Newsposted Oct 18, 2011
Tags: General News All Article Tags
Hi everyone. I've just returned from competing in the 2011 TDN event, which was held in Tolmezzo, Italy this year. Tolmezzo is a small town in a mountainous area not far from the Austrian border. It was also the site of a World Round Trials competition in 2008.
We flew into the Venice, Italy airport, arriving on Wednesday evening to allow plenty of time to compensate for jet lag before our Sunday trial. We spent Thursday morning checking out Venice, then we made the 2 hour drive to Tolmezzo in the afternoon.
We were able to get our bikes and practice on Friday and Saturday alongside some of the best trials riders in the world from Spain, England, and Italy. Watching Adam Raga, Toni Bou, Albert Cabestany and others ride up close was unbelievable. Our USA Men's Team for the TDN consisted of Keith Wineland from Colorado, Brian Roper from Arizona, Karl Davis, Jr. from Florida, and myself. My brother Neil, Todd Roper, and Al Duke worked hard as our minders.
The opening ceremonies for the event were really neat. Riders from each country marched as a team, carrying their county's flag in a parade through the streets of Tolmezzo. The parade ended in the town square where each team was invited on stage at the FIM trailer. All of the teams and riders were introduced individually. This took awhile as there were more than 20 countries competing.
The weather leading up to the trial was beautiful with mid 80's temps and lots of sunshine. Sunday however, dawned with heavy rains which made things difficult. The trial consisted mainly of muddy hillside sections with slippery rocks, tree roots, etc. and two separate man-made stadium type sections in town. Because the sections were spread all over different areas surrounding the town, we were allowed to ride our bikes alongside normal auto traffic on the streets to get to the various groups of sections. This experience was a little different to say the least.
We finished the event in 7th place out of 16 countries in our division with 26 minutes to spare before packing up all of our gear for the trip home. Overall the sections were pretty tough, but I really enjoyed the trial and I definitely learned a lot. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who made this trip possible, especially all of my personal sponsors, the AMA/NATC, and all of my SCTA Trials Club friends.
Here's a link to some TDN photos we have posted on our SCTA Trials Club website:
View original article at http://www.socaltrials.com/photos/