Whilst the results of the recent Scott Trial have been long published, it was only recently that the opportunity came to have a closer look at the section analysis, which has proven to be quite interesting.
Like many folks, I’ve always suggested that not only is the Scott a long way round, over very difficult terrain, but also the sections are mighty hard, yet a look at the section details as posted out to all observers (and competitors too I guess), in fact reveals something quite different.
As everybody knows, there are 76 sections in the Scott and they are very similar each year with a few alterations as the years progress. However, the suggestion that they are all “mighty tough” is not in fact borne out in the statistics.
There are a few that are particularly difficult, with only a small number of cleans, but of the 76, only nine yielded less than 10 cleans. In order of presumed difficulty they were section 73, Cold Knuckles 3 with 0 cleans; section 72, Cold Knuckles 2 and section 16 Mac’s Castle 1 with 3 cleans each; section 71 Cold Bank and section 40 Black Hills 1 and section 26 Ritchie’s Revenge 2 all had five cleans – and so it goes on.
The total number of recorded scores was 11177, with 30 % being cleans, 12 % dabs, 7% twos, 25% threes and 26% failures – so by no means is the trial one long list of impossible hazards, in fact judging by the statistics alone, the spread was admirably fair.
One hundred and ninety six riders started the trial and 100% of the entry completed the first two sections – but then they started to fall by the wayside until at the end 54% of the entry (106 riders) rode the final section and presumably made it to the finish, though of course not by any means were they all within the finishing certificate time limit of two-and-a-half hours. In fact 21 riders were outside the limit.
The Grouse Moor which takes a decent rider about an hour to complete has ten sections and is often considered a place that knocks out many riders, yet this year only five per cent of the surviving entry, some 11 riders, failed to get round the Grouse Moor.
There are many more ways to analyse the results, but I shall spare you any further boredom, suffice to say that this year the course and weather conditions were considered to be the best for many a long year, so perhaps another time any similar analysis will show very different results.
Judging by the postings regarding the move by Alexz Wigg from Gas Gas to TRW Montesa, most seem to think it a very good move, and in many ways I totally agree. TRW seem to have the canny knack of providing machinery that brings out the best of riders and in particular James Dabill has thrived this year. I trust that Alexz progresses as well, but I ask one question.
Wiggy has a riding style which though it is undoubtedly similar to most other top class riders, is definitely more extreme, and on the Gasser he has been able to thrive. I’m not 100% certain that his style of riding will work the same on a Montesa and he may have to learn a different technique to achieve the results he has come to expect on the Gas Gas.
I think it is fair to say that riding any of the fourstrokes requires a different technique to those employed on two strokes. Those that have adapted have gone very well indeed (Dabill, Bou), equally I think Alexz, who is an extremely personable guy, is intelligent enough to adapt if he feels the need and progress further on a very promising career.
With TRW and Caroline Sandiford backing him, he will have the very best of support. John Shirt has done his best but factory (or at least big development team involvement) is essential for a rider to progress further once they have reached a certain stage, and with Gas Gas unable to provide that little bit extra Alexz will need, he has chosen a path which should see further result improvement.
The future for the best British youngsters, Alexz, Dibs, Browny and Jack Challoner in particular is very bright indeed, and watching their results in the coming year will make interesting viewing.