Even at the age of thirty-six, Red Bull's longest serving UK athlete Dougie Lampkin - Gas Gas continues to break records as he claimed an historic sixth win at the World famous Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT). In contention for the victory from the opening day Dougie endured a tough and tense week and finally got the result he so badly wanted by the narrowest of margins as he defeated James Dabill on the most extensive tie-decider the century old completion has ever seen.
Dougie arrived in the Scottish Highlands with unfinished business on his mind after a mechanical problem and then an injury ruled him out of winning the previous two editions of the SSDT in 2010 and 2011. However Lampkin could have thought there was some kind of jinx hanging over him as he badly damaged both hands in a freak non-bike related incident just two weeks before heading to Fort William.
Thankfully the ex multi World Champion showed little sign of letting this set back bother him as he was one of five riders to go clean on day one in a competition that has become a low scoring affair over the years. Dougie continued his strive for top honours on Tuesday as he again remained faultless and headed the overall standings alongside Spanish rider Jordi Pascuet.
A single dab on Wednesday was enough for Lampkin to relinquish his yellow leader board as Pascuet became the outright leader for the first time in the trial just as it reached its midpoint. Thursday brought some of the worst weather the event has seen as the riders battled through driving rain and near freezing temperatures as they progressed their way around the one hundred and twenty six mile route.
It was on the same day and route last year that Dougie sustained his ankle injury that ruled him out of the trial, but this time around typically the Gas Gas teamster used the tough conditions to establish himself an advantage with just two days to go. Lampkin's early starting position on Friday morning saw him have to fight the boulder strewn Scottish sections at their most slippery. It was very much a damage limitation exercise for the already five times SSDT winner, as Dougie saw his lead cut to just a single mark going into the final and decisive day.
The closing battle between Lampkin, Dabill and Michael Brown was immense with all three riders still locked together until late on the final day. Dougie's three dab ride put him level on marks with Dabill who was the best performer on Saturday, and left the organisers with the job of working through an exhaustive tie-break process.
Finally Lampkin was announced the winner of the 2012 SSDT by virtue of having remained clean for the longest during the week, after the pairing had recorded exactly the same number of cleans, ones, twos, threes and fives over six days and nearly one hundred and eight sections, not to mention the five hundred or so miles they had covered.
Relieved and delighted Dougie said. "I certainly didn't make it easy for myself, and although it has gone down to the wire it still feels amazing to have won a sixth Scottish, as it is still a tough event to win. James (Dabill) has ridden really well over the last two days and certainly put me under pressure, it was a great battle, but sadly for one of us we knew there could only be one winner."
Dougie continued. "After the last couple of years and then badly hurting my hands just before the event, I really thought lady luck wasn't going to let me win the SSDT ever again, but thankfully she has been kind to me today!"
"To have become the only rider to have won the Scottish six times is a massive achievement and one that ranks up there with my World titles and Grand Prix victories."
A very happy Lampkin ended. "Each year it becomes more difficult to come up here and win against the younger riders, but that said I will be back next year and looking to make it seven wins so the young ones shouldn't relax just yet."