The eight riders assembled for the Perth round of the X Trial Australian Championship were the top eight riders in the country. Kyle Middleton dominated the Qualifying round dropping only 4 points to head off Tasmanian rider and Victorian Trials Champion Chris Bayles (10 points). Young South Australian star Connor Hogan, qualified with a solid ride on 19 points. Whilst the 4th and last place went to Colin Zarczynski (NSW) on a count back, after a 3-way tie, with his brother Kevin and Neil Price (WA). They all tied on 21 points apiece.
In the Final, the event managers thought they would mix it up a little for the crowd; so, they reversed the sections. At this point I really could not rationalise, despite mustering all my knowledge from middle school physics, how Middleton, Bayles, Hogan and Zarczynski were going to overcome obstacles that were simply not meant to be negotiated, even when they were the right way around. But, except for one single obstruction to forward momentum, they did, and I found myself bouncing up and down on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, clutching my privates and pointing like a three-year-old. It was literally overwhelming to watch.
These guys balanced along and hopped between the Coates Hire road barriers set at impossible angles to each other (Section 1), found a whole new purpose for ‰Û÷Wizz Binz‰Ûª skip bins (Section 2), floated their rubber across three-meter-high (that‰Ûªs 3m!) and wide gaps between Titan Australia haul pack truck tyres (Section 3), chipped away at an industrial concrete pipe set (Section 4), put mountain goats to shame on the Hell Team Helter Skelter ramps (Section 5) before coming to terms with the structural insanity of the Moto Dynamic Sevens (Section 6). Middleton took out the final on 19 points, five clear of Bayles on 24 points and Connor Hogan snuck onto the podium on 29 points.
‰ÛÏOnce again X Trial proved to be a real challenge for me, with its short, intense format and head to head style of competition. I am happy with my performance, but it was far from perfect.‰Û