Canberra by Mitch Ho (1/2)

Canberra by Mitch Ho (1/2)

Sunday 4 October 2009
by Ben Swales
popularity : 6%

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The last two big competitions of the season took place recently on the other side of the world: the World Championship in Canberra, Australia and the World Cup Final in Rotorua, New Zealand. Tribal Zine covered the events ’live’, bringing you the results and media (such as the first photos of the event, by FASTT’s Serge Froissart) as they happened.

In Australia, Gilles Coustellier retained his rainbow jersey by just one clean more than his main rival Kenny Belaey, who took the title of Vice-World Champion from Vincent Hermance. In 20", Benito Ros took an easy win in the absence of Dani Comas. In New Zealand, with the absence of Gilles Coustellier, it was Kenny who took the win in the final and the 2009 Cup series. Six-time World Champion Benito Ros also added another World Cup to his already impressive trophy cabinet.

Mitch Ho, an Australian rider who regularly sends us photos and videos of riders in his country (including the latest video from Joe Brewer, who made it to the Canberra final), had promised us a collection of his impressive photos, taken at both events, showing the competitions in all their glory. Here he gives us his thoughts on the two events and shows us his photos of the 26" final. Thanks Mitch!

Still to come: more photos from Canberra and Rotorua...

Canberra, Rotorua Australian trials...

Mitch Ho’s feedback on the last two big comps of the 2009 season and a few words on the Australian trials scene.

PNG - 329.6 kb Could you tell us your feeling about these events ? did you meet the champions ? first time you watched them for real ?

Well, it was definitely exciting to see all the top riders making it down to our half of the world and competing for these titles! There was a real buzz in the air and we were all excited to see some world class riding.

I spoke to the majority of them, and like most riders, they were friendly and happy to talk about trials. I’d met a handful and seen them compete at the World Championships in NZ 2006... but their riding has improved even more since then! They are all still pushing the level further and further, it’s unbelievable!

It was good to see Joe Brewer qualifying into the Final of the World championship, ahead of some of the big names! I’m sure it surprised most people, but he made Australia very proud. His riding is on a world level (which is hard to do here) so a big applause to him.

Also got a chance to ride with Rick Koekoek, Andrei Burton, Guillame Dunand, Jeff Anderson, Steve Dickin, John Webster and some others in NZ, it was great!

JPEG - 283 kb What you think about organisation of the events ? about the sections ? that would be cool to have the feedback of a local rider !

The event in Australia was well organised, the sections were not too far apart, so we could move between them quite quickly. For the very top riders, I think they were a little "easy", perhaps? Some were a bit tight (not much space), no room to pedal into the moves.

Also this caused some technical 5’s (eg, crossing tape, axle over markers) and this also caused a bit of bad calls by the judges, some were inexperienced and have not had much observing on the world events. It’s bad, even us in the audience can see that they have made some wrong decisions.. but I won’t go into that, everybody knows the end of the story.

In New Zealand, I don’t think the event was promoted enough in the local area.. I went for a walk of the town and saw a total of 3 posters in shop windows! The sections were fairly close together, short and tight.. the zones were small in area, much smaller than the ones from other World Cup rounds.

They did well with the obstacles that were available, but unfortunately the sections did not change much between the different events! The 1/4 Final ran in one direction, the 1/2 Final ran in reverse and the Finals were almost exactly the same with some minor changes. It was a shame, there were so many opportunities!! Again, it was a bit easy for the top riders, you can see from the scores!

Although with both events, the sections are difficult for most.. but I think the top group of riders are getting too good...

JPEG - 318.6 kb Where do you come from exactly ? 26" or 20" rider ? tell me more about you and your local trials scene ?

I live in Sydney, Australia. I have been riding for about 7 years and am the distributor for Atomz. I ride 26" bike, 2007 model AKT2. It has lasted 2 years and is a quality frame! I will probably move to the Quark next year (if you look at the NZ photos you will see a couple of pics of my bike and riding).

The team in Sydney created the DVD film Trials is Dead, in 2006 - it was to show the great scene here in Australia! Filming & editing for the second movie started in 2008 and should hopefully be out by the end of this year perhaps? It will feature some great overseas riders, as well as extensive coverage and interviews of the 2009 World Championships!

It’s actually sad (and ironic) that now, trials in Sydney is pretty dead. A lot of riders have stopped riding trials since the first movie and there is only about 10 active riders left here. It is still thriving in other parts of Australia, particularly in Melbourne & Brisbane.

The World Championships in Canberra...

Here is a collection of photos of the World Championships in Canberra, as seen by Mitch Ho! The 26" final...

Gilles & Claire, the day before the final...

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The final...

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The debate...

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The podium...

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