Bel­gium Ay­waille

Trial Magazine - - CYCLE - AR­TI­CLE: ROBIN MOREWOOD

The hours of travel and prac­tice put in by the cy­cle tri­als boys of­ten goes un­no­ticed, but as with any sport the way to the top takes so much ded­i­ca­tion and time. As with the mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als rid­ers the ex­pe­ri­ence gained com­pet­ing abroad al­ways stands you well, as you meet new or­gan­is­ers and it gives you the chance to see the for­eign op­po­si­tion. Great Bri­tain has some su­perb new young rid­ers on the cy­cle tri­als scene and, as you will see, they are quite ca­pa­ble of mix­ing it with the very best as we take a quick look at the se­cond round of the Bel­gium Na­tional Cup com­pe­ti­tion, which took place at Ay­waille in April.

The rid­ing abil­ity of two young English rid­ers, Adam Morewood and Char­lie Rolls, has not gone un­no­ticed nei­ther. Adam Morewood plays a very im­por­tant part in the Jit­sie in­ter­na­tional cy­cle squad based in Bel­gium and Char­lie Rolls is part of the Cross­bow team from Spain. Both rid­ers spend so much time on the con­ti­nent that they are prob­a­bly bet­ter known in Europe than Great Bri­tain!

MAN-MADE

The se­cond round of the Bel­gium Na­tional Cup was held at the ex­cel­lent man-made fa­cil­ity in Ay­waille, which is also a very pop­u­lar mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als venue, hav­ing been used as one for many years, sit­u­ated south-east of Bel­gium and very close to Liege. This event was cat­e­gorised in the in­ter­na­tional cal­en­dar by cy­cling’s world gov­ern­ing body the UCI as a C1 cat­e­gory event, mean­ing that it car­ried points that would count to the over­all UCI rank­ings for the rid­ers.

This rank­ing sorts the top ten in the 20” and 26” cat­e­gories, who au­to­mat­i­cally qual­ify for the semi-fi­nals in the up­com­ing World Cup events, al­low­ing the rid­ers to miss the tir­ing quar­ter fi­nals. Due to this it at­tracted a high-qual­ity field with rid­ers from around Bel­gium, Hol­land, France, Ger­many, Spain and Great Bri­tain. Four rid­ers from Great Bri­tain made the short jour­ney across the chan­nel wa­ters to com­pete. Will Ack­er­ley (Crewk­erz) and Char­lie Rolls (Cross­bow) are com­pet­ing against the world’s Elite rid­ers in the World Cup this sea­son so were out to get some points on the ta­ble and to gain valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence on the yel­low­gated Elite sec­tions.

Adam Morewood (Jit­sie) can­not ride the World Cup un­til 2017 due to his age, but he also de­cided to gain early ex­pe­ri­ence of the Elite sec­tions in readi­ness for next sea­son. As his spon­sor, Jit­sie is based in Bel­gium so it made good sense to give them some home ex­po­sure for their prod­ucts.

The fourth rider from Great Bri­tain was Reece Sey­mour (Cross­bow) who com­peted in the cor­rect class for his age on the Black Cadet course in prepa­ra­tion for the sum­mer’s UCI World Youth Games to be held in Den­mark.

HOT AC­TION

It was a great sunny day for the com­pe­ti­tion, but the heat only added to the al­ready se­vere sec­tions, which was tak­ing its toll on the rid­ers. Reece Sey­mour had a titanic bat­tle over the three laps of five sec­tions with lo­cal Bel­gian rider Tom Le Cloirec. De­spite the home ad­van­tage he beat him by a sin­gle mark to take the se­cond step on the podium be­hind another Bel­gian rider, Ho­bie Philipin, who took the win.

The Elite class had a top qual­ity field with mul­ti­ple World Cham­pi­ons Vin­cent Her­mance from France and Kenny Be­leay from Bel­gium both pre­sent, along with both the cur­rent Ju­nior World Cham­pi­ons: Nicholas Vallee in the 26” class from France and Eloi Palau in the 20” from Spain. Also com­pet­ing were some other top-twenty ranked rid­ers, mean­ing that the Bri­tish rid­ers were go­ing to have a tough day of ac­tion.

The sec­tions were set out to suit the high-class field of rid­ers and it was a war of at­tri­tion for the young Bri­tish trio to just try and get through some of the sec­tions. Un­like mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als, the fourth dab re­sults in four marks lost and the fifth a fail­ure, sim­i­lar to the FIM X-Trial In­door se­ries, so rid­ers couldn’t ‘pad­dle’ through the sec­tions just to get a three.

The three lads stuck at it un­til the end and did them­selves proud, with Char­lie ninth over­all and the fourth-best 20” class rider, Adam in tenth po­si­tion and the fifth-best 20” class rider, and Will eleventh and the sixth-best in the 20” class. It was very tight at the top with the very ex­pe­ri­enced thirty-three year old French­man Vin­cent Her­mance (Clean-Hebo) tak­ing top spot, just one mark in front of his nine­teen-year-old pro­tege Nicholas Vallee (Jit­sie) on ten marks lost, and thirty-four year old Red Bull ath­lete Kenny Be­leay round­ing out the podium in third. The best 20” class rider was sev­en­teen-year-old Spa­niard Ale­jan­dro Mon­talvo (Jit­sie) in fourth po­si­tion over­all as he just out-pointed his fel­low Span­ish rider nine­teen-year-old Eloi Palau (Cross­bow).

UK AC­TION

The 2017 Bri­tish Tri­als Cup got un­der­way on the 2nd of April at Ad­ding­ham Moor­side in York­shire. This was the first event un­der the new or­gan­is­ers of the Bike­trial Fed­er­a­tion. The ob­serv­ing rules re­main un­changed from 2016 but the new sec­tion lay­outs and the three laps of six sec­tions seemed to go down very well with the twenty nine rid­ers pre­sent, with ages rang­ing from seven to forty-five years old with a class to suit all rid­ers of dif­fer­ent ages and abil­i­ties. Owen Gawthorpe took his first ever Elite Na­tional win from last sea­son’s cham­pion An­drei Bur­ton.

Other class win­ners were: An­drew Chai, Ex­pert Se­nior; Reece Sey­mour, Ex­pert; Paul Grange, Cadet; Stu­art Robert­son, In­ter­me­di­ate Se­nior; Josh McPar­land, In­ter­me­di­ate; Carl Weight­man, Novice Se­nior; Bai­ley Dacker, Novice; Nate Robin­son, Pri­mary Se­nior; Oliver Cooper, Pri­mary.

Adam Morewood (Jit­sie-GBR)

Char­lie Rolls (GBR)

Will Ack­er­ley (GBR)

54 Ni­co­las Vallee (Jit­sie-FRA)

Ale­jan­dro Mon­talvo (Jit­sie-ESP)

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