International� 1978 TWC
Yrjo Vesterinen (325 Bultaco-FIN): Nicknamed the ‘Iceman’ for his cool calculated approach to winning, ‘Vesty’ was in excellent form at the second round. Having won in Ireland he carried his form into round two despite the arctic conditions. His technique
In a true test of man and machine the 1978 Trial World Championship welcomed close on 90 riders to compete against the elements for round two at an event based around Rhayader in Wales. With snow and ice, (-8 degrees was recorded at one group of sections), playing a major part in the event the organising Rhayader MC resorted to putting salt on the rocks and breaking the heaviest coverings of ice with hammers! The event was a single lap of 45 hazards, based around the spectacular dams and reservoirs of the Elan and Claerwen Valleys. The town of Rhayader is situated in the very heart of Mid Wales in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley sheltered by the Cambrian Mountains, but they did not protect from the heavy snow falls which came, turning the area in to a winter wonderland. Wanting to make it a hat-trick of world titles, Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen had taken the win at the opening world round in Ireland the week before. 1975 World Champion Martin Lampkin would push ‘Vesty’ all day to finish second as the 1971–1972 European Champion Mick Andrews welcomed a return to form to round off the podium on the Yamaha. Would the ice and snow in Wales throw up some surprise results in round two? Words: John Hulme, Motorcycle, Morton’s Archive and Motorcycle News • Pictures: Malcolm Carling Revelling in the ice cold conditions similar to his home back in Finland, Yrjo Vesterinen was in fantastic form to take a clear victory in front of Ulf Karlson on the Montesa. Much to the delight of the home crowd it was ‘Magical’ Mick Andrews who used his superb throttle control to find the maximum grip on his Yamaha with some excellent displays of his riding ability to come home in 3rd position. 1975 FIM World Champion Martin Lampkin used a different technique on his way to 4th position, with his aggressive riding style paying dividends as he used the power of his full 350cc Bultaco to attack the slippery rocks and climbs. With two rounds gone Vesterinen had pulled out a 10 point advantage over Lampkin; it was game-on in the fight for the 1978 world crown.