Check out Team Australia manager Phil Whittle's recap of the 2015 FIM Trial des Nations and gain an insight to life within the Aussie camp in competition here:
This year’s Trial des Nations campaign started with Chris Bayles and Kyle Middleton travelling to Portugal the day after the Australian Trials Championships to compete at the Portugal round of the Trials World Championships.
It was a good hit out for the boys to get them into the 'No Stop' frame-of-mind, with Kyle finishing in 10th and Chris in 17th on the first day. On the second day, Kyle was ninth and Chris in 18th in the World Cup Class.
Most of the team arrived in Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday September 8, and then travelled to Santiago for the Teo World rounds, where Bayles, Middleton and Colin Zarczynski would compete in the World Cup Class.
It was a very wet and slippery event on the Sunday. We had horizontal rain and the fog on sections 7 and 8 didn’t lift all day with visibility down to around 10 meters.
Kyle finished 14th, Colin in 18th and Chris in 23rd on the first day. On the second day Kyle was in 17th and Chris in 23rd, while Colin retired from the event.
We also had two of the Women’s team in Kristie McKinnon and Kaitlyn Cummins competing at these two rounds of the Women’s Championship. Kristie finished in 18th and Kaitlyn in her first ever world round in 24th. Kristie had a great day two to finish in 10th, while Kaitlyn ended up in 25th.
The Monday saw us embark on an 11-hour drive to Tarragona to meet up with our other two team members Tim Coleman and Ina Halls. We spent the rest of the week prepping bikes for the Women’s world round on the Friday, Women’s TdN on Saturday and the Men’s event on Sunday.
The Aussie team was also fortunate enough to have two days training arranged by the FIM with Jordi Pascuet (former top five world rider) and Iris Kramer (former Women’s World Champion)
We were informed on the Thursday that the sections for the Woman’s world round would be the same for the TdN. It was a very tough loop, but the girls had a good hit out at the World Round on the Friday with Kristie finishing in 17th and Kaitlyn 34th. Ina retired to save herself for the TdN as she was not feeling well.
The girls finished in eighth position in this year’s TdN in a very tough event. Kristie was great with the other two girls - encouraging them at every chance she had and motivating them in what was a very tough event for the girls.
The Men’s team was the same as last year with Chris Bayles, Tim Coleman, Kyle Middleton and Colin Zarczynski. The guys had an excellent practice on Friday, where they discussed the riding order and our plan for the event. For this year’s event, the loop was at 23km with 18 sections and two laps.
The team started well only dropping five points on the first lap and 12 on the second lap. It was a nervous wait at the finish as there was only two points difference after the first lap between Sweden and us. Once the scores were posted, we realised we had also finished in third ahead of the USA (fifth) who have pipped us in the past two years.
I would like to thank a few people that has made our trip this year a memorable one.
Kristie McKinnon, for being a great mentor for the girls as well as stepping up to help the boys team on Sunday as a minder /water carrier, after a very tough event for herself on Saturday.
Jonathan Chellas and Zackary Mularczyk, who worked their butts off minding for both teams.
Michel from S3 who helped us out with a quick shade for the world rounds and the TdN, as well as looking after the team's riding gear.
The motorcycle importers - Paul Arnott, Don Murray and Dave Ryan - for all their fantastic work throughout the event.
And finally, Global Racing Oil Spain and Australia who has supplied the team with all of their lubricants for the past five years.
Report from Phil Whittle - Australian TdN Team Manager.