Spot on, with no reason to fault it. That’s the general opinion of everybody I spoke to at the World Championship Trial this weekend, and if there had been any doubts some months ago about whether Dirt Bike Traxs could deliver such a prestigious event, they were certainly dispelled with a fine trial that was well run which provided some great action for a healthy gathering of spectators.
Inevitably, this latest trial, held on a Cumbrian hillside, with the 15 sections man-made in a minor quarry, would be compared with the most recent trials at Hawkstone Park. The Hawkstone events were bigger, arguably promoted with greater pizzazz, but where Cumbria gained was with the viewing. It was possible to see all 15 sections in their entirety, and once at the top of the hill, there was virtually no walking to do.
Throughout the weekend, there were many varied opinions, but to select just one, it has to be said that Graham Jarvis’s judgement in designing the sections, was absolutely spot on. The former World Number Four knew exactly what was possible and what was not, and many would have felt for him when, after months of hard effort, the FIM’s representatives requested that the trial be eased prior to the Saturday action.
And it was obvious that Saturday was definitely a touch on the easy side, so for Sunday, several of the sections were toughened up, back to where Graham originally wanted them and as far as spectating was concerned, it was all the better for that.
Whilst trials over the years have generally gone from long, single lap events, to multi lap compact events, this was even more compact with the lap length even shorter than when Cumberland County run club trials at the venue, but as I say at the very start of this column, there’s absolutely no reason to fault the event in any respect.
It would be different if there were ten, or even three organisations vying to run a world round; then the ACU would rightly choose a more varied trial. But that’s not the case these days, and as Dirt Bike Traxs were the only organisation to step up to the plate, and Nord Vue is the venue they chose to use, then we don’t knock it. It was a great couple of days.
There’s no doubt that Toni Bou and Adam Raga are a class apart, so Doug’s third place on Saturday is without doubt the best he could hope for. It was as good as a win. He was unable to match that on Sunday following two really bad fives towards the end of the first lap, one after another when he first went straight over the handlebars when he leapt through a tree, the front wheel catching a root on landing. Then on the next section, it was again a root that did the damage at the top of a mega steep climb. He grasped a nearby tree to save himself but that uprooted and Doug, Beta and Mountain Ash landed in a heap back at the quarry bottom.
Spectacular crashes featured several times. Fujigas crashed out of day one on the same section that caught Doug on day two and had to go to Carlisle hospital for x-rays which revealed nothing broken, so he rode on day two but in some discomfort. And as can be seen on You Tube, Bou crashed the Mont when it failed to respond to his throttle instructions.
Michael Brown took several nasties, first on the same section that caught Doug and then again in the quarry where he failed a mega step.
And the rides of the weekend? No doubt about that. Alex Wigg in easily winning both days of the World Junior Championship and Jonathan Richardson maintaining his World Youth series lead, but it was Toni Bou on section ten with three fantastic cleans out of four, which clearly won him the trial both days.
Inevitably those who were there will have their own opinions of the event. Let me finish by saying that without Dirt Bike Traxs with John Kirwen at the helm, Graham Jarvis planning the sections, Gary Bingley bringing in the various sponsors including the big Lloyds and Eddie Stobart groups and Neil Wilson driving the earth moving plant, this major World Championship event would not have happened.
And we would all have been poorer if it were missing.