The world’s most famous trial rolled into Fort William in Scotland last week, 100 years ago to the week that man and machine became one at the start of the Centenary Scottish Six Day Trial 2011.
And a century later the event is still going strong, heavily over subscribed due to its popularity. The bikes and riders have changed somewhat but the trial remains the same.
Six days of intense riding, rocky gully sections, moorland crossings, roadwork all amounting to on average 100 miles a day and all to be completed with a daily set time.
Throw in the Scottish weather and of course the stunning scenary this event attracted riders competing from all parts of the world.
Scarborough DMC members Paul Lamplough, Andrew Chilton and Michael Brown were the chosen riders to compete.
Lamplough from Seamer, riding his four-stroke Montessa is really no stranger to the event.
Approaching his 15th time of competing in the six-day event Paul really does know his way round this course and his wealth of experience is a great testament to his riding ability.
As Paul bows out of the event for one last time, his determination to finish despite a few setbacks along the way was exemplary to say the least.
There will be one or two tales to be told from his years of Scottish six-day events.
Chilton on the other hand is a rising star in the Yorkshire centre and also on the national scene. He was competing in the event for the very first time.
With team manager Lamplough on hand there was plenty of advice for Andrew to prepare and compete in the event for which Chilton was in enthusiastic mood to take note.
Brown, on the other hand, is no stranger to the run and the full-time professional rider for the JST Gas Gas Factory team his focus on the event was to go all out for the win.
With his team-mate multi-world champion Dougie Lampkin, then friend and current British champion James Dabill from Leeds thrown into the mix, this event was always going to be a great occasion.
The early stages of the event kicked off in glorious sunshine and riders had the day prior to the event completed the traditional parade through the town to bag-piping and the streets lined with people.
It was Brown who made a fantastic start to the event, leading all 250 riders home after the first couple of days, and with Lampkin a mark behind and Dabill following suit an ideal opportunity for the Scarborough rider was beginning to emerge.
It was a very low-scoring event for the professionals, maximum concentration was needed as a slight mistake could cost heavily.
Chilton made a great start to the event, bagging a place in the top 50, which was a great achievement early on and settling into the event nicely all the time gaining vital experience and pleasing for team manager Lamplough.
It was Lamplough who had the toughest of starts. Day one saw him catch his footpeg on an awkward rock deep in the Scottish Highland gullys causing it to snap clean off his machine.
Using his vast experience he managed a temporary repair for the week and despite an unfortunately higher score than his rivals he was able to carry on.
Entering the second part of the week bodies were beginning to tire and a change in weather was a test to the riders.
Lamplough continued to post some good scores and despite a couple of punctures, he was able to secure a very creditable finish inside the top 200.
Commenting after the event Lamplough described how the event really took his energy levels to new heights.
He said: “I’m shattered. This is my last Scottish Six-day Trial and I can say despite the problems early on I have really enjoyed it.
“I’d like to thank SDMC for appointing me team manager and the club sponsorship we’ve had. I’ve had a great time doing this trial some 15 times and wish anyone attempting it from SDMC in future the best of luck.”
Chilton’s attempt was supported in force by Malcolm Rathemall Sport. A heavy backup of support enabled Chilton to focus on the event and to finish inside the top half of the draw each day a fine 40th place out of the 250 or so riders entered Chilton was well pleased with his first attempt result.
Speaking after the event Andy said: “This week has been an amazing first time experience for me. I wish to thank SDMC for their kind support and all my team-mates whom kept me going during the event.”
Brown was as expected to feature heavily at the front all week.
A costly five marks lost on a mid-week section lost the lead, and Dabill took charge at the top of the field.
Dabill continued this dominance for the remainder of the week and with the odd mark lost Brown rode into the last day in fourth.
A brilliant ride on the final day gave him runner-up spot.
He said: “I wish to thank the team in particular my team boss John Shirt who I rode the event with and also Kev Hipwell who prepped my bike perfectly and of course SDMC for their help and support.”