Well, the waiting is over and now everybody who is interested will know whether they have managed to be allocated a ride in the Scottish Six Days following the publication earlier this week of the entry list of accepted riders.
As always, I scan the entry list to see if all the riders with whom I have regular contact are entered, and the first obvious omission is Graham Jarvis. I say obvious because Graham has ridden the Scottish every year since goodness knows when, but of course the following week he is at the helm of the British round of the World Trials Championship, so presumably he has his hands full with that and has taken the decision to miss out on the Scottish.
It’s pretty obvious I guess, but somehow I still expected him to be part of the SSDT – can’t say it will be quite the same without being able to watch Mr Smooth aim for a win.
However, I’ve just called Graham and he is not dismissing a ride yet. He’s in a position to take one of the guaranteed Sherco entries closer to the date and that will depend upon the progress at that time with the World Round
Doug is back again to defend his crown from last year and whilst there are a significant number of riders capable of keeping him honest, to be fair there’s no-one really in contention for unseating him. That may be an unfair comment when there’s James Dabill and Michael Brown in contention, but even so, I would still put my money (if I had any!) on Doug to do the business again. He definitely has that edge, not just in ability, but in constant concentration over a long period which I think provides the extra few per cent to edge a victory over anybody else. Time will tell of course, and May will soon be with us.
Once again the number of applications for the 280 odd rides that are allocated meant that a significant number of riders were disappointed, as happened to an even greater extent with the Pre 65 entry, though the entry list for that trial seems never to be published in advance. So whilst the UK (and the world??) is reported to be suffering from a credit crisis, that doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to wanting to take part in a Scottish event.
The Tough One was held yesterday and though I didn’t go for the first time for a number of years, I understand from rumours (not accurate news) that the result was Taddy Blazusiak from Tom Sagar from Wayne Braybrook from Dougie Lampkin. It doesn’t take me to remind you that’s four trials riders in the first four places which only confirms what I’ve said for many years that a half tidy trials rider is almost automatically a tidy enduro man, whilst a top class trials rider becomes an ace enduro man.
And if you know your sport you should be asking what happened to David Knight? Out with a bike problem very early on as I understand it, which means that it’s the first time he has not been The Tough One winner.
Sam Haslam won the trials rider race whilst Michael Brown and James Dabill both went out on the last lap when they ran out of fuel – or so I’m told.
I was at a club dinner on Friday night where I learnt that Dougie had been over to a secret, privately owned testing track deep in the heart of the Lake District, honing his skills for his Extreme Enduro efforts this winter. It has obviously paid off for fourth behind such experienced company is no mean achievement and I suggest Doug will soon be making his way further forward to a rostrum finish.
Now I don’t often plug events in this column as if I did I would get inundated with such requests. However, some 12 months ago I remarked that two Northern Centre trials had taken place a week apart and whilst one had attracted a very healthy entry, the other which was equally as good, had a very poor entry.
That event was the Barrow Club’s Frank Jackson trial and it takes place on February 1. Let me put it to you simply, if you are a northerner and want to ride a fantastic, road based trial that is to all intents and purposes like one day of the Lakes Two Day, then get yourself to The Old Railway line at Torver for 10.30 on the morning of February 1. It’s a two route trial, hard and clubman and is extremely sensible, set out by the local lads from the Broughton area who understand trialing.
And finally, thanks for the nice comments both on line and to me in private on my 100th column last week for Trials Central.