James Dabill (Beta) and Iwan Roberts (TRRS) shared the lead at the end of the opening day of the 2019 Scottish Six Days Trial, the pair completing Monday’s opening 71 mile, 30 section route without loss of marks.
Hot favourite Dougie Lampkin (Vertigo) was right behind on a single mark that was lost in only the second group of the day at Leanachan. Doug soon got over the shock and steadied the ship to complete the rest of the day without further loss of marks to sit right behind the joint leaders on just the one mark.
Doug was joined in that feat by the Gas Gas mounted duo of Jack Price and Michael Brown who were circulating together. Both lost their single marks in the Blackwater group out on the moors above Kinlochleven. Jack dropped his mark in section 14, the first of the group and Michael at 17, the last of the four subs. Michael was looking relaxed and this seemed to be rubbing off on Jack.
The opening day of the 2019 Scottish Six Days Trial had seen first man away Catalan veteran Carles Casas (Vertigo), leave the Fort William start at 7.30am, with the remainder of the 283 contenders following at one minute intervals. Thankfully the weather remained fine and dry, give or take the odd snow flurry, for the 71 mile course taking in 30 observed sections spread over ten separate groups.
Riders first took in two sections at Coire na Cloiche, just three miles from the start, before moving on to four tougher subs at Leanachan before heading out on to the moors and Bradilieg, making their way across the moors to Kinlochleven followed by a loop out to Blackwater and back to Kinlochleven. It was then a trek down alongside Loch Leven taking in Garbh Bhein and Cameron Hill before the final spectator favourite group at Lagnaha.
Ross Danby (TRRS) and Richard Sadler (Gas Gas) were right on the case on just two marks, both dropped relatively early in the day before they settled down to grinding out the cleans. Dan Peace (Sherco) was unlucky as having been on zero marks all day he was logged a five in the final group, the big spectator draw at Lagnaha, with just three sections to go.
A total of 25 riders kept their daily score in single figures, the last of which being Beta mounted Dec Bullock on nine marks. But this number is cefrtain to fall drastically as the week rolls on.
Sherco factory rider Emma Bristow enjoyed a brilliant opening day and held 26th overall on just 10 marks which gave her a huge lead in the Female class from Jess Bown (Scorpa) 42 and Katy Sunter (Gas Gas) 46.
All the girls rode well – including first timer Jane Daniels who was riding Enduro at Hawkstone Park on Sunday and the determined Hannah Styles – but it was a shame that German prospect Theresa Bauml was a none starter.
In the Newcomers it was Frenchman Benoit Dagnicourt (Vertigo) who led on five marks from Italian Filippo Locca (Beta) 11 in a Continental one – two, followed by a strong ride from English youngster Oliver Smith (Gas Gas) on 24.
With Gary MacDonald not riding this year the Best Scottish rider award is wide open and young Joe Dawson (TRRS) drew first blood on 12 followed by similarly mounted local Calum Murphy 16 and Sherco mounted Gareth Palmer 28.
In the star studded Over 40 class who else but Dougie himself led on one followed by his cousin Ben Hemingway who dropped five on the Beta four-stroke with Montesa mounted Spanish veteran Amos Bilbao on just six.
It had been a relatively gentle ride round in the bone dry conditions, it hasn’t rained for weeks, although the dry, loose rocky sections were tricky. But there is plenty more to come over the next five days with Tuesday’s 107 mile course looking like being a real tester.
Day 1 Results
1: James Dabill (Beta) 0
2: Iwan Roberts (TRRS) 0
3: Dougie Lampkin (Vertigo) 1
4: Michael Brown (Gas Gas) 1
5: Jack :Price (Gas Gas) 1
6: Ross Danby (TRRS) 2
7: Richard Sadler (Gas Gas) 2
8: Sam Haslam (Gas Gas) 4
9: James Fry (Sherco) 4
10: Andy Chilton (Scorpa) 4
11: Joe Baker (Sherco) 4
12: Jack Peace (Sherco) 4
13: Alexz Wigg (Gas Gas) 4
14: Dan Peace (Sherco) 5
15: Tom Minta (Scorpa) 5
16: Benoit Dagnicourt (Vertigo) 5
17: Francesc Moret (Montesa) 5
18: Ben Hemingway (Beta) 5
19: Amos Bilbao (Montesa) 6
20: Richard Gaskell (Beta) 9
21: Tom Sagar (Beta) 9
22: Stephen Dixon (Scorpa) 9
23: Sam Connor (Beta) 9
24: John Sunter (Montesa) 9
25: Dec Bullock (Gas Gas) 9.