The ninety-ninth Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) got underway yesterday (Monday 3 May) in Fort William, with the competitors being treated to sunshine once the early morning mist had cleared from Loch Linnhe to reveal the fresh snow that had fallen on the hills over night. The event very much came alive with a drama filled opening day. A new route created a challenging initial encounter for the competitors, with many incurring time penalties.
This was not the story for the Sherco factory riders Michael Brown and Albert Cabestany who dropped a mere three marks apiece and arrived back in the parc ferme within their allotted time. Brown actually tops the table ahead of today's trial after a lengthy tie break process decided in his favour. Having both recorded the same number of cleans, ones, twos, threes and fives, Michael then got the nod having travelled the furthest before losing his first mark. However Cabestany has already confirmed himself as a real contender with a stunning ride on his first ever day at the SSDT.
Ironically both riders dropped marks in the first group of the day at Leanachan, where Cabestany parted with a soft dab in section three whilst Brown needed his dab to get back on line in the very next hazard. The third and fourth hazards proved to be a popular draw for the spectators with a large crowd turning out to see the riders getting their respective campaigns underway.
Whilst last year's winner Dougie Lampkin – Beta started the day well, his assault for a third win in a row began to fall apart after the lunch stop as he picked up an uncharacteristic five when his bike misfired just before a double step. This electrical problem was to manifest itself as the day wore on, with Lampkin's bike coming to a complete halt with the final two sections still to ride. Although roadside repairs put Dougie back in the trial, he suffered hefty time penalties that will probably rule him out of the top order for the rest of the week. He currently lies in sixty fifth place on thirty eight marks.
Lampkin has much work to do to ride himself back into contention, with the top ten currently separated by just five marks. Ian Austermuhle – Beta who finished in third place last year, again holds this position after day one. Austermuhle is locked on five marks along with the almost unknown Craig Robinson – Gas Gas, with the 2009 runner up Alexz Wigg – Beta completing the initial top five.
Scotland's Gary MacDonald – Gas Gas once again signalled his intent to become the second only Scot to win this event with a solid opening performance to leave him in eighth spot and just four marks off the lead. With Dougie Lampkin not featuring in the leading group, cousin James is up holding the family name in ninth place, as the 2007 winner James Dabill – Gas Gas completes the top ten after Monday's initial test.
For more information on the Scottish Six Days Trial please visit_ – www.ssdt.org
Day 1 – Daily Positions / Scores
1: Michael Brown – Sherco – 3
2: Albert Cabestany – Sherco – 3
3: Ian Austermuhle – Beta – 5
4: Craig Robinson – Gas Gas – 5
5: Alexz Wigg – Beta – 6
6: John Crinson – Beta – 6
7: Ben Hemingway – Beta – 6
8: Gary MacDonald – Gas Gas – 7
9: James Lampkin – Beta – 7
10: James Dabill – Gas Gas – 8
11: Ben Morphett – Beta – 8
12: John Sunter – Montesa – 10
13: Jonathan Richardson – Sherco – 11
14: Jack Challoner – Beta – 12
15: James Fry – Sherco – 12
To view route for day 2 – http://www.g2fgroup.com/html/ssdt/docs/SSDT10-TUE-D2.pdf
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For further press info, event images and interview requests please contact Paddy Cuthbert from Podge Publicity on 07968 699636 or email Paddy@podge.co.uk
Notes to Editors:
The Scottish Six Days Trial is arguably the oldest (99 years) and the greatest motorcycle trial competition in the world. Riders from as far afield as Canada and Australia make the pilgrimage for the chance to tackle the unique and challenging Scottish terrain alongside local riders who relish the opportunity to take on the world's best on their home turf.
What's involved in motorbike trials?
The sport of motorcycle trials is a test of riding skill over observed sections. When competitors ride the sections their feet must remain on the footrests of the motorcycle. They must negotiate steep gullies, slippery rock steps, rocky streams or boulder-strewn gorges. Sections vary in length and severity, and riders are penalised if they put their feet down to help them ride the section, and more so if they fail to negotiate the section in its entirety.
What makes the Scottish Six Days Trial so special?
The Scottish Six Days Trial has the additional test of reliability over long distances, with riders completing up to 100 miles each day over a combination of rough moorland, rocky tracks and public roads. Each daily route is designed by the Clerk of the Course to challenge the ability, experience, strength and stamina of each rider. To ride 100 miles and negotiate 30 sections each day for six consecutive days requires strength, expertise and exceptional reliability from both rider and machine.
The Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) is mainly focused on the Lochaber area, centred in Fort William. Each day of the trial starts and finishes at the West End Car Park on the waterfront, providing a major attraction for the town.
For trials riders the Scottish Six Days Trial has the same status as the Isle of Man TT has to road racers.
The trial is limited by daylight hours to around 270 competitors, but entries are regularly in excess of 400, such is the popularity of the event. The majority of riders look forward to the only trial that allows them to compete on equal terms with professional and world-class riders. The trial has a reputation for being the toughest in the world, and it is the most prestigious event that a trials rider can win.
Competing in the Scottish Six Days Trial is the dream of every young trials rider, and long may that continue.
The SSDT is managed by the Edinburgh & District Motor Club, and in association with the SSDT the Club runs a Pre-'65 two-day trial for machines manufactured before 1965. This takes place immediately before the SSDT every year, starting and finishing in Kinlochleven. The Pre-'65 trial celebrated it's Silver Jubilee in 2009 and has proved to be the most important Pre-'65 trial in the UK, with entries for the trial massively over-subscribed each year. The Scottish Six Days Trial attracts over 270 riders who together with their followers, spectators and the 150 Pre-'65 riders, provide a major boost to the economy of Fort William and the surrounding areas.