Inter Centre Team Trial 2013

Youth Team

ICTT 2013 Official site

Results from Trials Central

Report: James Welch

With just two days to go before the adult inter centre team trial there was panic, Ben Toms had decided not to ride and the team were a member short.

In an hour of need I contemplated giving youth a chance but struggled to find a candidate to fill the role. We needed someone we could rely on giving 100% and had been in the testing environment of the inter centre team trial before.

Step forward Steve Grindle to fill the role and to make the Western Centre team a 100% Forest of Dean and Raw Sports affair, while Steve hasn't ridden many local trials recently he is still active on the national scene and a quick call on Friday morning meant we were still on. I think it's fair to say that while his overall result at this stage may have been in doubt the atmosphere, confidence and all round good spirit he bought to the team was fantastic.

The sections set out by the Yorkshire centre were spot on for the abilities of the riders and with conditions looking good pulling 17th team away was no disaster. Any question marks over our substitute rider soon disappeared when he confidently cleaned the first section along with all other members of the team with the exception of Matt who had a single dab.

From here the team gathered momentum and the first lap rolled on with everything you would expect from the western team. Simon had a cracking first lap despite some spark plug issues and set a score of 5 closely followed by Benzo on 6 and Henry on 22, Matt and Steve were on 47 and 49 respectively. The inter centre isn't about outstanding individual performances but Simon and Ben's first laps were up there with the best of British and they had second laps which were just as good meaning Simon finished on 12 and Benzo 30.

To put this into context Simon's result on the SXS Jotagas would have been good enough for his score to have counted in the winning Yorkshire team's score Ben's score could have been even lower but for a stall on an easy section that he would have otherwise cleaned, a shame but a fantastic score none-the-less.

The inter centre isn't about individual stand out results though and the remainder of the teams scores would have more of an impact on the results and it was important Henry, Matt and Steve delivered on the second lap. Matthew and Henry's scores tailed off on the second lap and they came in with scores of 59 and 97 respectively, unfortunately for Matt he stalled with 3 sections to go when on a clean and away went 5 marks just like that.

Steve was concerned with his fitness but he needn't have been he was one of the few riders to put in a better score on his second loop and came in on a very impressive 96 just one less than Matt to make his the 4th and final score to count. When all the scores were counted the Western Centre came in in a lucky for some 13th position just behind our arch rivals Wessex by just 17 marks. But for the two stalls and Steve being done for a stop when he "didn't" as I believe he told the observer we may just have pipped Wessex but I will take nothing away from them as they put a fantastic all round team performance in so congratulations - they can have the bragging rights this year.

But take nothing away from our boys we beat 6 other teams to have our best result in years at this event and if you see any of the lads around give them some well earned congratulations.

One word of note is that no other team were having anywhere near as much fun on the day as the Western Centre team and we didn't stop laughing and enjoying the day from the moment half the team visited the portaloo's while waiting to start to finishing off a well-earned Mcdonalds on the way home.

As team manager on the side line I saw many an envious opposition team member and manager look at our team wishing they had a clue what the joke was. We had a good day out and a cracking result. As team manager I would like to thank the lads for giving up a weekend for the centre and for really getting into the spirit of the event. In many ways we over achieved so a good job all round.

If you are out there reading this jealous that you weren't involved then get out there practising ready for next year's selection as we cant keep wheeling Grindle out forever no matter how good he was back in the day. A thank you to Tom Welch for observing a controversial sectional all day.

Preview: James Welch

James Welch has landed the plum job of Manager of the Western Centre ACU Inter Centre Trial Team on June 29 and 30. Here he gives us a run down of the riders and their aspirations...

The Western Centre team for this year's inter centre team trial has recently been announced and it is arguably the strongest line up we have entered for the past 5 years or more. While nobody in the centre is expecting to go and win the event against teams that consist of multiple world round winners and British champions the competition runs down the entire field and our likely rivals will most probably be our closest neighbours. The target this year is the same as always………….1, Beat Wessex and 2. Beat the Welsh centres. With a team consisting of the following we should be in good shape;

Simon Welch – Many people know of Simons achievements at centre level but few are aware that he is a regular finisher in the championship points at national level and has taken points in the British experts. As team manager I am expecting Simon to put in a highly competitive performance on his SXS supported Jotagas and fully anticipate him to be up with the regular S3 championship runners. Simon has put the best score in for the past few years for our region and I expect this year to be no different.

Ben Bowkett – Bens talents are unquestionable as proven by him being are regular thorn in Simon side at centre level. Ben has of course competed a British youth championship level which is valuable experience on days like the inter centre. Arguably the most naturally talented rider the centre has produced in recent years Ben should be hot on Simon's heals if not beating Simon on the weekend on board his new RAW Gas Gas (if it gets delivered from BVM on time). An on form Bowkett is a very very strong rider.

Henry Bendall – Henry has proved his worth on this event in recent years with a score that has always counted, let's not forget he is a previous western centre champion and has experience at both national and British championship level. Henry will be right in the thick of the scores with our rivals on race day and a good ride could really make the difference. Henry's score could be more important than any of the above.

Matt Welch – Don't be fooled by the Steve Davis (Snooker) of the trials world. Matts methodical approach along with huge experience means like Henry his score at the inter centre has never been dropped. For the weaker centres like us it isn't the ‘stopper' sections which decide the results its making sure you clean the simple sections. Matt can be deceptive and it isn't until you see the results that you realise how good a ride he has had. A strong and consistent ride in the mix with our closest riders is key for Matt and team.

Ben Toms – A wild card if you like but an incredibly talented rider. Ben has been a very strong Western Centre contender in recent years and on his day is capable of beating all of the above. Why a wildcard? Well Ben has never ridden trials at national level but don't think this is due to a lack of talent as if Ben did ride the nationals he would be very capable of scoring regular points. Ben should be well in the mix with Benzo and Henry on race day and his motocross fitness could be key. Ben's score is one we will all be interested in and could very well be the one that makes the difference with those centres around us.

There is no pressure on any of our lads at the inter centre and the weekend will be treated as a social occasion with a relaxed atmosphere to really enjoy the event. I fully anticipate strong competition within the team and this alone will lead to the best result we can get. In recent years the Western Centre has always stood out from the rest for it strong team spirit and this year will be no exception. The aim remains the same, for every member of the team to return on Sunday night with a body and bike on one piece having had a good day's sport and a fun weekend away. A thank you to the ACU Western Centre for providing continued support to the team this year.