Scottish Six Days Trial 2010

Pipeline: Day 6 John Luff

SSDT 2008

SSDT 2009

Welcome to the SSDT 2010 page. Here you can keep up to date with Western Centre riders John Luff, Henry Bendall and Craig Talbot in the run-up and during the most famous trial in the world.

Video: Becky Cook, Craig Talbot, Henry Bendall, James Dabill, Ross Danby, Sam Haslam.

May 9: Andrew Luff reflects on a good week: "Where did that week go then?

Delighted that Henry and John won First Class awards, they both had some great rides to gain them at various times of the week.. Pete Hughes summed it up ' ride over the rocks and avoid the holes.'

Leanachen: Day 1, Henry Bendall styles for EKYou do need a bit of luck, as time appears to be getting tighter in today's SSDT. A front wheel puncture on a moor could cost you valuable minutes.

I really do hope Pidcocks make a success of the Montesa dealership. It was somewhat ironic that not many years ago there was a full factory lorry from Montesa in Parce Ferme supporting most of the entrants. Last year, a just small collection of tents. Pidcocks had all the facilities but not many riders on Montesa.

Pipers: John LuffThe Montesa is by far the most robust machine for Scotland, except for that casing that can be holed. Most riders have some sort of guard on their machines to stop that. With no carburetter to worry about, and go very fast on the road, the 4RT must the perfect machine for the SSDT. The downside the price, but Henry has done 3 SSDT on his and its still going. This year there must have been more officials on Montesa than competitors.

So, next year is the 100th SSDT. Will it be way oversubscribed? Definitely.

I did notice some of the first time overseas riders had no real idea what they had let themselves in for. They did not get the importance of the time limit, and were not really aware of the severity of the event.

Start: Day 6 Henry Bendall set for a day without lunchThis year everyone who wanted to ride, got a ride, even if they were not successfully in the first ballot. There were some under prepared riders with under prepared bikes, but that is their choice.

Final thoughts on the week? We were extremely fortunate with the weather. We managed to avoid the noravirsus that swept through the trail HQ. Bikes and riders were relatively damage free.

Jane found fantastic accommodation for us, and that has been provisionally booked for next year. All being well, the 100th SSDT should be something special."

Ferry, Day 4. Don't follow your satnav...May 8: Day 6 and they're in - John and Henry have climbed the leaderboard and provisionally claimed 1st class awards. That's John's second, and Henry's first. Congratulations both. John lost 51, which gave him 299 for the week, and 106th place. Henry was not far behind on 330 thanks to 54 today, good enough for 121st. Craig was good for 148th in the end, and the lady he's been carrying the bags for all week, Becky Cook, won a very close race for top female.

Team Bendall boss Pete Hughes reports from the team transporter atop Glencoe: "It's been quite tough today, with some quite hard sections - maybe they wanted to make sure they split the top riders. Henry moaned about no lunch stop but that was the only thing he moaned about. He had 2 on Town Hall Brae, but that has been made much harder with rocks set at less than a bike length apart. It's been warm again today and we went back to Leanachen for the 3rd time this week. All the big rocks were in the sections - and all the big holes. Pipeline was very hard, and greasy at the top on the steps, which caught a lot of good riders out."

Finish: Day 6 John Luff explains how 299 is a very good scoreMay 7: Both Henry and John have had a good Friday, which means both are in with an excellent chance of a first class award. John lost 37 today, his lowest of the week, which followed his highest of the week (63) on Wednesday. He is 109th. Henry seems to be riding a trial of two halves and is hitting form towards the end of the week. He made full use of a late start and lost 33 on Thursday.

Today he dropped 45 and is 126th. Both lads' scores were well below par for the day. Craig Talbot's week isn't getting any better with his worst score of the week today, but his charge, Becky Cook is in 91st and top lady rider. Craig looks to be having one of those trials - but as least he is in it unlike last year, and he'll be back. He's a proven first class award rider.

