Fort William 2011

Thursday 9 June 2011
by Ben Swales
popularity : 11%

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Another year, another fantastic event at the Nevis Range in Fort William! This year the British Trials Championship and British Trials Cup were joined by the fourth round of the first ever Scottish Trials Championship, run alongside the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. With race teams, trade stands, demos and more mountain bikers of all descriptions than you can shake a stick at, not to mention the stunning trials action, this event really is a festival of mountain biking! Little wonder then that it is widely regarded as the most important event in the UK mountain bike calendar.

PNG - 318.5 kb Over 50 riders from all over the country descended on the arena to test themselves on the challenging sections, which were composed of a mix of man-made and natural obstacles (logs, concrete pipes, imported rocks, muddy banks and the dreaded rocky stream bed). As usual the three man-made sections were to be found in the main arena, one of them at the foot of the downhill track, meaning that there were always plenty of spectators to cheer the riders on and marvel at the skills on show, and they were three deep for much of the time!

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Saturday: British Trials Championship 2011

JPEG - 697.6 kb Saturday (4th June) saw the 2011 British Trials Championship take place in glorious conditions, with plenty of sunshine and warmth keeping the infamous Fort William midges at bay, to the relief of all and sundry.

Elite

There were no 20” entrants in the Elite class, meaning that the 26” boys were the focus of most of the attention. Would last year’s winner Ben Savage (Rockman/Dare2b)/Savage Skills) take the victory again? Or would the top spot go to the talented youngster Jack Carthy (Tribal Zine/Koxx/Tarty Bikes) or seasoned competitors Dave Kerr (Tribal Zine), Joe Seddon (Onza) or Tom Rigg (My Body Co? They were all riding well, with some moments excellence from all of them. Sadly, James, who had only had the cast taken off his broken ankle four weeks previously, put a foot down badly, injuring his other ankle and putting himself out of the running in the process. He was driven to hospital, where he was told he had damaged the ligaments and would be off the bike for several weeks more. Get well soon James! Tom Rigg rode valiantly, but the sections were a bit beyond him as he picked up several fives. To his credit, he attempted everything in his path, often returning to moves that had thwarted him until he had managed them. That left Tribal riders Jack and Dave battling it out with Ben and Joe for the coveted podium spots. Kerr put in a great performance, picking up relatively few fives and cleaning many of the sections. It was the twos and threes that let him down though, relegating him to fourth place. Joe Seddon’s do or die attitude saw him clean or five almost every section, finishing on 37 to take third place. The battle between Ben and Jack for first place was a tough and closely fought one. Carthy threw himself at everything in his path, his incredible talent shining through as he flew around his first lap with just one point on his card up until his last section, where he picked up an unlucky five, putting his first lap total at six. Ben was a bit more calculating, finishing one three points, with one dab apiece in sections three, five and eight. Jack put in an excellent performance on his second lap, learning from his earlier mistake and dropping just one point. Ben took care on his second lap, making sure of the more difficult passages with strategic dabs. He finished one behind Jack, but it wasn’t enough to knock him of the number one spot and he took the win with five points in total. Jack finished second, just two points behind on seven. So Ben retains the trophy for another year, but will he be abke to hold onto it much longer? Only time will tell…

Elite 26” Podium

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Position Name
1 Ben Savage
2 Jack Carthy
3 Joe Seddon

Expert

Team 360’s Alec Wray, riding his first Championship on his 26” Speed Race, was untouchable in the Expert 26” competition, dropping one point on his first lap and three on his second to take the win. Motorbike trials stalwart Gary MacDonald, who has been riding bike trials for just seven months(!), finished in second place. His trials competition experience shone through as he picked his lines expertly, getting though sections on clean or one, with a few fives thrown in here and there bringing his total up to 27. He even managed to get through the log section, which involved some tricky balance lines and gaps, with his tyre and tube hanging completely off his front wheel! JPEG - 116.8 kb Amazing! Third place went to Phil Howard, who found things a bit harder than the top two riders.

In Expert 20”, Jamie Bew (Tribal Zine/The Bike Outlet) dropped two fives on his first lap, starting his second lap with eleven points on his card. He learned from his mistakes however, dropping just three points on his second lap to finish in first place with a total of 14 points on his card. Huddersfield regular Oliver Battye took second place after finishing two points behind Jamie on his first lap and matching him on the second to end up with a total of 16 dabs. Yorkshire muscleman James Bancroft finished on 35 to complete the 20” podium.

