AS the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) celebrates its centenary this week, there has been much talk about the nostalgia and history surrounding this world-famous event – and rightly so.
However, equally important it is also a good moment to think about the future of this great competition and to look towards the next 100 years of the SSDT taking place in the Scottish Highlands.
The continued flow of new and young riders to the SSDT will be at the heart of the rolling story, and this week has once again confirmed the importance of this event with two of the current best young riders in the world fighting it out for the newcomers award.
With a long route each day, more traditional style sections and no-stop rules the SSDT is a far cry from today’s FIM Trial World Championship, but these differences have been fully embraced and enjoyed by Alfredo Gomez – Montesa and Jack Sheppard – Beta.
Twenty-one year-old Gomez from Spain was runner up to Britain’s Jack Challoner – Beta in last year’s World Junior series for riders aged between 18 and 23, whilst Sheppard was vice-world champion in the younger Youth class catering for 16 to 18 year-olds. As the 2011 SSDT heads towards the sharp end of the competition, these two youngsters remain locked in battle to add the title of best newcomer to their emerging CVs.
After four days of six just three marks separates these two SSDT virgins.
Speaking about his week thus far, Gomez said: “I come here with my friend Amos Bilbao who knows this trial very well already.
“For me, this is my first time here in Scotland and Amos is my teacher because I do not know anything about the SSDT.
“It is a very special event and the sections are quite easy compared to world championship, but to stay clean every day and all week is very hard – something which I cannot do.
“The English riders are always very strong in this trial, but maybe in the future Spain can have a winner again like Amos did back in 2002. The weather has been kind to us this week, and I have loved riding these type of sections, so I will be back again next year I hope.”
Originating from the flat and sandy land of Suffolk, Sheppard had never previously visited the SSDT until this week, and was a bit unsure of what to expect.
He said: “If I was honest I was slightly nervous coming here, as although I have read so much about the SSDT I have never been up to watch it or anything.
“The first day was a bit daunting, and perhaps with so much to think about that’s why I did not ride so well.
“Now I have got my head around it all I am starting to enjoy the trial and my riding is now better too. To be the best newcomer and to finish in the top 20 would be like a dream come true.”
Once the SSDT is over both Gomez and Sheppard will head immediately to Germany for the opening round of the 2011 SPEA FIM Trial World Championship next weekend, when hopefully they can put their maiden SSDT to good use on the world stage.
Marking its centenary, the 2011 Scottish Six Days Trial will take place throughout Lochaber, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, in the north west Highlands between Monday 2nd and Saturday 7th May – for more details please visit www.ssdt.org.
Paddy Cuthbert – Podge Publicity – M: 07968 699636 / E: Paddy@podge.co.uk
SSDT Image Service
High Resolution Images and results from each day of the event can be found on our ftp server – details as listed below – these will be uploaded on a daily basis.
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Notes to Editors:
Funders, Sponsors and Supporters
Event Scotland – www.eventscotland.org
Highland Council – www.highland.gov.uk
Putoline Oil – www.putoline.com
Lift Control – www.liftcontrol.co.uk
Birkett MotoSport Ltd – www.birkettmotosportukltd.co.uk
John Lee Motorcycles – www.lee-motorcycles.co.uk
Off Road Moto – www.offroadmoto.co.uk
Thistle Access – www.thistleaccess.co.uk
Highland Leisure Sport – www.highlandleisuresport.co.uk
Talon Engineering – www.talon-eng.co.uk
Oximoto – www.oximoto.com
The sport of motorcycle trials is a test of riding skill over observed sections where the winner is determined by skill alone. When competitors ride each of the 30 testing sections every day their feet must remain on the footrests of the bike. They must negotiate steep gullies, slippery rock steps, rocky streams and boulder-strewn gorges. Sections vary in length and severity, and riders are penalised if they put their feet down to help them ride the section, and more so if they fail to negotiate the section in its entirety.
The Scottish Six Days Trial has the additional test of reliability over long distances, with riders completing up to 100 miles each day over a combination of rough moorland, rocky tracks and public roads; designed to challenge the ability, experience, strength and stamina of each rider and the reliability of the bike. There is also a set time within which each day’s route must be completed.
100 YEARS OF THE SCOTTISH SIX DAYS TRIAL
The event actually originated as a five-day reliability trial back in July 1909, before being extended to a six-day competition a year later. However the start of the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) proper as organised by the then newly formed Edinburgh and District Motor Club began in 1911. In those early years, the trial started and finished in Edinburgh with the route taking the riders to John O’Groats and back over the course of the week. Fort William was introduced as the hub for the event in 1938, although the start and finish remained in Edinburgh, which continued to be the case until all links with the Scottish city were cut in 1977. Today, the SSDT consists of six different daily routes that total approximately 500 miles, which begin and end in Fort William each day.
The Edinburgh and District Motor Club will once again be at the helm of this fantastic competition and will be responsible for upholding an event where club riders and the world’s best compete together over the same course that will include 30 boulder-strewn sections on each of the six days.
For More Information on The Scottish Six Days Trial go to: http://www.g2fgroup.com/html/ssdt/docs/SSDT100.pdf
Previous winners of the Scottish Six Days – 1972-2010
2010 – Alexz Wigg – Beta 2009 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 2008 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 2007 – James Dabill – Montesa 2006 – Graham Jarvis – Sherco 2005 – Sam Connor – Sherco 2004 – Graham Jarvis – Sherco 2003 – Joan Pons – Sherco 2002 – Amos Bilbao- Montesa 2001- Cancelled – Foot + Mouth 2000 – Steve Colley – Gas Gas 1999 – Graham Jarvis – Bultaco 1998 – Graham Jarvis – Scorpa 1997 – Steve Colley – Gas Gas 1996 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 1995 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 1994 – Dougie Lampkin – Beta 1993 – Steve Colley – Beta 1992 – Steve Colley – Beta 1991 – Steve Saunders – Beta 1990 – Steve Saunders – Beta 1989 – Steve Saunders – Fantic 1988 – Steve Saunders – Fantic 1987 – Jordi Tarres – Beta 1986 – Thierry Michaud – Fantic 1985 – Thierry Michaud – Fantic 1984 – Thierry Michaud – Fantic 1983 – Toni Gorgot – Montesa 1982 – Bernie Schreiber – SWM 1981 – Gilles Burgat – SWM 1980 – Yrjo Vesterinen – Montesa 1979 – Malcolm Rathmell – Montesa 1978 – Martin Lampkin – Bultaco 1977 – Martin Lampkin – Bultac 1976 – Martin Lampkin – Bultac 1975 – Mick Andrews – Yamaha 1974 – Mick Andrews – Yamah 1973 – Malcolm Rathmell – Bultac 1972 – Mick Andrews – Ossa.
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