The 2013 European Championship kicked off this weekend at the Czech Republic venue of Tanvald north east of Prague where some 60 riders battled the increasingly wet conditions in the Tanvald forest. Swede Eddie Karlsson (Jotagas) got his campaign off to a solid start, taking victory by a considerable twenty-two point margin over Italian Matteo Poli (Ossa). It was another Italian in the form of Luca Cotone (Gas Gas) who completed the podium line-up in the main Championship Class.
In the Youth Championship, Jack Price (Gas Gas) had his work cut out to beat the challenge set by German Franz Kadlec (Gas Gas) and fellow Brit competitor Dan Peace (Beta). Kadlec scored the same points and the same number of cleans (15) as Price, but was beaten by just one “dab” less. Peace, who ultimately scored 1 point more than his rivals, compromised his very good first lap (9 marks) with a disastrous second one (24) to rule out his chance of victory. Italian Gabriele Giarba (Beta) looked set for a podium position at the turning point, but a poor performance in the second lap put him back in fifth position, overtaken by another British rider, Billy Bolt (Ossa).
In the Women’s Championship, an on-form Emma Bristow gained her advantage in the second lap, after having tied the first part of the competition with rival Spanish Sandra Gomez (Ossa) with both riders on 6 points. Despite the continued rain and mud making the sections progressively more slippery, Bristow held on, dropping 14 marks for her second lap to Gomez score of 25. Completing the Women’s Championship podium was Italian Sara Trentini (Beta).