Expert 26” Podium

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Position Name
1 Alec Wray
2 Gary macDonald
3 Phil Howard

Expert 20” Podium

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Position Name
1 Jamie Bew
2 Oliver Battye
3 James Bancroft

Cadet

Promising youngster Owen Gawthorpe, whose riding get better every time we see him, put his technical skills to good use, dropping four fives and five ones over the course of the day to finish on first place on 25. He was the first rider to successfully negotiate the tricky pipe gap in section three, which had pitched Expert rider Jamie Bew into the water moments earlier. He was joined on the podium by Ross McDonald and Chris Bland, who fought a close battle with Ross just edging Chris out, finishing on 25 points to Chris’ 26.

Cadet Podium

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Position Name
1 Owen Gawthorpe
2 Ross McDonald
3 Chris Bland

Intermediate

The Phenomenal Charlie Rolls (Tribal Zine/MRS) flew round the sections on just six dabs, joining Ben Savage and Jack Carthy as the most watched and marvelled-at riders of the day as he showed of his superb range of skills, including gaps to his front wheel that were smoother than some of the Elite riders’! He took a well deserved win, ahead of Andrew MacDonald on 16 and TJ Reynoldson, another talented youngster, on 28.

Intermediate Podium

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Position Name
1 Charlie Rolls
2 Andrew MacDonald
3 TJ Reynoldson

Novice

Charlie’s brother Sam (Tribal Zine) rode brilliantly, dropping just one point on each lap in Novice category to finish in first place. He finished ahead of Crowthorne’s Toby Smith (4) and Stuart Crayk (17).

Novice Podium

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Position Name
1 Sam Rolls
2 Toby Smith
3 Stuart Crayk

Primary

Toby’s brother Jamie Smith took the win in Primary class, finishing on 16 points, with Reece Seymour (17) and Jamie Edmonson (21) completing the podium.

Primary Podium

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Position Name
1 Jamie Smith
2 Reece Seymour
3 Jamie Edmonson

Full results

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2011 Scottish Trials Championship – Round 4

The fourth round of the first ever Scottish Championship, organised by Kevin Duke and his Scottish Biketrials Club, was run alongside the British Championship on the same sections. With some of the top Scottish riders otherwise engaged with demo commitments, the round was left wide open for the rest of the field. With all wheel sizes competing together, there were no separate awards for 20” and 26”.

Expert

Jamie Bew, fresh from his win in the British Championship, finished atop the Scottish Podium as well. Gary MacDonald finished in second and Tribal Rider and Administrator Ben Swales finished in third place.

Expert Podium

Position Name
1 Jamie Bew
2 Gary MacDonald
3 Ben Swales

Intermediate

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Andrew MacDonald took the win in Intermediate, ahead of Ian Archibald and Maxime Gaullier.

Intermediate Podium

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Position Name
1 Andrew MacDonald
2 Ian Archibald
3 Maxime Gaullier

Novice

Novice Podium

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Aaron Duke finished first in the Novice competition, ahead of Dan Wright and Trevor Bechtel.

Position Name
1 Aaron Duke
2 Dan Wright
3 Trevor Bechtel

JPEG - 593.7 kb The awards for both the Scottish Cup and the British Championship were presented by trials legend and former World Champion Martyn Ashton (Bike Riders United), who was in Fort William filming his team mate Steve Peat in the Downhill. Martyn took some time out during the day to watch the trials action and was impressed by the skill and talent on display: “I was asked to present the awards for the trials comp at this weekend’s Fort William W/Cup. Was an honor and very enjoyable. The riding by some of the younger kids that I managed to see was incredible”.

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Sunday: British Trials Cup 2011 – Round 2

JPEG - 769.1 kb Despite the rain overnight, Sunday’s weather was bright and sunny. It was a bit cooler than the previous day, which was nice, but it did mean that the dreaded midges were out and driving some of the riders to distraction. The second round of the British Trials Cup got off to a start at 10:30, with Saturday’s sections being run in reverse, with a few changes here and there to make them more difficult. The scores reflected this, with riders coming in with many more points than the day before.

