Race Report: Farmer John's Stockport North Champs

Oct 13, 2022
by Jerry Tatton  
Leo Smith is a bit of a legend in these parts

It's nearly a week since Mike Marsden's Borderlines team entertained over 180 riders at the legendary Farmer John's MTB park and the dust is just settling. This was the first time I'd ever ventured down to Stockport's infamous bike park, and it left me wondering why the hell I'd never been here before. Borderlines and Farmer John's go way back, and correct me if I'm wrong, as a race venue Borderlines was the first ever organiser to run a race there 11 years ago in 2011 with the North West Champs and a certain legend of MTB Bex Baraona taking the Womens title back then (If I'm wrong, blame roots and rain LOL!

Mike leads the marshal brief at first light. It's great to have Mike running races, more to come.....shhhhh

The weather had been pretty grim across the UK leading up to the race, but John must have been doing the naked tribal weather dance, and managed to book a window of good, though chilly weather for the race. Officially, this was a one-day race, with practice in the morning and 2 race runs in the afternoon.

Launching into the wooded section

Steep wooded section tested the riders after the blisteringly fast upper section

This was a race of two halves. The first half of the course was a super fast hard packed trail centre style course, but with big jumps, table tops, drops and a sizeable step up, the half way down the course, by the race HQ it "jumped" into the lower woods, where carnage ensued.

Ollie Carne is one of the fast young guns coming up through the ranks and certainly one to watch!

Macie McCarthy leaning that berm. Possibly the youngest girl on the day and certainly another young rider to keep an eye on for the future

Steeper more natural sections and a nasty narrow off-camber section. The woods is where the riders were tested and early in the day, there were many infamous red flags as riders were going into this section way too hot, having been lured into a false sense of security on the upper faster trail.

Off-camber and narrowing sections caused some chaos

Coming in too hot was going to not end well. Rider finished the course. Phew

Saul keeping the bike on line at the steepest section

The fastest time of the day went to Ian Forsyth (Expert) in a staggering 1:38.86, but this was no easy win for Ian. His first race run was well under par and he made up 4 seconds on his second race run. Second fastest was Luke Knight (Expert) in 1:39.494, just 0.594s behind and considerably ahead after the first race run! Third fastest of the day was young gun Sam Ormsby (15-16) in 1:40.756. This was super tight racing for the top 3 fastest times of the day, the competition was fierce and many young riders made it into the top 10 places.

Every top section feature could be styled up during practice

With such a small venue, the spectators were everywhere providing a great atmosphere

The women's race was equally fiercely fought, with Sophie Cade 19+(F) taking the win in 2:00.150, with Vaska Prostova 19+(F) breathing down her neck in 2:03.970 and third fastest was Darcey Turner U19(F) in 2:07.507.

Whip it boy! Ben Moss

That's it for this race report. For a small venue, there was plenty of variation to the course and a superb atmosphere. For a full rundown of the results, please head over to roots and rain, without doubt the best place for all things MTB and off-road cycling. To find out more from Borderlines and Mike's upcoming races for 2023, head over to the website. Mike's been teasing me with some huge plans for 2023, so don't miss out.

Supporters were out in force. Woof

So that's a wrap for this report, huge thanks and well done to Mike and his team, the marshals and medics, the timing guys and sponsors and last but not least Farmer John himself, what a venue and I can't wait to head back and have a ride about here! To find out more about the venue, head to the website here, it's one hell of a bike park.

Carnage corner attracted the biggest crowds

Go big or go home

Arthwr and Aaron sharing a team moment together

Early morning practice for Jamie Wright

Red flag time. Matt Hutchinson one of the marshals. No marshals, no racing. Simples.

Rachael, the unsung hero of many a race event and the backbone to more than one race organiser.

Final image goes to Anthony Harvey, who literally styled up every feature all day long!

Photos and report - @jwdtphotograghy

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Member since Mar 20, 2017
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  • 3 1
 Looks like a great race! Ive been there once after a week of rain and the bottom half was treacherous. To be fair the bottom half of the top half was treacherous too. Good spot though. Id like to go again in the dry.
  • 2 1
 It rolls fast when it's dry! I'm not far away and have a very worthwhile membership, great spot for jumping practice in preparation for big bike park days in Wales! Always good folk around too.
  • 3 0
 @ajl-mtb: Yeah I liked the place. Friendly staff, nice bacon butties, hungry little dogs!

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