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2000 British Biketrials Championships - Round 2
May 28, 2000

A few photos of Chris Akrigg (6th BIU master and national champ) and Martin Hawyes to come!

Report from UK BikeTrials.com Ambassador, Paul Thomson:
Round 2 of the 2000 British Biketrials Championships took place on the 28th of May at Ratlinghope, Shropshire. Heavy rain was forecast for the preceding week and, combined with the exposed location, promised to make the sections extremely slippery. By the start of the event, the rain had thankfully stopped, but not before turning the car park into a climb worthy of any car trials section.

Unfortunately, the competition was plagued by the typical UK trials problem - no observers! At the proposed start time, 11am, only 7 observers had volunteered, leaving 3 sections unattended. While this situation is to be expected of local events, it is quite unforgivable at a national competition: there is no excuse for not organising the necessary observers, and that means two per section. I know I would be happy to see this often thankless task carry some form of compensation, and with entrants numbering almost one hundred, there could be substantial funds for this purpose.

As it was, the entrants were waiting 45 minutes for three observers to step forward (thanks must go to them!) but to continue the insanity the section closing time was decreased by 15 minutes, reducing the length of the trial by one hour. I'm sure there was a good reason for that, but I can't think what it might be.

A quick scout of the sections revealed a recurring theme - water, mud and tree roots. 9 out of the 10 sections were set in a stream running down a steep hill, with each section following the same pattern: drop into stream, ride along stream, ride up vertical mud bank, drop back into stream, ride up opposite mud bank. Not exactly my idea of a fun event, but we can't have it our own way all the time. Many sections did not feature any Elite (yellow route) deviations, and those that did all too often required strategic dabbing from every single Elite rider, with no possible way through otherwise. Worse still, the intermediate route (for 15 and under and beginner mountain bikes) featured sections that only '99 national champion and world number 6, Chris Akrigg could clean. In short, the sections were a big disappointment after the superbly designed ones of the first round.

Fortunately, the queuing problems from round one were not such an issue - the longest wait I experienced was around 15 minutes, quite long, but not unbearable. With the tightly limited completion time though, many riders were forced to skip sections towards the end, or face the time penalties.

Riders of note were: Chris Akrigg, of course, storming his way to another national win and cleaning some unbelievable lines. His ride wasn't without fault though - a couple of fives proved that even he is not immune to the frictionless tree root/muddy bank combination. Martin Hawyes demonstrated his superb balance in mud, and was always willing to attack the sections despite the risks. Finally, Kurt Brain showed he will be a serious threat to the Elites when he graduates from the Junior class.

Results:

Elite:
1: Chris Akrigg (Pace) 30
2: Martin Hawyes (Giant) 33
3: Eddie Tongue (Pashley) 42
4: Matt Tongue (Pashley) 51
5: Stuart Matthews (Megamo) 55
6: Barry Huskinson (Megamo) 71
7: Ian Cooper (Raleigh) 73
8: Darren King (DMR) 75
9: Paul Thomson (Monty) 78

Senior:
1: Barry Deeks (MAD Saracen) 58
2: David Holmes (Megamo) 61
3: Dan Holroyd (?) 65

Junior:
1: Kurt Brain (Megamo) 27
2: Kris Leeson (Orange) 43
3: Harvey Radford (GT) 53

Where did I come? 9th, out of 9, in the Elites. It was a close battle between Darren King and Barry Huskinson though... honest!
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