Tony Bou may have bossed the World Round at Nord Vue this weekend, but for many, the real action took place down at the 2 Machs OSET Arena Trial on Saturday night.
Drawing a crowd of over 200 people, 54 young riders on electric machines were unfazed by the attention as they headed out to ride five man-made sections.
Among the obstacles were, Bou?s Boulders which saw beginners, intermediates and hard route riders negotiate a series of rocks. Cabestany?s Crunch took some of the riders over a graffiti- covered car, Fujigas It! Included two big upturned skips and Don?t Dab?ill was a mixture of rocks and logs.
Simon Armstrong from OSET Bikes, said: ?The event was a great success! With 52 OSETs making up the entry, we were oversubscribed a week before the event closed! It really demonstrates just how much the sport is beginning to grow at a grass roots level. There was some fantastic riding and who knows, one of these kids could just be the next Tony Bou!?
Watching the event were world stars Eddie Karlsson and Alex Ferrer, while new dad, James Dabill kindly took time away from Team Vertigo to present all the competitors with awards and trophies.
After a busy day commentating, Dan Hemingway minded for son George in a nail-biting, D-Class hard route that saw young Hemo finish second behind Dominic Horne and joined by Myles Hutchinson on the podium.
The D-Class Hard Route Podium
Two C-Class boys went head to head on the hard route too, which saw Mason Meadows from Kent take the win from Frodsham rider, Kieran Skehan.
Many riders really stepped up to tackle some difficult sections. Simon added: ?We know the trial was very hard in places, and the determination and ability of the kids was truly impressive! We hope that stepping out of their comfort zone will really help boost their confidence in future trials.?
Sophie Bailey continued her winning ways on the OSET 24.0 to enjoy the win from Bassenthwaite MC rider Jack Long and taking the final podium place was Joshua Dear. Both Joshua and Sophie were the only intermediate riders to get through section four?s pallets and logs, for one dab.
D-Class intermediate was won by Jasper Fox losing a lucky-for-some 13 marks, with Alex Horne not far behind on 21 marks dropped and Toby Shaw on 25. The competition between these three riders has been fierce all year with Jasper a nose in front and Toby and Alex swopping podium positions throughout the season. It was the big rocks that cost Toby this time.
D-Class Intermediate Podium
Simon said: ?These three have gone head to head in OSET Cups and Nationals and there is very little to separate them. Great mates off the bikes, they certainly take fun seriously once they hit the on button!?
Little Elliot Smith?s OSET 16.0 was the smallest bike on the intermediate course, finishing 6th overall is a great result ?watch out big brother, Oliver!
The largest class was the D-Class Easy route with 17 riders in total. The top four riders finished on single figures! Callum Heath who rides with Frodsham took the win on just four marks lost. A whisker away was Northern Ireland?s Harry Smith on 5, with Llangollen?s Jess Widdowson in third on 6 ? it couldn?t have been closer, while Rowan Dean from Kent just missed out on 8.
Little dynamo Kennie Brierley bossed the E-Class! On 10 marks we?re sure it won?t be long before he moves up to the next level! Toby Tyson who rides for Bootle SC enjoyed the second step with 15 marks lost and Ruari James Younie from Lochaber secured third, after dropping 25.
Exhibition rider, Oliver Smith impressed all the youngsters and onlookers with some serious back wheel riding skills, hopping his OSET 24.0 over the obstacles with ease!
Thanks go to Simon Armstrong and 2 Machs Motorcycles for organising and MHB for helping at the event.
Photographs by Penny Hutchinson