Monday September 4, 2017 at 12:00pm
The hugely popular FIME European Trials Championship concluded in Lazatte, Italy recently with many accolades going to ACU riders.
A change in the rules by the FIME Trials Commission made it possible for the undisputed queen of women's trials to return to this level of competition. Emma Bristow completely dominated this class, well almost, a misunderstanding of the rules led to a 5-point penalty in Latvia dropping her to second place on the day but nothing could halt her march for the title. Alicia Robinson made the leap from the International Class to secure a superb 9th place in the final standings and Victoria Payne claimed a creditable 16th position despite not making the long journey to Latvia.
Recent years have seen little ACU participation in the full European Championship class but this year many had upgraded from the Youth and Junior ranks and only the superb skills of Spanish rider Arnau Fare prevented an ACU clean sweep with our riders securing 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 7th positions in the final standings and it could have been even better if Dan Peace had not had to sit out 2 rounds following an injury in Belgium, an event from which his younger brother Jack returned over night to compete in the Scottish Six Days.
Welsh rider Iwan Roberts is putting in a strong Challenge for the Trial 2 Championship at World level secured 2nd in the championship followed closely by the extremely talented Toby Martyn and the aforementioned Jack Peace.
Lone ACU rider in the Junior category, Oliver Smith finished a creditable 12th place whilst sharing the challenge of the Youth class where he had a win and a second place in two of the four rounds but was unable to make the trip to Latvia due to school exams, or it could easily have been a totally different story.
A couple of years ago the FIME introduced a ranking of nations which takes into account all riders in all classes and the ACU has score well since its inception but this year was a true triumph where we finished a very close second to the numerically dominant Germans.
For many years the ACU Trials and Enduro Committee have pushed and assisted our under 23 year old riders in the relative European Championships and it's great to see their efforts bearing fruit, the rise of riders from a younger age through the ranks gives us hope for the future.