This past weekend saw the opening round of the FIM Europe Trial Championships take place in Zelhem, the Netherlands for the start of the 26th edition. The event was held over two days with 15 British riders competing across the classes.
On the Saturday it was the turn of the Women’s and Youth Classes with World Champion Emma Bristow (Sherco) and Oliver Smith (Gas Gas) taking the first victories in respective classes.
The event was held on a closed area full of spectacular rocks and obstacles requested by modern trial. And who could be more modern, but the youngest riders in this International series with the best female riders in the world? The two-times World Champion, British Emma Bristow decided to join the circus. Her riding was one step above all the others, but she wanted to test her mind, probably before going to the Scottish Six Days next week. Losing just 1 point in the whole competition, she assured herself the first position.
In the Youth class, British rider Oliver Smith (Gas Gas) gained his first success, thanks to a very good second lap. Indeed at the turning point the situation was very uncertain. Smith was leading with 27 points, but behind him, 3 riders scored 2 points more. Smith improved his score: just 16 mistakes. His rivals scored almost the same points as their first lap and finished in the same order.
In International classes, the ones in which riders do not take points for the championship and their level is one step lower in both Women and Youth categories, British rider Olivia Brooksbank (Gas Gas) finished in second.
Toby Martyn (Vertigo) topped his class on the second day. As the weather was very variable, sections gained and lost grip many times in the same day. That meant few differences for sections with rocks but a lot of differences for the ones on big logs.
Martyn started very well scoring 14 marks at the end of first lap, but he was not leading. Ahead of him was countryman Jack Peace (Gas Gas): one point less. The fight was very close with Spanish Arnaud Farré (Gas Gas) on 15 points and Dan Peace on 16, Jack’s brother (Gas Gas). In the second part most riders rode in sunny conditions and so all the scores dropped dramatically. Martyn’s score of 5 was very good, but still someone did better: Dan Peace, who scored only 3 points. Both racked up the same score: 19, but Martyn had 24 cleans against the 22 of Dan.
Farré rode a very good lap, too scoring 5 points and finished third behind the English couple by just one point. The leader at the halfway stage, Jack Peace, made a disastrous second lap, slipping to fourth place.
Next week in Bilstain, Belgium, rounds number 2 and 3 will be held.
Full results on FIM Europe website: http://www.fim-europe.eu/events/321