Trials

Team Australia Shows Enormous Fight At 2023 Trial des Nations

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The Australian mens team finished a credible fifth while the Aussie Women where eighth. Photo: Future7Media

Team Australia has produced a tenacious performance in the 2023 Trial des Nations (TdN), which was held in challenging conditions at the French ski resort of Auron on Sunday, September 10.

In the 18-country International Trophy division, the Australian men’s trio of Kyle Middleton, Connor Hogan and Chris Bayles finished fifth for the second year in succession.

Meanwhile, Lillie Yiatrou and Kaitlyn Cummins recovered from a slow start in the women’s open category to complete the two-lap 30-section TdN in eighth position – a result even more meritorious considering that Australia was one of only two teams to compete with a minimum two-rider roster. The balance of the 11 countries had three riders, with only the best two scores counted in every section.

Connor Hogan (Pictured) and his teammates Kyle Middleton (NSW) & Chris Bayles (Tas) brought Australia home a 5th place finish for the FIM Trials des Nations International Trophy. Photo: Future7Media

Led by world champion Emma Bristow, Great Britain showed massive resilience against a persistent Spain to win the women’s category, while Norway jumped two positions on the run home to lock in the final spot on the podium.

Auron, located 1700 metres above sea level, was not only stifling – a continuation of a brutal European summer – but the sections were heavily characterised by huge rocks and steep, loose climbs.

World Champion Emma Bristow helped Great Britain edge out Spain for the win in the Womens class. Photo Futre7Media

The conditions placed a premium on composure and millimetre-precision, and in the International Trophy Australia lost 16 marks on the first lap to be in a tie for fifth position with Austria. But on lap two the Aussies made that position their own, finishing the TdN on 36 marks, behind the near-perfect Japan (one), Germany (seven), 2022 winner the Czech Republic (15), and America (29).

It was Australia’s 27th top-10 finish in the International Trophy, which included a stirring victory in 2017.

The top-tier men’s division saw the all-conquering Spain – unsurprisingly – continue its reign, with the incomparable Toni Bou anchoring the team to its 19th successive TdN victory. Bou got the job done alongside Jaime Busto and his factory teammate, Gabriel Marcelli – the top three in the 2023 individual world title. Fellow trial powerhouses France and Italy completed the podium.

The unbeatable Spaniards in the shape of Toni Bou, Jaime Busto and Gabriel Marcelli topped the podium for the 19th consecutive time in the top tier class. Photo: Future 7 Media

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