Cycle Trials may be very much a low participation sport here in the UK but what it lacks in numbers it certainly makes up for in quality, with home riders taking five World Titles and one European Title in 2017.
There are two slightly different genres of the sport internationally. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the world’s governing body for cycle sport, organising road cycling, track cycling, mountain biking and BMX events amongst other things. They organise trials which are very much a city centre sport held over man-made obstacles with similar rules to the FIM X-Trial indoor series in that if any part of the bike touches the floor, except for the wheels, results in a dab. Then there is the Biketrial International Union (BIU) who organises BikeTrial, which is more like traditional motorcycle trials run over natural sections. This organisation started with young riders emulating their fathers riding motorcycle trials and allows riders to balance on their pedal or bashplate without incurring penalties.
UCI TRIALS WORLD YOUTH GAMES
The World Championship season is very much organised during the summer months and this year the first title to be awarded was the UCI Trials World Youth Games which was held over two days in Viborg, Denmark, in the heart of the city centre. The UK sent a team of six riders over the various age categories. Qualifying was held on the Saturday with the top twelve riders in each class qualifying for the finals on Sunday. Charlie Rolls and Adam Morewood comfortably qualified for the finals in the Cadet class, with Charlie going on to dominate the finals and take the title and Adam finishing in fourth position. Sam Shepherd scraped into the Minime final but improved on the second day, finishing in tenth position. In the Benjamin class Josh McParland qualified in ninth place but in a very difficult final dropped one position to tenth. Bailey Dacker failed to qualify in nineteenth place with Finn Johstone finishing 29th in the well supported Poussin class.
BIU WORLD BIKETRIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
The next titles to be awarded were just one week later in August at the BIU World BikeTrial Championships held in Spain. This championship consisted of two separate rounds, with points being accrued for the overall title. For this championship the UK had eleven riders ranging from 8 years old to 30 years old. It was an extremely successful championship for the UK team, who finished third overall in the nations cup and picked up three individual world titles and a second place. In the youngest category Eddie Weightman was attending his first World Championships, picking up sixth position. In the Benjamin class for 10-12 year olds his brother Oliver, also competing at the Worlds for the first time, had an awesome time picking up a win and a second position to take the World title at his first attempt. He was backed up by Bailey Dacker in eleventh and Harry Turner in fourteenth. The Minime class saw another World title for the UK team with Adam Morewood taking the win on both days to lift his third BIU World Title. Reece Seymour had a good week in fifth place with Sam Shepherd in eighth position. The senior 20” class saw the UK come very close to another title as Owen Gawthorpe finished second in the first round, losing out on most cleans, and with a third place on the second day he secured the silver medal position, with Aaron Duke finishing in seventh position overall. Scott Wilson was competing in the senior 26” class and some great riding saw him take fourth overall. To round things off Ben Savage took comfortable wins on both days in the Elite 26” class to take home another World title for the UK.
BIU EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
In a break from tradition the BIU European Championship was held indoors at a sport and lifestyle exhibition in Brno, Czech Republic. Eight UK riders competed over the two-day competition on some great man-made obstacles. In the senior class Scott Wilson had a great day, picking up the silver medal in second position. In the 13-15 year old Minime class Adam Morewood followed up his World Championship win with his third European Championship title, Reece Seymour getting fifth place. In the Benjamin class Oliver Weightman couldn’t quite repeat his Worlds success, finishing a very close second place behind the Slovakian winner with Bailey Dacker seventh and Elliott Cooper in tenth. Eddie Weightman gave his all in the Poussin class finishing in fourth place, only losing out on third position on the tie breaker of time taken to complete the event, with Oliver Cooper in eight place.
UCI ELITE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
The final title to be settled was the biggest of the season, being the UCI Elite World Championships for the coveted rainbow jersey. For 2017 this was held in Chengdou in China over one week to a new set of rules where points were accrued for each gate of the section cleaned. Yorkshire’s Jack Carthy produced a stunning performance to take his second UCI World elite 26” title on the trot after languishing in sixth place after the second of the five-section final. Andrei Burton managed a fine ninth position with Steve Rogers in 22nd place. In the Elite 20” class Andrew Chai finished in 20th place and in the Junior 20” class for riders 18 years old and younger Will Ackerley claimed a fine ninth position after a late recovery from an ankle injury.
Overall the 2017 season has been a great success for the selected UK riders internationally, and with all the riders busy training hard in the off season it looks like 2018 could bring even more titles home to the UK.
The UK BIU Team
BIU Worlds round 1 podium riders: Owen Gawthorpe, Ben Savage, Adam Morewood and Oliver Weightman. Adam along with Oliver Weightman and the BIU Elite 20” World Champion Vasek Kolar from Czech. Pictured at the BIU worlds in Spain.
Adam Morewood. Charlie Rolls.
Oliver Weightman and Adam Morewood: World Champions
Jack Carthy. Oliver Weightman.