Tasmanian Chris Bayles takes a stunning victory and Kyle Middleton, narrowly ties up another Australian Championship in a night of twists and turns that could not have been scripted, at WIN Entertainment Centre last night.
In the Qualifying Round Kyle Middleton was in fine form dropping only 5 marks. Meanwhile Chris Bayles, tied on 12 with WA’s Neil Price for third and NSW’s Kevin Zarczynski only 3 points behind on 12. Younger brother Colin Zarczynski had a few unlucky mistakes that cost him a place in the final and Craig Austin had a number of great rides but could not finish them off, in what were very difficult sections.
The Wollongong audience was roaring when the riders returned to the arena for the Final and they certainly got a show. The first section saw Kevin, Neil and Chris all 5 the tallest Waco Kwikform Scaffold Step, before home town hero, Middleton made it up in a stunning ride. With a 5 point lead Kyle had some room to relax in to section 2. Kevin and Chris both had a couple of safe rides on the very slippery concrete, before Neil Price fived the section, and Kyle made an uncharacteristic mistake and slipped off one of the lower pipes and touched the ground.
This reduced Kyle’s lead to only one point going into the notorious Barrier section. Kevin, slipped off for 5 points and then both Neil and Chris rode beautifully to clean the Barriers consecutively. Kyle then 5’d the first major turn dropping to 12 points and back to 4th place. This moved Chris into the lead on only 7 points. Section 4 all riders fived and Kyle and Kevin both having big crashes, in the Pipes.
After the tyres and races, final results were Chris Bayles first (14 points), Neil Price second (16 points), Kyle Middleton third on count back (17 Points) and Kevin Zarczynski (17 Points).
“I was super stoked with the result and my riding”, said Bayles. “The sections were all or nothing. The crowd’s vibe was unreal, really got the riders motivated.”
The 3rd place for Middleton meant the Championship standings literally had Chris and Kyle tied on 45 points apiece, and meant they had to be separated by the combined observed scores over the two events, giving Kyle his third X Trial Championship with Bayles in 2nd and Price rounding out the podium in 3rd.
Middleton said of the night,” Round two was a tough one! I am sore, I was challenged but the crowd really helps me get to the end. Not everything went to plan for me but I am absolutely stoked with my fight and manged to just sneak in the championship result.”
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