and CSMA rider Neil Bowker. Neil Bowker made the better start but when Neil Foster changed into third on the start straight he surged forward to take a good mid-field position. Both riders went well and held their places to the finishing line.
Out in the first race of 125 Two-strokes Peter Batt had stayed away from trouble in a field of aggressive riding tactics to pass the finishing line towards the back of midfield.


A feeling of achievement and elation ( mixed with relief) has now washed over the squad, everyone feels a winner. The conditions and ambience at the old natural scrambles circuit that had not been used for some years until this event have promoted such feelings. The day started off cool with a few small but threatening clouds as racing began. These proved to be empty threats and the sun burned the cloud off to create a bright summers afternoon. The track had reacted well to the recent rain and was obviously well drained being a coarse sandy surface that lost the grass covering very quickly. There was no dust and the grippy berms built up well. Large areas of the track were visible from every aspect as it looped around a large undulating field with a central hollow and few large trees at the outer margins. A crowd of several thousand cheered on the riders and the sound of air horns filled the air. At the far side of the track from the starting gate and the commentary tower a local 'performer' added to the spectacle with his pyrotechnic displays and dancing while dressed in motocross boots black cape, blond wig and little else - wait for the photos. Now the Witley Warriors must wait for confirmation of results and their medal positions, the party tonight may only be the vanguard for an ongoing celebration of a most outstanding event.


The Saturday night party was the stuff from which legends are made. Colin Boniface and Gordon Ayshford were held up at the press office sited at the location of the final day motocross waiting for provisional results. The others returned to the parc ferme to pack up and get back to base at Beaulieu sur Dordogne.

A farewell meal at the street restaurant where they had been well served with double portions of pasta and gallons of water during the competition. A gift of a Witley Warriors polo shirt to Frederick the humorous waiter as a memento in thanks for the welcome he had shown and the atmosphere his unique style had created.

While driving back through the village of Uzerche where the Final motocross had been held Gordon and Colin were flagged down by a bunch of revelling moto fans who were gathered around an impromptu street bar. The French lads had obviously already consumed a hearty quantity of party spirit and wouldn't take no for an answer so Colin and Gordon stopped for a quick half, shook everyone's hand spoke in pidgin French/English with the locals about how great everything in the world was that day then bade a cheerful farewell to get back to the Parc Ferme. A quick scout around the pits area collecting a few momentos in the form of signs and posters was interrupted by the security guards so only the small one already in Colin's boot and the possibility of the big one stashed by Colin's tent might get home. The Parc Ferme and Pits area were a hollow ghost town compared with the carnival of the preceding days with only a few campervans and tents dotted around pus the beat-up old Swedish "tour Bus". Colin and Gordon visited the Bar Colin had frequented during the ISDE to bid farewell to the owners then set off for Beaulieu to join the others for whatever they were up to.

Colin and Gordon joined the squad just as they were at the dessert course and another round of biere grande sil-vous-plait was ordered. Not used to the capacity of the English the bar has insufficient grande glasses to go round so some have to cope with two halves. The bar now has one less grande verre as James Jackman ( with a growing reputation as a beer drinker) decides that one of them would make a nice memento and will probably be gracing the bar of his local social club with £1.60's worth of Lager in it on Tuesday night.

A fair had arrived in Beaulieu a few days earlier and it was now our chance to sample the thrills of the rides that had recently made parking and sleeping for those at the front of the hotel difficult. The kids were pushed aside as the Witley Warriors proved their prowess at dodgems bore a striking resemblance to their riding skills. Then a ride that looped the loop while the English screams filled the night air. Go-Karting for some; where a relaxed reflex driving style aided and abetted by the calvados that Frederick had supplied after the meal gave Gordon the edge over Neil Foster and Rob Carey for several races until Rob decided he was having no more of it and flicked Gordon into the armco to take the win in the final session.


ISDE 2001 Club Team Results:
49th - Witley Warriors 1 = Neil Foster, Rob Carey & Richard Alldred
70th - Witley Warriors A = Peter Batt, Neil Challice & James Jackman

Positions of all ACU clubs as follows:
11 Wales A
18 Wales B
24 British Army A
27 Wirral Off-Road
35 Southern MCC
39 North Riding
40 Yeadon & Guisely
42 CSMA - Well done to Neil Bowker and his team-mates
49 Witley Warriors 1
70 Witley Warriors A
76 British Army B
79 Cornwall
82 West of England
85 Ramsey MCC - Paul Edmonson, David & Juan Knight
- this result gives testimony to the level of competition in a gruelling event.
86 Scotland
92 Trail Bike Magazine.

A total of 104 Club Teams feature in the full result table on http://perso.wanadoo/fr/afcmicro/END/CHAU/EPREUVE. htm











 
 
 
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