Trials

Aussie Fab Four ready for action

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Italy will host the Trial des Nations (TDN) for the fourth time on September 23-25, with the Australian quartet of Trevor Campbell, Colin Zarczynski, Dylan Rees and Michael Byrne looking to secure the country's second rostrum finish in the International Trophy Division. The four riders all have past experience in the TDN, with 21-year-old Byrne (Gas Gas) and Rees (Sherco) both members of last year's team which finished fourth behind Ireland, Norway and Belgium. Meanwhile, Zarczynski (Sherco), the reigning Australian champion, last competed in 2002 after a continuous four-year run ‰ÛÒ although he was a last-minute withdrawal in 2004 after suffering nasty chemical burns at home. Campbell (Beta) was an incumbent in 2002-2003. After first competing in the French-hosted TDN of 1990, where Dylan's father John was one of the three 'sitting' members, Australia joined the International Trophy division of the competition when it kicked off in 1995. Established as an adjunct to the World Championship class of the TDN, where the likes of France, Great Britain, Italy and Spain are the established warriors, Australia finished 10th in the first International Trophy outing. Its best effort came five years later when Lee Driessens, Robert Jones, Colin Zarczynski and Kevin Zarczynski combined to finish third. A couple of near misses have transpired since 2000, including falling just 2pts short of third-placed Belgium in 2004. Fourteen teams will compete in the International Trophy at Sestriere in north-east Italy, while nine countries will make a play on the top-tier World Championship class. In that one, Spain will be the overwhelming favourite to retain its title, and make it 12 wins since the start of TDN competition in 1984. With three riders returning from the 2004 assault, including reigning indoor and outdoor world champion Adam Raga (Gas Gas), Spain looks to have too much potency, although Great Britain, Japan and France are also adept at this team caper. France won five of the first seven TDNs, but since 1991 only Spain and Great Britain have emerged victorious. Dougie Lampkin (Montesa), who won seven outdoor world titles in a row from 1997-2003, will again provide the backbone to the British offensive, while 2004 world champion Takahisa Fujinami (Honda) is Japan's trump card. Prior to the TDN at Sestriere, the opening round of the inaugural Women's Trial World Championship will be held on September 23, with 26-year-old Australian Michelle Owen (Sherco) searching for a top 10 finish. Owen, from Beacon Hill in NSW, was 12th in last year's Women's World Cup. Fifty-two women will compete in round one, with everyone looking to conquer brilliant Spanish rider Laia Sanz, who will ride the all-new four-stroke Montesa. The second and final round of the Women's Trial World Championship will also be held in Italy, on October 2. FOOTNOTE: 2005 Trial des Nations selection process

The process in selecting the Australian team for the 2005 Trial des Nations was questioned by Kevin Zarczynski. Kevin, who finished second in the 2004 Australian Moto Trials Championship, and followed up with first and second places at two other team qualifying events in 2005, was not selected and pursued answers from Motorcycling Australia and the Moto Trials Commission as to why he was overlooked. It was during the questioning of the process that it became evident that there were inadequacies and a lack of transparency in the selection process. Internal staff and commissioners involved in the process will be counseled in relation to their responsibilities in following due process in matters of team selection. All future team nominations will be forwarded to the MA Board for endorsement prior to being announced. Motorcycling Australia issued a formal apology to Kevin for not ensuring that he and other potential riders were treated equally in the selection process. Equally, by Kevin making this statement on the selection process, they acknowledge that there are no outstanding issues in relation to conduct, attitude or controversy that will negatively impact upon his chances of future selection. In future years, Motorcycling Australia will publish on its website any specific criteria to be used for the selection of the Trial des Nations team in accordance with GCR 24.1.3.1. This will help ensure all potential team members are aware of the process and are treated equally and fairly. Any selection during the process will be published on the MA website. In the selection process for the 2005 team, Kevin, along with other potential riders, were considered at the final selection meeting on July 19

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