Fort William 2012 - Day 1

Sunday 17 June 2012
by Ben Swales
popularity : 30%

JPEG - 533.1 kb Once again, the Biketrial Federation was in Fort William this year, braving the weather and the midges to organise a trials competition alongside the UCI Downhill and 4X World Cup. Things were slightly different this year, however, with a new, more dynamic team of organisers and two rounds of the British Trials Cup rather than one round of the Cup and a one-off British Championship, and it was one of the most successful visits to the Northern reaches of Scotland yet!

The Scottish Biketrial Club’s Kevin duke had been visiting the site regularly over the weeks leading up to the event, working with the Forestry Commission and local quarries to get more rocks and tree trunks delivered to the site and set up in time to allow Kevin and his team to set the sections for Saturday’s competition. With some enormous new logs and trunks added to the log section, and huge new rocks changing the existing rock section and allowing the team to add a whole new one, things were sure to be interesting! The recent floods had shifted things around in the river bed as well, making things a lot more technical than they had been in previous years. PNG - 388.1 kb Kevin and his team were hard at work on Thursday and Friday and the resulting sections, four in the arena and four along the riverbed, were sure to be a challenge for the riders, with a mix of long, technical sections and big moves, including a huge hook up the end of one of the massive logs and another on the huge opening rock of the grandstand section, to test their abilities.

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Day 1 - British Trials Cup Round 3 – Saturday 9th June

JPEG - 692.9 kb Saturday saw glorious sunshine and clear blue skies, meaning that the sections were dry, but quite dusty. With time quite tight in order for the competition to fit the strict timetable of the UCI event, riders set off as soon as they had signed on at 09:00, spreading out over the eight sections, of which they would have to ride two laps. In The UCI World Elite class, Jack Carthy (Enter Bike/Tribal Zine) flew round his first lap, leaping over everything that the organisers had put in his path to come in on clean. The only move that seemed to cause him any problems was the huge gable end hook in section 1, the Tarty Bikes log section; with a shortish run up and a virtually sheer face with only a small ledge to place your rear wheel on, this was one of the most challenging moves of the day. Jack flew at it on his first attempt, not quite making it stick, and jumped back for another go. He had the measure of it on his second try and was over it in a flash, barely even stopping to regain his balance after the monster leap. JPEG - 649.4 kb Dave Kerr (Tribal Zine/Cycle Mart) had less luck, fiving this huge opening move of the section, putting him at an immediate disadvantage. He managed to keep his score fairly low for the rest of his first lap however, just dropping another five in section 2, the Highland Bikes grandstand section, coming up short on another huge hook, made all the more difficult with tight tapes and an awkward approach, and a couple of ones here and there, before going on to clean the rest of the sections, with his smooth and efficient comp style shining through. France’s Guillaume Dunand (Ozonys) also came up short in the log section and another five in section four, the Nevis Cycles rock section and two points picked up elsewhere on an otherwise smooth and faultless lap put Guillaume level with Dave on 12 points. JPEG - 711.2 kb Jack mirrored his first lap, cruising round the sections to come in on clean, managing the perfect trial and taking the victory, leaving Dave and Guillaume to battle it out for second place. Dave pulled out all the stops, dabbing over the big hook in the Highland Bikes section to get out for a two and dropping one on the difficult Nevis Bikes rocks. Guillaume managed to get through the Highland bikes section on just one, with another dab in the Nevis Bikes rock section putting him on two, ahead of Dave on 3. Things were tight going into the Tarty Bikes logs, with the most difficult move of the day probably deciding who would take second place. Dave made a valiant attempt, but came away with a five on his card, giving him a total of 20 points for both laps. Dunand managed to dab his way up the big log, getting out of the section on two points, to give him a total of four points on this second lap, 16 in total, just edging Dave out and taking second place.

JPEG - 773.7 kb In Elite 26”, riding the now tried and tested 50/50 sections, Tarty Bikes’ Stan Shaw had an interesting first lap, cleaning and fiving sections alternately – falling foul of the harder Elite sections and making short work of the Expert sections. He was back on form on his second lap, showcasing the smooth and efficient style for which he is known, and improved on first lap his score of 20, getting through all but one the Elite sections (coming up short on the megalithic first rock in section 4, sponsored by Hope) to finish on a total of 28. Series sponsor 3SIXTY’s Alec Wray finished in second place, dropping 13 points on his first lap after a convincing ride and 18 on his second – an almost mirror image of his first lap with the exception of a five on the Tarty Bikes logs after his front wheel dropped over the tap on a particularly tricky gate. It was great to see Wayne Mahomet (The Clan) back in competition again, showing off his well-documented skills on his Echo 24”. He finished on 38 points, just 7 behind Alec, to take third place. Dave Kerr, not content with a podium finish in UCI World Elite on his 26”, rode not two but four laps of the trial, riding the 50/50 Elite sections on his 20” as well. Dave is one of the most dedicated competition trials riders we know, and his results in Scotland show that it pays off, as he finished on just 11 points to take the Elite 20” victory, with only the mammoth hook in the Highland Bikes section able to stop him. Second place went to Dan Wheeler (Radical Bikes), whose consistent riding saw him finish on a total of just 34 points. Oliver Battye finished in third place on 43, dropping 25 on his first lap and 18 on his second.

JPEG - 664.3 kb In Expert 26” James Bancroft made short work of the sections, dropping a five on the Tarty Bikes logs early on but then only dropping two more dabs on his first lap and another two on his second to finish on nine points and take the win. Matt arkwright matched James first lap, with a five on the Trialtech river bed section and two dabs further up the river, but dropped nine on his second lap, all in the river bed sections, to finish in second place on 16. Jed Hesling had a good ride on Saturday, dropping eight on his first lap and 14 on his second to take third. In 20” Owen Gawthorphe, Dave Kerr’s Cycle Mart team mate, also riding for 54 Sport, was on great form, esepcially considering that he broke his ankle at the end of last season, and managed the perfect trial, cleaning every section on both laps to take a well-deserved win. Keep an eye on Owen, he’s getting better and better and had a very promising start to his international career last season. We’re expecting big things from him one day! Second place went to Chris Bland who finished on 11 with an excellent second lap of just one point and not a single five all day. Germany’s Felix Huber, in Scotland for his studies, finished in third place on 51.

JPEG - 748.9 kb Charlie Rolls (MRS/Hope/Tribal Zine) took the win in Cadet class, dropping six on his first lap and five on his second to finish on 11. TJ Reynoldson finished on 21 to take second and third place went to Aaron Duke on 43.

Senior class had been getting a lot of attention on the internet leading up to the event – with the older riders letting their competitive streaks show and goading one another as the weekend drew nearer. Neil Robinson was on great form and took a well deserved win on 49. Second place went to Tribal Zine’s Ben Swales on 65 and Jase Seymour completed the podium in third place.

Tribal Zine’s Sam Rolls and Toby Smith finished tied on 23 in Intermediate class, but with more cleans on his punchcard, Sam took the win. Third place went to Jordan Seymour on 30 points.

The Novice victory went to Scott Thompson on 21, with Reece Seymour just behind him in second on 23 and Paul Grange in third on 35.

Primary class saw Adam Biggins take the win on 25, ahead of Oliver Innes and Sam Shepherd on 34 and 37 respectively.

A full write-up of Day 2 – Round 4 of the British Trials Cup will follow soon.

For full results and podiums from both days, see our article Fort William 2012 – podiums and results.

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