Let’s Travel

AN­DORRA

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS -

An­dorra

To say I am excited about this new two-day Clas­sic tri­als event is a mas­sive un­der­state­ment. My first ad­ven­ture to An­dorra was back in 1989 in John Shirt’s ex-Par­cel Force Mercedes 307D Van. We were in Spain on a visit to the Gas Gas fac­tory in Gerona, when on route to the Span­ish world round we took a de­tour via this small prin­ci­pal­ity of An­dorra close to the Span­ish border. As it’s a tax-free haven the price of things com­pared to the UK was ridicu­lously cheap. The then­new Shoei TR2P tri­als hel­met was the one to have, and we found th­ese around 50% cheaper than at home. As al­ways when you are abroad we also bumped into one of John Shirt’s old­est friends, Harold Craw­ford and his wife Au­drey. A few of you will re­mem­ber when ‘Harry’ used to com­pete in all the world rounds on his Yamaha liv­ing in his con­verted van with Au­drey! He soon in­formed us that a gal­lon bot­tle of Jonny Walker Whiskey was a mere £12, which Au­drey soon con­firmed as she had bought one. As with many of the cur­rent FIM Trial World Cham­pi­onship rounds An­dorra has been a firm fix­ture on the list for many years and the small town of St Ju­lia de Lo­ria at the south­ern edge of the prin­ci­pal­ity wel­comes the sport of mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als with open arms. Ar­ti­cle: Frank Delubac and John Hulme • Pic­tures: Jean Claude Com­méat/Canon Eos 5D

The ever-grow­ing clas­sic tri­als scene is gath­er­ing pace at a rapid speed, with the two-day for­mat prov­ing very pop­u­lar all around Europe. My trip to the Costa Brava Clas­sic is a firm fix­ture in the di­ary, and for events such as the Highland Two Day on the Alvie es­tate (which I'm un­able to at­tend due to world cham­pi­onship com­mit­ments) we al­ways have other mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts rep­re­sent­ing Clas­sis Trial Mag­a­zine. This year, the Leven Val­ley Two Day trial joins the cal­en­dar for the first time in Kin­lochleven, which is where we will be in Septem­ber.

An­dorra 2018

An­dorra is a well-known place for the mo­tor­cy­cle trial en­thu­si­ast, and just three weeks be­fore the clas­sic two-day the FIM had vis­ited the prin­ci­pal­ity lo­cated in the Pyre­nees be­tween France and Spain for round three of the 2018 Trial World Cham­pi­onship.

A ‘hub’ for sports en­thu­si­asts, it has wel­comed the world of mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als for many years with the first FIM event held in 1992. With a pop­u­la­tion of around 85,000, An­dorra is an in­de­pen­dent prin­ci­pal­ity bet­ter known for its ski re­sorts as well as en­joy­ing a tax-haven sta­tus. Just for the record, An­dorra’s most fa­mous mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als res­i­dent is a cer­tain Toni Bou. An­dorra is a fan­tas­tic place and one of out­stand­ing nat­u­ral beauty, leav­ing an im­pres­sion on ev­ery­one who vis­its the area.

On the week­end of 30th June and 1st of July, the lo­cal An­dorra trial club took their chance in or­gan­is­ing the first two-day clas­sic trial in Sant Ju­lia de Lo­ria, which has an al­ti­tude of some 900 me­ters.

Two-day trial

The first event at­tracted a very mixed en­try of 163 rid­ers with many lo­cals en­tered along with rid­ers from France, Spain, Catalu­nia, Bel­gium and Italy.

The orig­i­nal idea for the trial came from Xavier Cre­spo, the An­dorra Tri­als Club pres­i­dent, sup­ported by Miguel An­gel Gar­cia and Joan Pere San­ture who was over­all in charge of set­ting out the course and the haz­ards. The haz­ards were plot­ted out high in the moun­tains rang­ing from the 900 me­tres of the start area in Sant Ju­lia de Lo­ria up to the dizzy heights of 2,200 me­tres. The to­tal lap would be 22 kilo­me­tres, tak­ing in 20 haz­ards on each of their two days. Three routes were on of­fer to suit rid­ers of all abil­i­ties, and the rid­ers re­ported back af­ter the event that much thought had been put into the haz­ards by Joan Pere San­ture and his friends. Many of the rocky rivers were used, which con­tained quite high lev­els of wa­ter due to the huge amount of snow in the win­ter melt­ing un­der the sum­mer sun.

How good?

The ma­jor­ity of the rid­ers re­ported back that the two days of superb tri­als rid­ing had been thor­oughly en­joyed. As we have al­ready stated, many of the haz­ards were in the rivers, but there was also a good se­lec­tion of other tech­ni­cal haz­ards tak­ing in the rocks and climbs found in abun­dance in this moun­tain­ous area. With the three routes on of­fer, ev­ery­one is in­vited to at­tempt all the haz­ards.

What is in­ter­est­ing to note is that no rid­ers recorded clean scores on ei­ther day. The go­ing be­tween the haz­ards can at times be test­ing with some very long de­scents, but the lo­cal club has many mar­shals on hand to help in the most dif­fi­cult ar­eas.

Frank Delubac: “The routes down from the higher parts of the course re­quire some con­cen­tra­tion as they are at times quite steep, but at the end of the two days happy faces could be seen all around. The op­por­tu­nity to com­pete in a tri­als event in this part of the world is a mas­sive priv­i­lege, and I have to thank the or­gan­is­ers, all the staff, the Mar­shalls and ev­ery­body in­volved for be­ing so kind and pro­fes­sional”.

An­dorra Two-Day 2019

We have no date as yet for the 2019 event but as soon as we do will print all the rel­e­vant con­tact de­tails and also put them on our web­site. You can also look at the club’s superb web­site: www.fma.ad/con­tacta/. Be­low we have listed some in­ter­est­ing in­for­ma­tion if you are think­ing of rid­ing or even spec­tat­ing.

Where is the trial? Sant Ju­lia de Lo­ria, which is a prin­ci­pal­ity/dis­trict of An­dorra, is where the trial starts. Near­est Air­ports: Barcelona, Spain: 220km; Toulouse, France: 230km. For ho­tel in­for­ma­tion visit: www.vis­i­tan­dorra.com. There are many ho­tels and restau­rants in walk­ing dis­tance from the start at Sant Ju­lia de Lo­ria and, who knows, you may just bump into Toni Bou!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.