Trials

Australia scores a brilliant second

Author: Mark Fattore

Posted:

After withstanding the harsh elements and some pesky opposition in Italy on September 25, Team Australia has scored its best-ever result at a Trial des Nations (TDN) ‰ÛÒ second place. The Aussies ‰ÛÒ Trevor Campbell (Beta), Michael Byrne (Gas Gas) and Sherco pair Dylan Rees and Colin Zarczynski ‰ÛÒ stuck to their guns all day, in weather which kicked off sunny in the morning before deteriorating to an afternoon of thick fog and heavy rain. On a circuit which the four riders collectively nominated as the hardest they had ridden on ‰ÛÒ and at an altitude of 2500 metres - Australia finished on 164pts in the 14-country International Trophy (IT) division, nearly 100 behind runaway winner, America (Geoff Aaron, Chris Florin, Cody Webb, Keith Wineland, 69pts). It was America's second win in the second-tier IT, after first lifting the trophy in 2000. Third position, on a tie-breaker over Switzerland based on more ‰Û÷clean' sections, went to Norway (Mandon Moi, Thomas Schie, Steffen Solheim, Lars Mork, 168pts). "The circuit was really hard, with unbelievably steep sections, and dirty, gnarly rocks," said Australian team manager, Denis Fitzpatrick. "All the boys were absolutely buggered at the end of the day, because on top of the difficult terrain they had to put up with the bad weather. "However, it was all worth it, because the guys just put together our best result in the International Trophy, and that's something to be really proud of." This year's result surpassed the previous best effort in the IT, which was a third place in 2000. Zarczynski was also an incumbent that year, alongside his brother Kevin, Robert Jones and Lee Driessens. Aside from the malicious layout, the biggest concern for the Aussies at this year's TDN was setting up their machinery to cope with the altitude of north-west Italy ‰ÛÒ 300 metres higher than Australia's tallest outpost, Mt Kosciusko! "It took us about three days to set up the jetting on the bikes," said Fitzpatrick. "However, the circuit was very undulating, so set-up was always going to be a bit of a compromise. The riders' ears kept popping as well, so they were all kept on their toes the whole time." In the nine-team World Championship class, designated for the trials ensemble cast, Spain eventually overpowered early pacesetter Great Britain to record its 12th win since the start of competition in 1984. Three of Spain's 2004-winning riders ‰ÛÒ reigning world champion Adam Raga (Gas Gas), Marc Freixa (Montesa) and Albert Cabestany (Sherco) ‰ÛÒ returned to claim this year's silverware, while Antonio Bou (Beta) was the final member of the winning quartet. Spain finished on 33pts, 12 ahead of Great Britain (Sam Connor, Graham Jarvis, Dougie Lampkin, Shaun Morris, 45pts), while Japan (Takahisa Fujinami, Kenichi Kuroyama, Fumitaka Nozaki, Isao Shibuya, 55pts) was third for the fourth successive year. Meantime, in the opening round of the inaugural Women's Trial World Championship, also at Sestriere, 26-year-old Australian Michelle Owen (Sherco) was a disappointing 17th, but will have a chance to redeem herself in the second and final round this weekend, also at high altitude in Italy. Brilliant Spanish rider Laia Sanz (Montesa) won the women's opener ‰ÛÒ without losing a penalty point. TDN RESULTS

World Championship
1 Spain (Antonio Bou, Albert Cabestany, Marc Freixa, Adam Raga) - 33pts
2 Great Britain (Sam Connor, Graham Jarvis, Dougie Lampkin, Shaun Morris) - 45
3 Japan (Takahisa Fujinami, Kenichi Kuroyama, Fumitaka Nozaki, Isao Shibuya) - 55
4 Italy (Diego Bosis, Fabio Lenzi, Daniele Maurino, Michele Orizio) - 119
5 France (J̩r̫me Bethune, Christophe Bruand, Bruno Camozzi, Christophe Camozzi) - 180

International Trophy
1 USA (J̩r̫me Bethune, Christophe Bruand, Bruno Camozzi, Christophe Camozzi) - 69pts
2 Australia (Michael Byrne, Trevor Campbell, Dlyan Rees, Colin Zarczynski) - 164
3 Norway (Mandon Moi, Thomas Schie, Steffen Solheim, Lars Mork) - 168
4 Switzerland (Laurent Daengeli, Dominique Guillaume, Gilles Seuret, Olimpio Spini) - 168
5 Netherlands (Pieter Goertz, Ewoud Lalkens, Rodney Heijmans, Alex Van Den Broek) - 207

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