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Trial Magazine - - SPORT - WORDS: CHELMS­FORD AND DISTRICT AUTO CLUB

For some time now the Ladies’ Bri­tish Tri­als Cham­pi­onship has re­mained a se­ries that has sat in the back­wa­ters of of­froad sport, very used to see­ing low-scor­ing rounds that didn’t re­ally show the true dif­fer­ences in abil­i­ties be­tween those at the sharp end and the rest of the en­try. With­out a doubt, this year has put to an end to that as the Chelms­ford, and District Auto Club staged the last round for the 2018 sea­son at the su­perb venue: The Tri­als Park, Cor­ton, Suf­folk. A small but reg­u­lar and ded­i­cated en­try from all over the UK tack­led 12 sec­tions of var­ied and very chal­leng­ing ter­rain; add in an ex­tra in­gre­di­ent – the weather – and you’ve got the per­fect sea­son fi­nale. With the overnight rain­storms eas­ing by the start time, the ground was look­ing very greasy as the en­try made ner­vous at­tempts at the rocky and tree-root climbs in front of the large crowd.

From the start the cur­rent world champion Emma Bris­tow started to show her pure bril­liance by lay­ing down some truly dominant rides, how­ever, she joined the ma­jor­ity of the en­try on sec­tion two, Ban­bury Banks, when she slid off the tricky cam­bered cross­ing cov­ered in thick tree roots.

Jess Bown is look­ing very much like the con­tender that will be able to make sure Emma doesn’t have things all her own way next year. She ex­e­cuted some great rides with pin-point ac­cu­racy, which en­abled her and Emma to slowly pull out an early lead on the chas­ing pack of Donna Fox and Hannah Styles. Both th­ese girls have been neck and neck all year and ended up only 12 marks apart after a day-long bat­tle with each other, nei­ther rider re­al­is­ing just how close they were all day yet again. It is what cham­pi­onships are about!

Alice Minta, this year’s B class win­ner, and Ale­cia Robin­son were very close to Donna Fox and rounded off the Cham­pi­onship class with some truly gritty rid­ing. On the Cham­pi­onship 50/50 course, it was Bethanie Dun­ning who took top place after an­other closely fought day with her ad­ver­sary Chloe Baker.

On route two, which catered for the in­ter­me­di­ate A and B rid­ers, the fo­cus has to be on the B class group. It is not to take any­thing away from the A win­ners of Sarah Bell, Libby Mar­tinez and Molly May­hew who all rode their socks off, but just look at those scores; Kayt­lyn Ad­shead, Daisy Parsons and El­iz­a­beth Tett all fin­ish­ing un­der the 100-mark bar­rier, show­ing how strong this class is right now.

Big favourites with the crowds of sup­port­ers were with­out a doubt the C class con­tenders of Florence Baldrick and Gemma Ker­ruish, as th­ese girls showed no signs of nerves or fear as they both demon­strated how much skill they al­ready have, both ready to give it ev­ery­thing they had for those elu­sive cleans. The en­thu­si­asm of their team sup­port­ers was to be ad­mired, giv­ing the girls hi-fives at the end of each tough sec­tion.

It can’t be em­pha­sised enough just how much pas­sion and com­mit­ment were given by all the rid­ers; cou­pled with the en­cour­age­ment from team mem­bers and keen spec­ta­tors this re­ally did demon­strate that the UK women’s tri­als scene is pro­duc­ing some ex­tremely wor­thy young con­tenders all keen to take that top spot in the fu­ture.

Emma Bris­tow (Sherco)

Jess Bown, Emma Bris­tow and Hannah Styles

Jess Bown (BMS BVM Scorpa)

TRIAL MAG­A­ZINE Ev­ery­one’s a win­ner

Hannah Styles (Ver­tigo)

Alice Minta (Beta)

Ali­cia Robin­son (Beta)

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