PERTH was treated to a display of stadium trials at its best last weekend with the staging of the 2016 Australian X Trial national titles. New South Welshman Kyle Middleton took out the title on a Gas Gas from West Aussie champ Neil Price on a Beta.
Unlike traditional observed trials, in which the obstacles are created by mother nature and often not easy to get to, X Trials lets mean and nasty organisers design absurdly difficult sections to put riders and bikes to the test, then drops them into the middle of a sports ground so people like us can sit and watch in comfortable staggering distance from a bar and a pizza van.
The skills on display were most impressive. Just eight riders were invited to compete: the top two finishers already mentioned plus reigning champ Tim Coleman from Victoria on a Beta, New South Welshmen brothers Colin and Kevin Zarczynski both on Gas Gases, Tasmanian Chris Bayles also on a Gas Gas, national women’s champion Kristie McKinnon (NSW, Gas Gas), and West Aussie Craig Austin on a Sherco.
Scoring was traditional trials-style; you lose points for various indiscretions ranging from one point for a dab with your foot, up to five points if you come a cropper.
If you want to know more, check out the Trials Australia website here.