John's dad Andrew reports today: "Late day, and John was last but one away at 1135. Quite an odd sight the Parc Ferme being empty. The sun shone on everyoneFirst fuel stop one of the soldiers saw my Wootton Basset ride wrist band, thanked me for going. He had seen active service in Afghanistan, and would rather pour fuel than dodge bullets.

The road race day was dry, and relatively problem free. The Moors were dry, the sun shone. Has a surreal moment, dropped Jane and Rosie off to watch John through Pipers Burn, I drove back to park up, there was I overlooking a loch listening to Seasick Steve on the ipod. Not many people can say that!!

The sections had scrubbed in, and the later numbers did have an advantage. John dropped 37, back in plenty of time to work on the bike ready for the last day. Mamore Road, Pipeline and Ben Nevis, not an easy day. Job done. See you next year?Henry still going strong, and should get a first class award. Found his support team dozing in the sun, thoroughly enjoying the view."

And on Thursday: "Early day for John. A dry ride to Chairlift, I cleaned out the radiator, after Ba House, then I was back to the house for breakfast. Picked them up again at Leanacan, and John was a bit late. The problem, he tried to keep the speed down as instructed bu the SSDT committee. Others did not, and were belting along far above the 15 mph demanded.

What would you have done? Would the committee give any of the BIG NAMES a letter? Of course not. The letters,if were given out, would be to the lesser lights, to keep the Forestry Commission happy. Showing some riders had been disciplined would please the Forestry Commission. The sacrificial lamb scenario? Hence, by abiding to the speed limit, John was late on time, don't know exactly how much at the moment. Something is not quite right there in monitoring the speed limit.

Looks like he dropped 63, ( I think) not to bad for the early day, but know idea how much was time. This morning, he is the last but one away from Parce ferme, so a late finish. Henry made the most of his late day and had a very low scoring day, 33, and is in a first class award position. Not managed to catch up the Team Bendall for a few days, but should do today. Off around the peninsular today, after a lot of work to be done on the bike."

On Friday, Team Bendall supremo Pete Hughes reported Henry was "riding the top of the rocks, not in the holes" - job done!

"He rode well on the last 10 sections today," said Pete. "We followed him round today and watched him on some quite hard sections which were very steep - often you'd get to the near the end then have a 3 or a 5. "He's used a few brake pedals but apart from that the Mont' has gone well.

"We've enjoyed the sun and bumped in to Ian Thompson (Malvern member, Wyegater and SSDT competitor) observing today. "Out on the road, we're on trail bikes and we have been passed by everything, except a young lady on a Gas Gas 125!." (Apologies for the temporary blip in coverage - your editor has been up all night at a General Election count).

May 5: So where are our riders? Well John Luff is 114th after a bit of a dip on Tuesday, thanks to his lowest day score so far today (Wednesday). Henry Bendall remains 162nd, while Craig Talbot is 142nd. Figures only tell part of the story and we have two updates from John's dad Andrew today.

EVENING UPDATE: "As the start times get earlier the riders performance has got slightly worse. Early day tomorrow, so start time 0815. The sections are rather slippery for the first riders, so its a matter of hanging back to let the sections scrub a bit, but not at the sacrifice of time. Time has been tight all week, and I cannot see that changing all week.

Oil change in the Beta tonight, new chain and routine maintenance done. After last years performance of someone else changing tyres, I did it this morning. That is a satisfying ping when the Dunlop seats itself. So with a new rear, new rear on the spare, a dry start to the day, we waited to see himself after Trotters, with a grin as big as Yorkshire................cleaned Trotters!!

The new loop out near Fersit was wet, and word has it Fersit was not so vicious as previous years. Team reunited after Grey Mares tail, 2 failure's there. Radiator cleaned out and on your way son. John thinks he had 4 5's for the day, a bit anoyed with himself, could do better, his words.

Dry all day, but we have just had a heavy shower..2100. Half way through the week, this is where the years training pays dividends. Thursday, long ride to Chair Lift, Rannock Moor to cross, then the new sections at Leanacan. These sections have never been ridden, last year due to the weather, year before the fuel problem.

