I’m amazed at the number of hits that last week’s column has attracted – and the number of postings about the discussion, 41 if you don’t count my own cryptic comment at the end!
All ends of the spectrum have been commented upon; obviously John Collins makes all his usual sensible points, and John Sunter’s piece was very apt and reflects much of what I think along with the thoughts of many others.
However, whilst the subject is a hot one, we can’t continue the discussion week after week, suffice to say that I really appreciate everybody’s input and I have no doubt that long term a suitable solution, (if one is needed!), will be found.
Whatever happens, there is obviously a great deal of affection for the British Championship trials scene as a whole and that just has to be good news.
At the end of the last column I said that this week would be about the Scott, and so it will be, at least part of the column will be about last week’s fantastic time and observation trial.
Without going over old ground which I have written about so many times before, the highlights for me were numerous. First of all, the sheer unadulterated enthusiasm for the event from Fujinami. He absolutely loved it, right from the very first thing last Saturday morning up until just past midnight when the Scott Charity Auction and the prize presentation was in full swing.
Some might say that finishing fourth was a poor result, but if you think about it, the trial is very different from anything that he will have ridden before; in fact the sheer enormity of the day must have dawned upon him after four hours, as I doubt that he will have ever ridden continuously for that length of time before. And of course he was still nowhere near the finish.
I know that the spectators simply loved to see him, totally covered in mud and giving it absolutely everything. If he ever gets to read this (or has it read out to him) – you are a rear star, a view that I’m sure is endorsed by everybody.
That of course doesn’t belittle everybody else who tackled the event. Simply taking part is an achievement, finishing is an even greater one, so to the 60 official finishers and the further 20 or so who were out of time, well done to the lot of you.
Once again, it was a truly fantastic day out, and though observing ( I was at Black Hills) restricts what can be seen from noon onwards, doesn’t alter the fact that as a day of great sport, it takes some beating.
Even though I have been to every Scott since 1978, I have never previously been to the prize presentation in the evening which incorporates the charity auction, and that was an eye-opener. John Moffatt (Big John) did a great job as a first time auctioneer and managed to gets loads of cash from the pockets of those who were in the Richmondshire Cricket Club headquarters, over two grand in fact which all goes to very worthwhile local charities.
Special thanks must also go to Dougie Lampkin, who despite being an early retiral from the trial stayed steadfastly to the end, and of course to Fujigas who entered into the spirit of things with loads of clothing donations for the auction. All superb fun and great to see.
And of course we musn’t forget to mention Leon Camier and Josh Brookes, two road racers tackling their first Scott. They were never going to get to the end, but they did well to get to the fourth fuel check and seemed to have really enjoyed an experience that is totally unique in the world of bike sport.
And finally, what about Graham Jarvis?
I spoke to him early in the evening and he was very despondent. He said he had a poor day, lost too many marks and hadn’t been quick enough. He was despondent because he thought that it had been his last real chance of winning for a record eighth time, and had settled for third in his own mind.
The presentation is set up so that it’s not until the very last minute that anyone gets to know who has won. When it came down to the final two, only Dabill and Jarvis were left. Dave Allison announced “on 47 marks lost” – long, long pause “and with the fastest time of the day, in second place James Dabill”, was it only then that Graham finally knew he had won.
Dibs was very disappointed, whilst Graham was ecstatic, and when it was his turn to collect his trophy, it suddenly dawned on him as he said “I’m the best ever rider in the Scott”.
With eight wins, he is exactly that.