Hafren 2005

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Paul Blezard - Hafren Rally 2005 synopsis (in his own words)

Best finisher of all the bikes over 800cc
Runner Up in the Multi-cylinder class
14th Trailbike out of 36 Trailbike finishers
161st overall, out of 255 finishers and over 300 starters.

(The vast majority of the field were on single cylinder, lightweight enduro bikes of 200-450cc, most of them orange)

And in the excuses department,
1 - I got stuck twice in the first special stage (SS1) in a deep rut, which cost me a good 20 secs of pushing and heaving off the bike.

2 - I dropped the bloody thing in a deep gully coming off the motocross track in SS3, costing me a good 30 seconds while I heaved the damn thing back onto its wheels....and for the last mile up on the mountain I was really struggling to see where I was going through mud-spattered goggles.

3 - I am a fat old man with a very strong sense of self-preservation who didnąt even start riding off road until I was 24

Iąm also confident I would have finished higher up if thereąd been a 3rd lap! I was pumped for more at the end of Lap Two! (They shortened it to 2 x 45 mile laps because so many people were stranded in the forest with broken bikes)

Sadly, my much younger and faster team-mate Jonty Edmunds, ripped the valve out of his rear tube on the second lap. If he had been as fast on SS2 and SS3 as he was on SS1, he would have won the whole event outright! Bearing in mind that the first part of SS1 was actually pretty nadgery, I am absolutely gob-smacked that he was quicker on the HP2 than both Derrick Edmondson (former Brit enduro champion) and Brian Eland (very quick rally rider).

Even I had the speedo nudging 90mph at one point on the course, I hate to think how quickly Jonty must have been going!

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event (despite the weather!) and only wish I could have done another lap! Any dirtbike with less than 100bhp will now seem rather tame after HP2! And finally, you can't beat telescopic forks for hitting big bumps at speed......The HP2's Marzocchis beat the standard R1200GS's telelever hands down.