Sunday 15th January saw the first Trial of the 2017 season for the Jersey Motor Cycle & Light Car Club. 52 competitors dug their bikes out of the garage on a wet and windy morning to come and ride a fantastic 10 section Trial that had been laid out by the Trials Committee.
The event also welcomed 2 new riders to the discipline, Sam Allix who has always been at the top of the standings in moto-x in Jersey and Drew Jones a seasoned super-moto rider, sand race driver and rally navigator. It’s always great to welcome new faces to the discipline and we look forward to welcoming many more.
The event was held at Greve De Lecq woods, a great venue for the first trial of the season. With a long stream running up the left hand side of the land and a steep muddy bank on the right hand side, it certainly makes for a diverse venue allowing plenty of different challenging sections to be marked out. Looking at the results, I would say the sections that combined the 2 were most definitely the ones that caught most people out, especially section 3 and 10 where the riders had to go in and out of the stream onto a muddy bank a few times. Unfortunately, a few people had an early bath in the streams as well. That must have been freezing!
10 Junior riders started the event, 2 competitors in the B route class and 8 in the C route class. The Big Wheel C route championship got off to a very close start with James Bertie-Roberts, Zac Simpson and Emily Copp all finishing within 2 point of each other, Zac just pipping Emily to the second place position on the number of clean rides. Tom Le Breton had a slightly tougher morning finishing in 7th place but he certainly wins the toughest lad in the trial award this time as he had a nasty fall on section 2 and the handlebars caught him square in the stomach! I’m sure that’s left quite a bruise but he didn’t let that stop him and the next time he went through section 2 he was much smoother and got out with a 2! Well done Tom.
James Lees-Baker was in a class of his own in the Medium wheel 80cc C route. James looked as though he’d been practicing and was geeing himself on as he rode the trial with his dad Vince, and Grandpa Jimmy. James finished on a very respectable 34 points.
Meanwhile, in the Adult C route, Darren Jones was top of the class dropping a mere 8 marks through the whole trial. 2016 champion, Simon Bertie-Roberts, finished in second place on 30 marks. The next route up also had a very close finish with just 11 marks separating 2nd place from 8th place! The win was taken by Nick Coote who finished the trial on 11 points, although section 10 did take 7 of those 11 points off him, that section clearly was very challenging for everyone.
We had a number of moto-x riders or ex-moto-x riders taking part in the trial on Sunday including Martin Le Viellez, Sam Allix, Kieran Gregory and Steve Willis, all of which were taking part in the B route class. Steve finished the trial on 29 marks just 1 behind both Sam and Kieran but Martin “Chisel” Le Viellez finished ahead of the pack on 19 marks dropped. I’d say that’s not at all bad for a man whose son is the same age as Sam, Kieran and Steve. Andy Simpson finished in 2nd place on 27 marks dropped.
The B+ route is a mixture of A and B route sections; it’s meant to be a bridge between the two classes. However, this class again was very closely contested with Gary Munro who finished in 11th place finishing the trial on just 39 marks dropped and Glen Hamel, who finished in 1st place ending on 13 marks dropped. 3 riders finished on 28 marks dropped with the number of cleans separating them and Tony Pallot taking 6th place from Terry Gibaut and Thomas Rolland. Perhaps the most impressive rider in this class is Alan Lloyd. Alan started riding trials a few years ago and has worked his way through from C route all the way up to B+ route. This was Alan’s first ride in the B+ class and he finished in a very respectable 4th place, just 2 places behind his brother Rob who I’m sure is very aware that his younger brother is snapping at his heals! Alan dropped a total of 23 marks with 13 of those being dropped on that troublesome section 10! Brother Rob, who has competed in the B+ route for just over a year and won the championship in 2016, finished on 16 points, just 3 behind 1st place Hamel.
The sections that were marked out for the A route were obviously quite challenging, and I doubt the rain that fell overnight and during the event helped. Ben Rive finished in 5th place, 19 marks behind 4th place man Kealan Bisson. Daniel Jeanne finished in 3rd place on 65 points, 2nd place was taken by the 2016 championship winner Richard Pallot. Richard finished just 14 marks behind 1st place Adam Le Cheminant. Adam missed the first half of the season last year whilst completing his studies at university but he doesn’t seem to have lost any of his ability on a bike and I think it’ll be an interesting championship with Adam and Richard battling for the top spot. The A route certainly faced a few challenges at this event with slippery trees to get over and fallen trees to leap over!
Our next trial will take place on Sunday 29th January at Le Saie Woods.
Thank you to all the competitors, the observers and officials who help make these events happen.