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The Welsh National Champs 2007 | The Green Green Grass of Home

The Welsh National Champs 2007

Things have been busy down in the land of song. Charlotte Church is up the duff, Max Boyce is on the road and Dame Shirley Bassey was entertaining the crowds at Glastonbury. Jason Carpenter is neither pregnant nor a singer, but he is a bit of a diva and he did put on his own mud festival down at Rheola, the Welsh National Champs 2007, innit?

dirt issue 66 – august 2007

Words by Billy Trailstar

There were headline acts, veggie burgers, toilets and mozzies from hell. Do you know that midges are one of the few beasts that can survive a nuclear attack? Makes you wonder then just the hell they put in those cans of repellent. Ahhhh…’Rheola, L-o-l-a, Lola, where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry cola’. The Kinks where pretty close with that one, though they didn’t mention the gimp rooms, come on, don’t lie, we all sneaked in out of curiosity or to escape the mud and rain, and browsed the well thumbed Cherry Popper magazine and wondered, ‘just what the sweet Jesus went on in there’. Ahhh, sweet Rheola, set in the South Wales Valleys it’s a beautiful location, in fact it’s the only venue to feature a natural lagoon in the finish arena. Jerry Twigg, ever the gentleman, was seen punting girls back and forth across the water aboard his Venetian gondola, closely followed by Julian Poffley, furiously pedalling his white swan shaped pedalboat. What a festival. If you can remember it you weren’t really there man.

So, this was the Welsh Champs, the cream of Wales, although there where many gatecrashers, the only rule was that to win you either had to have worked down the mines for ten years butty, or slept with Shirley Bassey. Failing that, if your Great Granddad had a piece of coal in his ear or you could order a cheese sandwich in Welsh with out frothing at the mouth and spitting everywhere, you passed the test.

The track is legendary, like a gnarly old beast, JC tried to pretty it up with a bit of lipstick in the form of the now familiar patented and copyrighted corkscrew berms, featuring the improvised ‘f–k you’ straight line through it…classic.

So what happened? Well, Saturday was a shampoo and wash out, thing is though, the more it rained the bigger the grin factor, Star Wars was utter carnage, the Empire Strikes Back was even worse, and the less said about Revenge of the Sith the better.

Come night time, some pissed off for a shower, Josh Bryceland and Sam Dale went off to smash up an old bath they’d found. The Weightman and Eddy evening pantomime kicked off, and everybody else just laid low, scratching bite marks.

The big day, so who was the headline act? It had to be Bryceland, he was smooth as, all weekend, and smoked everyone with a World Cup display of how to hit the big lines fast in the wet and in the dry on Sunday. Thing is though he doesn’t know his Welsh Rarebit from his leek pie, so he ain’t ever going to get a medal down these parts, especially as he smashed up the local Jacuzzi too.

Oh, yeah here are the other stars:

Senior: Nikki Whiles (worked down the mines), Veteran: Jeff Wherlock (used to be a pit pony), Master: Julian Poffley (slept with Shirley Bassey), Junior: Joe Smith (granddad has coal in his ear), Youth: Gareth Brewin (can order cheese sandwich in Welsh), Juvenile: Grant Boyce, (Treorchy male voice choir), Youth Female: Manon Carpenter (Scrum half Welsh rugby), Sport Female: Aimee Dix (Worked down the mines), Hardtail: Nathan Ball (Love child of Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey).

Enjoyed this? For more mountain biking in Wales check out the links below:

North Wales – Nerve Centre of the National Off-Road Grid

Bikepark Wales – Taff Wars

The 10 Best Places to Ride a Mountain Bike in Wales

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