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Bike legend Foggy has “wheelie” good time - Llangollen Motorbike Show

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Motorbike superstar Carl Fogarty was a huge hit with fans who travelled from far and wide to see him in Llangollen over the weekend.

The four times World Superbike Champion and multiple TT winner was the star attraction at the popular Motorbike Show.

Thousands of bike fans descended on the Royal International Pavilion with some coming from Germany, France and Holland.

One of Foggy’s duties was to crown the 2010 North Wales Biker Babe, a motorbike mad beautician.
Lianne Roberts of Treuddyn wins the Biker Babe competition and is congratul
Lianne Roberts of Treuddyn, wins the Biker Babe competition and is congratulated by biker legends Carl Fogarty and Paul Owen

Winning the title was a “dream come true” for Lianne Roberts, 18, who lives in Treuddyn.

She said: “I am very much into bikes and I’ve got a Yamaha FS1E or a Fizzy which is a really old style bike. I love new bikes but I’ve got a soft spot for old bikes. My dad’s been into bikes since he was young and I started riding pillion when I was quite young and I really got into them. It is a real-life passion, I really do love bikes. Before I was going to be a beautician, I was going to be a mechanic. It was a real pleasure to meet Carl Fogarty. Being such a huge star, you’d think he’d be big headed – but he’s not. He’s lovely.”

For much of the time, the bike racing legend was swarmed by adoring fans wanting a chat and to get his autograph – and he loved every second.

Carl said: “It’s always nice to come to Wales and I’ve always had a good following here so it’s good to be back here again. There’s a really big crowd here and it’s a very, very good show. I know Llangollen pretty well and have done some trial riding around the area in the past. I have also got a place on Anglesey.”

During the show he took part in a question and answer session with local rider Paul Owen who was awarded the inaugural Spirit of the TT Award at this year’s races.

Paul was following his close friend, New Zealander Paul Dobbs, during the Supersport race at this year’s June TT when Dobbs crashed.

Owen stopped, dismounted, giving up his own race ambitions to assist race marshals in controlling the incident warning other racers of debris in the road.

Sadly, Dobbs suffered fatal injuries in the high speed crash at Ballagarey. 

Paul said: “It was good to spend a bit of time with Carl. I’m now where he started off and he is an inspiration to me. He knows what it means to go to the Isle of Man, spend thousands of pounds and then sacrifice a race to try and save somebody. I’d like to think that somebody would stop for me if I had an accident like that.”

There was a special award for the Best Bike in Show given in memory of well-known and popular Llangollen motorcyclist Victor Jones, who died recently, aged just 59. 

Victor, of Pengwern, who used to ride a classic 1964 Matchless 650cc and was a huge fan of classic bikes, gave up his job in the building industry to care for his brother Frank when he started to suffer from impaired vision

Appropriately, the award was one by somebody who knew Victor very well. Keith Owen, who hails from Llangollen but now lives in Wrexham, took the prize for his beautifully restored Triumph Bonneville American Export which was made in 1969.

Keith said:  “It means an awful lot to me to win this award with me being a Llangollen boy. What made it even more special was that I won the Victor Jones Memorial Trophy because he was great Llangollen character. I knew him very well and he is sadly missed.”

Another highlight of the show was the Custom Bike Show, sponsored by Bretton Motorcycles from Chester.
Llangollen Motorbike Show, Best in Show, Rob Evans of Shropshire Classic Sp
 David Williams of Bretton Motor Cycles
Owner Russ Campbell, the owner of Bretton Motorcycles, said: “We’ve got a lot of really good quality bikes, they are stunning. There’s obviously been a lot of hard work to get them ready for the show. I am always quite shocked to see the standard of the bikes because they are actually ridden as well as being put on display in the shows. Some of them are impractical but the lads do get on them. There’s a great atmosphere at the show, it’s a family orientated and it’s a superb venue. I have done shows right across Europe and this is the best venue I’ve seen – and Llangollen is a popular biking area anyway. It’s the perfect place.”

It was also the perfect opportunity for Nick Critchley, the Heather and Hillforts Project’s Moorland Field Officer, to speak to members of the biking fraternity.

He was there with representatives of the countryside charity, Tread Lightly, to meet bikers and encourage them to sign up to the campaign to promote responsible off-roading on two wheels and four.

He said: “People have been coming up and chatting and I think they are supportive of what we are doing. Our message is very positive and people are very keen to hear that motorbikes aren’t all bad. There are lots of places where they can go and we encourage them to use the legal rights of way network.”

Organiser David Green, the managing director of Xuberance Events, was thrilled that the weekend had been such a huge success.

He said: “We’ve had a fantastic turn-out. “We’ve got bikers who’ve travelled from all across the UK and beyond, including some from Germany, France and Holland. At the same time, we’ve had huge support from the local biking fraternity who’ve brought their bikes here as well. Carl Fogarty has been an absolute pleasure, he’s been walking around signing autographs, meeting people and sharing his stories. He’s an absolute legend and it shows the progression that the Motorbike Show has made over the past three years.”

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