It was a change of dis­ci­pline for Great Bri­tain’s Su­perEn­duro World Cham­pion Emma Bris­tow as she moved to the Sherco tri­als ma­chine in pur­suit of fur­ther World Cham­pi­onship glory. In a tough wet com­pe­ti­tion at the open­ing round of this year’s WTC she blas


The open­ing round of this year’s se­ries was played out over ten sec­tions cov­ered three times, based around the Bel­gian town of Comblain au Pont, in front of an es­ti­mated crowd in at­ten­dance of 6,000 who braved the con­di­tions. In an in­cred­i­ble dis­play of talent Bris­tow parted with no marks on her open­ing lap, stay­ing calm and col­lected de­spite the pres­sure from the other com­peti­tors.

Her clos­est ri­val was fel­low Bri­tish rider Becky Cook on eight marks lost. At the close of the open­ing lap the heav­ens opened and down came the rain, which changed the na­ture of the haz­ards for the rest of the event. Pro­tect­ing the lead she had built up on her first lap it was now time for Bris­tow to ap­ply the pres­sure, which she did by fur­ther ex­tend­ing her lead as Spain’s San­dra Gomez tried to close the gap on Cook. On the third and fi­nal lap, with the con­di­tions in the haz­ards now very test­ing with the rocks cov­ered in mud, Bris­tow again posted a score well in front of her two main ri­vals as Cook edged out Gomez for the sec­ond place on the podium.

Be­hind the top three po­si­tions Italy’s Sara Tren­tini was locked in her own bat­tle with Bri­tain’s ex­pe­ri­enced Katy Sunter. It was Tren­tini’s sec­ond-lap score of twelve which would even­tu­ally de­ter­mine the out­come of the re­sult.

Great Bri­tain had five rid­ers in the points with Jess Bown, in her first ever in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, scor­ing two points com­ing home in four­teenth fol­lowed by Chloe Richard­son, who scored the last point.

The event at­tracted a very healthy en­try of over twenty rid­ers who all wanted to say to the in­jured Nikita Smith: “Get well soon”.

Becky Cook (Beta-GBR) San­dra Gomez (Ossa-ESP) Emma Bris­tow (Sherco-GBR)

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