Last weekend saw the final phase of Trials week culminate in the 2 day Australian Trial Championship. Held at the magnificent Menglers Hill location, deep in the Barossa region of South Australia, it was a cracker event by any standard.
(Kyle Middleton and minder Ross – courtesy Trentino Photography SA)
Coming from the point of view of the manager/owner of The Hell Team I can only say I was thrilled with all the rider results.
It was probably no surprise that the Open Solo category was again a clear victory for Kyle Middleton, who rode an outstanding event, but it was a massive and decisive victory for Gas Gas as well taking out 5 of the top six places in the premier class.
Kyle and his fellow TDN compatriots Chris Bayles and Connor Hogan had only just stepped off the plane from Europe when, jet lagged, and probably a bit tired and emotional from a fantastic win in the TDN International class, they backed it up again – all with rides that prove their commitment and dedication to the sport. Also not a TDN rider but pretty bloody amazing (considering his age) Kevin Zarczynski just doesn’t seem to realise that he could have been riding the Master’s class years ago, and just keeps rattling the cage of all the supposedly “young guns”. Finishing the furious five was Tom Scott, again not that long back on board a bike this year and putting himself straight into contention.
(Chris Bayles — courtesy Trentino Photography SA)
Congratulation again to Kyle Middleton for number 5 in a row. He really is the complete package as both a rider, ambassador for the sport and an absolute privilege to be involved with as a sponsor. He can ride the wheels off that Gasser, but also has time for the young kid just starting out, or the interested spectator keen to know a bit more. A really great ride mate under not the most ideal of circumstances. Congratulations.
In the Open Women’s Class, that machine they call K-Dog, the irrepressible Kristie McKinnon was a clear winner. All weekend she had a smile and a clear determination, proving why she is the gold standard in Trials in this country. I could be corrected but is this number 7? She certainly made it look pretty easy on board the TRS RAGA Replica.
Great rides also to the podium places Sophie Kraft, 2nd on the new Vertigo , and Sarah Chivers 3rd on the Gasser.
It’s pretty hard not to bang on about how well we did , but let me just be brief.
OPEN SOLO: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th all on Gas Gas
OPEN WOMEN: 1st TRS, 2nd Vertigo, 3rd Gas Gas
YOUTH: 1st Haydon Ahrens TRS, 2nd Jake Kearns Gas Gas, 5th Josh Lockhart Gas Gas
Open Junior: 1st Dylan Ball Gas Gas, 2nd David MacDonald Gas Gas, 8th, 10th, 11th. Gas Gas
Junior 7-13: 3rd Billy Gough Gas Gas, 4th, 9th, 10th Gas Gas.
and a raft of wins and places in the Veterans and masters classes for TRS, Vertigo and Gas Gas.
We also took out the Trade Team award comfortably with the dream team of Middleton (1st Open Solo), McKinnon (1st Open Women’s), Ahrens (1st Youth) and Ball (1st Open Junior)
It really seems like banging the drum but it was a very very productive weekend for the great brands of bikes we represent in Australia, and a reflection of why we try so hard to give the best support and encouragement we can to these incredible sportsmen and women.
I would also sincerely like to thank the the organising club and all the fabulous band of South Australian who made us feel welcome all week, and turn on such a terrific event, at such a high standard. well done SA! (Also congrats to the Keyneton Club for a well deserved club win)
And last but certainly not least a huge bear hug to that incredible team of Justin and Maurie on that ridiculously fabulous sounding outfit, setting a record that surely cannot be beaten. I look forward to working with the Gough’s in 2018 and I am truly humbled by being part of this great aussie trials fraternity.
See you round the traps. Paul Arnott. THT.