Elite

Again, there were no 20” riders in the Elite competition, and with James Hyland out of the running due to the injury sustained on Saturday, the field was narrower than yesterday. Tom Rigg put in another commendable performance demonstrating the same determination and have-a-go attitude that had made him so popular with the spectators the day before. He finished in fourth place after a gruelling day’s riding. The top three were even closer in the Cup round, with just ten points separating them. Tribal Rider Dave Kerr finished in third place on 28, his scorecard a mixed bag, with a few cleans, ones, twos and fives over the course of the day. He spent a lot of his time encouraging the younger and less experienced riders through the sections, showing just why he is such a popular figure on the competition circuit. Jack Carthy and Joe Seddon were engaged in a war of attrition, closely matching each other’s scores on the sections. Joe finished his first lap with a score of 14, with a couple of fives up in the woods. Jack was not far behind on 19, picking up a five on section four after he missed a gate, and in section six after attempting an ambitious rear wheel gap from a concrete pipe to a rock and just coming up short. A six on section three and a few ones, including one on section three after his tyre popped off his rim, finished up his second lap. Both riders tightened their boots and really went at it on their second laps; with just five point s separating them, it would come right down to the last section to decide the winner. Joe dropped two dabs in section two, making sure of a particularly tricky rocky passage, and Jack managed to get through on a one, narrowing Joe’s lead. Joe put another foot down on the craggy and daunting hook in section five to stop himself falling back into the river, and Jack did the same. In the concrete pipe section, below the grandstand, Joe made sure of the tricky pipe to rock gap, dropping into the middle to sidehop to hook onto the rock and place a foot on the top. Could Jack make up any points here and close down the gap between him and his former team mate? As he balanced on top of the pipe, we all wondered whether he would follow Joe’s example and make sure of the passage or attempt the huge gap once more. He hopped up onto his rear wheel and steadied himself for a moment before launching himself across the gap, landing on his front wheel to clean the section as the crowd erupted with applause and shouts of encouragement. Just three points separated them now, but as Joe sailed round the remaining sections on clean and Jack made a mistake on a technical drop on the reservoir section, Joe’s victory was sealed. He took the win with 18 points on his card, with Jack in second on 22.

Elite 26” Podium

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Position Name
1 Joe Seddon
2 Jack Carthy
3 Dave Kerr

Expert

Once again, Alec Wray demonstrated his top skills in Expert 26”, dropping just three points on each lap, with sections one (reservoir) and six (concrete pipes) being the only ones to cause him any real trouble. He took a well deserved win, ahead of Gary MacDonald who cruised into second place again on just 20 points. No repeat of his now infamous tyreless antics today though! Third place went to Josh Kydd, who after a disappointing ride on Saturday had threatened to get drunk on Saturday night so as to have plenty of calories for the next day. We don’t know if he did or not, but something went right for him as he stepped his riding up a gear on Sunday and moved up the rankings as a result. Tribal Rider Ben Swales was in a lot of pain after his ribs, which he had badly bruised a few weeks previously, had been aggravated by the exertion of Saturday’s competitions and so did not compete.

In Expert 20”, Tribal Rider Jamie Bew flew round the trial, dropping just one point on each lap to take a well-deserved victory on day two. He was followed once again by Oliver Battye, who dropped seven points on his first lap before pulling himself together to finish his second on just one to finish on eight points and the second step of the podium. Ross Clayton, who had retired from the competition on Saturday, put in a great ride, also improving on his second lap, finishing in third place on 17.

Expert 26” Podium

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Position Name
1 Alec Wray
2 Gary MacDonald
3 Josh Kydd

Expert 20” Podium

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Position Name
1 Jamie Bew
2 Oliver Battye
3 Ross Clayton

Cadet

It was Owen Gawthorpe who took the win in Cadet class again on Sunday, finishing on 28 points, almost half as many as second place Chris Bland who came in on 45. Rob Feeley finished on 73 to take the third place trophy.

Cadet Podium

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Position Name
1 Owen Gawthorpe
2 Chris Bland
3 Rob Feeley

Intermediate

Charlie Rolls romped home to another victory in Intermediate class, dropping just three dabs on each lap to finish on six points. He was followed by TJ Reynoldson in second place on 15 and Craig Patrick in third on 16 after a close battle between them for the number two spot.

Intermediate Podium

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Position Name
1 Charlie Rolls
2 TJ Reynoldson
3 Craig Patrick

Novice

It was another Rolls victory in Novice class as well with Sam finishing on four points (one on his first lap and three on his second) ahead of Toby Smith and Stuart Crayk who both finished on eight points. They were separated on most cleans, with Toby (12 cleans) taking second place and Stuart (10 cleans) third.

Novice Podium

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Position Name
1 Sam Rolls
2 Toby Smith
3 Stuart Crayk

Primary

Reece Seymour took the win in Primary, finishing on 28 points. Second place went to Jamie Smith (17) and third to Simon Duke (18).

Novice Podium

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Position Name
1 Reece Seymour
2 Jamie Smith
3 Simon Duke

Full results

PDF - 38.6 kb

Sunday’s awards were presented by the series sponsors Joe Poyzer from Onza and Mike Singleton from Paht Works, who also provided prizes for all of the medal winners.

Photos

Pictures by Ben Swales and Ross McDonald

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Documents associated with this article

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PDF - 113.6 kb

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