Saw Sandy Mack in the Parc Ferme, looking a bit pale,lighter. The bug has laid a lot low, and there was a shortage of officials today, but all being well, the fumigation, yes really, the trial HQ was fumigated, has got the bug. The problem was so bad there was talk of a ward being opened in Fort William hospital to accommodate the victims.

Fuel was sorted out today by Colonel Darren Butcher, a rapid rise through the ranks for our local trials rider. Saw Henry twice, going like the clappers before Fersit, and the same pace in Kinlochlieven. The engine still sounding sweet, as Montesas do."

MORNING UPDATE: "John did have a good Monday. Time was an issue, the program running time was different to the time card. The time card is always right. That's why there was no one in the Beta tent when John got there, and he lost 1 minute.

The moors are surprisingly dry, Monday was reminiscent of 2 years ago, far too hot. Henry was steady, well for Henry, and the Bendall luck is still there. After wiping out the rear brake, hen had a puncture, pulled over and a complete stranger sorted it for him.

The big news when I got back to Parke ferme, Dougie could not start his bike. It had developed a miss fire earlier, costing him a 5, then the coil packed up. 27 time faults, but bike sorted.

Tuesday, chilly ride to Laggan, a long wait to Craig Lundie. I have never seen so many cars there. Saw Henry at the last fuel stop, he had bent his rear sprocket, lost a bit of time, and was being told to slow down by some Northern riders.

John had to many 5's and slipped back a bit, came to last fuel stop with a broken rear mudguard, but then clean Witch's. Nasty bug going around, norovirus, even the great man mountain Sandy Mack has succumbed.

Trotters, Fersit, Grey mares tail today.........easy? I don't think so. Tomorrow is John's Early day, a nice ride to Chair lift as a sharpener."

May 4: Your Western Centre reporting team is back from Scotland after a lightning trip up for the Pre-65 Scottish 2 Day and the first day of the SSDT. Keep an eye out every night on this site for news of what's going on with our local riders and the official sites for the bigger picture. A pre-65 page should be up and running late on Wednesday night. More pictures and video of both will be uploaded throughout the week. (I have a stack but there's the small matter of covering a General Election which is taking up a bit of time, so bear with me. Ed.)

Let's start with John Luff, who had a pretty good day on Monday by the looks of it. His 46 marks put in 88th and well in to the 1st class awards. Nice work "Laurence". Keep it up. Henry Bendall on the other hand hasn't fared so well but he's in the trial - 162nd on 75 on Monday night. He overcame several mechanical mishaps - on Monday it was a broken gear lever followed by a puncture in close succession, then today he resorted to pushing the bike off the moor because he'd properly bent the rear sprocket. Our sources tell us he managed to get going again by re-aligning the sprocket with a chunk of rock. I'm sure that procedure's in the Montesa handbook. BVM's Craig Talbot, who's minding and carrying the bags for Becky Cook, dropped marks in the 60s on both days.

As of nearly 10pm, not all the observers cards are in, but it looks like all three have slipped down the board a little, but there's a long way to go.

January 17: The ballot results are out, and 3 Western Centre riders are in - Henry Bendall (West Glos), John Luff (Stroud Valley), and Craig Talbot (Wilts Border MC). This will be Henry's third consective "Scottish", and hopefully it will be a little less dramatic than last year when his bars broke at the first group. John finally won a first class award last year and his next goal may be to crack the top 100. Craig's second home is Fort William, having been making the trip north to watch his dad ride since he was a nipper. A first class winner, his experience will come in handy for British Ladies Trials Champion Becky Cook. Craig will be her minder on the 2010 British and World Championship trail, and big events like the Scottish.

Before the main event, there's the not-so-small matter of the Scottish Pre-65 Two Day trial at Kinlochleven. Though no entry list is out at the time of writing, we're told Peter Collins, Doug Nolan (Stroud Valley), Dave Eeles, Chris Harvey (Cheltenham Home Guard), and Ian Wixon (West Glos) are in. And we'd hope former SSDT winner Steve Saunders (Zona 1) is on the list! He's likely to be Triumph twin mounted. You can find out more about his ride in his Classic Dirtbike magazine column (you'll have to buy it, it's not online).