This years Classic MX des Nations is at Ballyblack, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland and Wales will be sending a team for the second year, following it’s battle to gain equal status with English, Irish and Scottish in European Classic Motocross. Therefore, rather than brexiting, it’s a continuing path to european recognition for Welsh Classic MX (or Scrambles as Jock prefers). After last years event in Mortimer, England, this years event will be held overseas, (but not) in Northern Ireland. No passport required.
Why you should go?
There are going to be a maximum of 20 riders in teams riding for Wales and team captain Paul Prosser has already made some announcements on the Facebook channel. Getting the right age of rider, riding the correct age of bike, makes the task of picking a team a little challenging and means that a lot of the Welsh Championship riders don’t get a ride. As well as picking on ability (to do well) it’s also a case of finding people who want to go. If you are not riding, you should plan to go and watch and support Wales (think Euro 2016 support), as it’s not too bad to get too.
There was some great support last year and there is plenty of activity in the pits on Friday, with the main action on Saturday 17th September. There is no racing on Sunday.
Bit of classic scrambles track and as the ever-videoing Chris Montignani from Scotland has been there, plenty of videos including rider view and as a spectator. There are also a couple of jumps on the track 🙂
Where is it ?
Ballyblack is just outside Newtonards, not far out of Belfast. You can see the track from space, well Google Maps anyway
You can go via Ferry with Fishguard -> Rosslare, Holyhead -> Dublin and Cairnryan -> Belfast all options, the best route depending where you live in Wales
see … some possible routes but if you are driving then you can take the ferry from Fishguard, Holyhead or Cairnryan. My own route (Malcolm) and schedule to Ballyblack is using Stena from Holyhead to Dublin as this is the shortest time and distance from Brecon and the ferry times work okay.
They’ll be an ECMO meeting on the Sunday morning for a couple of hours, so still leaving plenty of time for trip back to Dublin.
When booking you travel there are a number of discount ferry codes, when booking online with Stena use the code ‘9RS16’ for a 15% discount. There have been a number of deals throughout the year on Stena, including some at 25%.
If you fancy a shorter, flying visit then you could fly into Belfast City Airport, which is only a 30 minute drive away from the track. There are flights for £75 return from Bristol and £65 from Birmingham and renting a car or scrounging a lift shouldn’t be too much problem. As per normal, the flights from Cardiff are twice the price and only once a day.
Where to Stay
If you’ve not got a massive luxury camper, or cannot blag your way into one with the England team, then you have a number of options, including taking a tent. There are some options on Airbnb for cheap self catering, with a 10 minute drive or so to the track. There are two cheap options in Newtonards, and some others out near the track. There are some other local self catering options, hotels and B and B’s. Check TripAdvisor etc. I’ll be staying, a long with a few others at the nearby Cunningburn Cottages.