Photo @Phototrial – Emma Bristow
World Champion Emma Bristow (Sherco) and Oliver Smith (Gas Gas) are the first winners in respectively Women and Youth class of the FIM-Europe Trials Championship, 26th edition, held in Zelhem, the Netherlands.
First day of a weekend rich of enthusiasm for this opening round, disputed in a close area full of spectacular rocks, obstacles requested by modern trial. And who could be more modern, but the youngest riders admitted in these International series with the best female riders in the world? Yes, this time the two-times World Champion, British Emma Bristow decided to join the circus. Her riding is one step above all the others, but she wanted to test her mind, probably before going to the Scottish Six Days next week. Loosing just 1 point in the whole competition, she assured herself the first position.
Probably not happy to see her, number one in European Champ in the last 2 years, German Theresa Bauml, today reached only the second place, having scored 8 and 4 points in the two laps, with 14 sections of this competition. There were 2 sections more respect the past due to a change (the only one) in the 2017 rule. On third step of podium but quite distant from the first twos, Norwegian Ingveig Hakonsen (Beta).
In the Youth class, British Oliver Smith (Gas Gas) gained his first success, thanks to a very good second loop. Indeed at the turning point the situation was very uncertain. Smith was leading with 27 points, but behind him, 3 riders scored 2 points more: they were Linus Almthen (Scorpa), Florian Ruedi (Beta) and Mats Nilsen (Sherco). In the second lap, Smith improved a lot his score: just 16 mistakes. His rivals scored almost the same points as their first lap and finished in the same order.
In International classes, the ones in which riders do not take points for the championship and their level is one step lower in both Women and Youth categories, there were other two clear wins. Among the women Dutch Chantal De Raaff (Sherco) rode a superlative second loop and outdistanced British Olivia Brooksbank (Gas Gas) who scored the same points as in the first loop. In third position French Lenna Volpe (Sherco).
Moritz Rau (Beta) topped a German podium in the Youth International. Second position for Joscka Kraft (Beta) ahead of Cuba Smith (Beta).