Round 1 of the European Trials Championship series was held at a fantastic Trials facility in Zelham, Holland. Being a flat country, this was not an easy task, and took the support of the local Government to make happen. A year and a half’s effort was put in to importing the needed materials and building a 15 section course. The facility was perfect, with a clubhouse, showers, toilets, flat parking, electric hookups for the campers, and even a VIP area!
The event took place over two days, with the Women’s and Youth Classes on Saturday, and the top and ‘Junior’ Championship routes on Sunday. The weather was strange, going from warm to cold, from sun to rain and back again. Sunday was affected by the weather, with some riders setting off in the rain, while others in sunshine and dry sections! It all added to the interest, and a good crowd of locals watched the very spectator friendly sections. Observing was strict, but generally good. No minders were allowed in the sections until their own rider was going, and no riders either. Section inspection was the previous day. A good format.
The Brits were well represented, and stood top step of the podium in 3 classes, and taking 3 of the top 4 positions in the main Championship Class.
In the main European Championship, Britain was represented by Dan & Jack Peace, Iwan Roberts, Toby Martyn and Hugo Jervis. Dan Peace and Toby Martyn were unlucky to set off to the first sections in the rain, with both taking early points. Spanish Gas Gas rider Arnau Farre started the strongest, cleaning the first seven sections before parting with two fives in a row. 17 year old Jack Peace kept his scores low, and finished the first lap in the lead on 13. Toby Martyn – still only 16 years old – was 1 back on 14, then Farre on 15 and Dan Peace on 16. Iwan Roberts was off the pace on 34, leaving him an impossible task.
Lap two was a nail biter, with the scores dropping to low single figures. Toby cleaned the whole lap, with the exception of a 5 given for touching a tape. What a great ride! Toby finished out on 19 points and the victory, his first major win on the factory Vertigo 250. Also on 19 was Dan Peace, making a strong recovery with a 3 point loop. Farre finished 3rd one point back on 20. Jack Peace suffered 3 fives on the second loop, but held fourth. Iwan Roberts put in a good 6 point loop. So, in a field of 25, the Brits took 1st, 2nd, 4th and 7th. Hugo Jervis faced up to the massive sections, and came home 21st.
Saturdays event saw the Youth and Women’s events. The hardest line was the Youth Championship, with the Women’s Championship and Youth ‘International’ class sharing the second line, and the Woman’s International Class the third.
The Youth Championship Class was won by Oliver Smith, putting in a strong ride and taking home a brilliant first place. Oliver’s style suited the sections, and he gapped to second placed Linus Almthen by 13 points. Gus Oblein rode to 7th, with a ride he wasn’t particularly happy with, but showed some great style and classy rides on the way. Gus will be one to watch through the series. Reece Gazzard and Brett Harbud faced up to some major obstacles and looked great. A bit more experience and they’ll certainly climb the order.
In the Women’s Championship, Emma Bristow had it all her own way, losing only 1 point all day. Next rider – Theresa Bauml from Germany finished 2nd on 12. Alicia Robinson and Victoria Payne were 12th and 13th, and Gabby Whitham 16th.
The Women’s International Class featured the International debut of young Olivia Brooksbank, who finished in a great second place. Jennifer Stephen finished 4th, just 2 points off a podium.
Finally, Oliver Smith rode on Sunday in the Junior Class – his 125 against the 250’s and 300’s. The sections were bigger than Saturday, and were definitely at the limits for a 125. Oliver rode brilliantly, and was unfortunate to break the tape in two sections after doing the hardest bits! He finished 9th in a field of 32, and ended only 5 points off 5th place. A great showing from Oliver.
The Pelham town Mayor presented the awards. Great trophies, flowers, and the British National Anthem being played no less than 3 times for our winners.
Ian Smith President & Founder, OSET Corp