ACE TRIALS TEAM - Ladies 2010 TDN REPORT
With the British Ladies being the reigning champions of the Trial de Nations having won by a single mark last year in Italy over Spain they were the last of the ten Nations competing to leave the paddock start area on Saturday.
As the clock struck 11am the British girls cheered on by their families and fellow British supporters smiled for the cameras and then rode off the podium to start their days riding for their nation in heavy rain - Typical British winter riding weather.
The British 2010 team consisted of
Team Manager -Dave Willoughby
ACE Rider Joanne Coles
ACE Minder Paul Coles
Becky Cook and her minder Craig.
Chris Kilhams was the spy in the Spanish Camp both days following the Spanish girlsand lads around the course and keeping a record of their score.
The British Girls had the pressure on them from the start as they desperately wanted to win the trophy for their Nation and return it for its second year to ACU house.
The weather Friday for the Ladies SPEA FIM World Championship was dry and the sections were very much on the easy side. However it had rained all night Friday and the sections had changed drastically during the night due to the now wet conditions.All but the last manmade section were all set in Pine Woodlands in a valley surrounding the paddock.The river was much higher than the previous day and the sections were now very muddy , slippery and held no grip at all
Laia stated to the reporter present at the end of the first lap “The sections were too easy yesterday, today they are devil sections today”.
The British team arrived at the first section and it was decided that all three girls would ride every section even if the two first riders cleaned the section. Many of the teams did not do this. If their first two riders cleaned them the third did not attempt the section and they moved on around the course.
The team arrived at section one and all three ladies- Becky, Emma and ACE rider Joanne on her ACE Ice Valley Gas Gas all cleaned the first and second sections. A mega start for Team GB.
Section three saw Becky clean. JST Emma and ACE rdier Joanne have single dabs a piece. Joanne struggled with grip here on this slippery section on the smaller bike.
Again the British girls were riding out of their skins and it was all cleans on section 4 for the British team.
The hardest sections all day was section 5 and this took the most scores from the British ladies with Becky recording a three. ACE rider Joanne recording a fantastic single dab working really hard on her 125 and JST rider Emma recording a maximum. Laia recorded the only clean of the first lap on this section.
Section 6 saw all cleans from the British. This meant they were now on 5 marks lost.
Sections seven and eight were cleaned and it was Becky who lost the only marks on section 9 on the first lap when she had a two. At this point
Section 10 was ridden for a single dab by Becky and Emma but ACE rider Joanne cleaned meaning at the British ladies were now on a total of 6 up to this point.
Section 11 was the other Nemisis section and with Becky having a fantastic ride here the team had to concede a three when ACE rider Joanne and JST rider Emma both took a three dabber in this section.
Section 12 saw ACE rider Joanne “on Fire” as was Emma and this time it was Becky who lost the single dab, taking the total lost up to section 12 on lap one to 10 for the British team. The Spanish at this point were on 11 due to Laia cleaning again . She was followed in the section by Gomez and Combe who recorded a two and three dab respectively.
With all cleans recorded at the last section - a man made section in front of a grandstand at the main paddock area - the British girls handed in their card with 10 points recorded for their first lap.
Chris was just about to leave the area to follow the Spaniards around again but had time to inform Dave and the rest of the team that the Spanish had dropped 11 on their first lap.
Everyone cheered the girls from the grandstand who was British as they rode to start the second lap in the knowledge that we were just one single point in the lead.
Lap two section one took a single dab from ACE rider Joanne only.
Section 2 was another clean sweep for the British team.
Section 3 lap two took single dabs from Becky and Emma but it was ACE rider Joanne who took the honours in this section with a spectacular clean on her Ice Valley 125.
Section 4, like on lap one, saw cleans all round for the British ladies.
Section 5 took maximums from Becky and ACE rider Joanne but it was Emma who saved the day here for GB with a mega ride recording just two dabs.The British girls at this point were now on 19 marks lost.
Showing great skill and controlling nerves under stress the British ladies all went onto to record cleans in sections 6,7,8,9, and 10 and the score remained at 19 at the end of Section 10 second lap..
With this in mind the British ladies knew that they had one mark to “play with”. ACE rider Joanne was the first to attempt the hard Section 11. Recording a two Joanne was not pleased. Emma then stepped up to the mark but unfortunately recorded a five. With Becky recording another two dab – the same as ACE rider Colesy the GB score was now up to 23
The British girls were awesome and rode sections 11,12 and 13 for cleans all round and arrived at Section 14 still on 23 marks lost just as the Spanish rode it.
First Laia went through and cleaned. Then Sandra Gomez went through and had a BIG one. It was all down to Combe. The British crowd held their breath as she rode the section….for a clean…..
The British girls lined up at the start gate and cheered on by the grandstand crowd rode the last section of the day. Emma the last to go was given a single dab as it was deemed that she had touched a rock with her knee as she rode the hazard.
In the knowledge that the TDN 2010 trophy had already been lost to Spain as they had cleaned section 14, it was decided by Dave not to protest this “mad” decision by the observer of section 14.
What the British girls did do , unlike the Spanish last year ,was to go up to the victorious Spanish ladies at the finish area 9as the Spanish were being thrown in the air by their spanish supporters ) and shake their hands and congratulated them. The British ladies then returned to their bikes and made a promise to each other to win the trophy back for you all in 2011.
Joanne said to her Team Manager at the end of the event “ It was always going to be hard to beat Spain. Laia only dropped 3 marks all day and Sandra Gomez and Combe have really been training hard and it shows.Team GB have agreed to practice as much as possible together in the winter to win back the trophy in 2011.The weather conditions were a lot harder today than yesterday in the world round due to the constant rain over night but It was all very close between GB and Spain and we all rode really well but in the end Spain came out on top. I am gutted.”
Team Manager Mark Kilhams said “At the end of the Event their was a meeting held for all the competitors. At this meeting various topics were discussed including how much training each country gets from its Motorcycling Union (ACU in GB) as well as other issues.The Spanish, French and Italians spend a lot of time training as a national team and this was demonstrated in their improved riding today and the fact that they took the trophy to RFME this year to display.It was agreed by all three girls and their minders at the end of the event today that in order for the British girls to secure the TDN trophy next year and for the British ladies to dominate in the FIM and EUM Championships in 2011 ( as they have done in 2009 and 2010) the BTC Ladies championship sections have to be more challenging with at least 4 very hard sections on the Championship route each lap each round. This is down to the organisers/clubs of these event. If you guys do this then we stand every chance of bringing the trophy back next year. Otherwise these talented three ladies are not going to remain 2nd,3rd and 4th in the World as the Spanish next year, like in the Men’s SPEA World Championships are going to dominate and are going to be unstoppable due to their vigorous team training and the severity of their Spanish Championship sections All three girls and their minders were mega today and gave 100 per cent . They could not have given anymore.
Im pleased to tell our sponsors that Joanne recorded the lowest score of the day in team GB”.
ACE would like to thank all their team sponsors for their support this year for without this support it would not be possible for the team to continue.
James Smith – ICE VALLEY WATER
Mark Eley- Truck & Trailer Care
Rob Sheldon – PUTOLINE oil
Howard Keene - Teams Website Manager
Mark Ingelby – FERIDAX
Tim and Sue Reynolds - TRC Sheffield
Dave and Val Leggett
Mansfield Maun MCC
Pete and Rose Kilhams
David and Debra Finnamore
Bob and Maureen Adams
Ian Shankie – AQUAWASH
The Awning Company
Words by Sophie Kilhams
Team EVENTS/MEDIA Coordinator