History was made in spectacular fashion last weekend with the staging of Australia’s first ever X- Trial Championship, thanks to the insanely passionate Price family organisers.
Baseball Park in Thornlie WA was transformed to feature impossible sections of giant tyres, cable drums, concrete pipes, balance beams and skip bin sections. In the centre, a start and finish platform rose from two sea containers high for the final section “race”. The stage was set for two fantastic nights of thrilling action and during the two intermissions, the audience could get in amongst it, balancing on a Trials bike, trying out the Electric Osets trials bikes, chatting with the riders or watching Freestyle Trial demonstrations by the Nolan Brothers.
Joining talented locals Neil Price (WA - Beta), Callum Barton (WA – JGas) and on night two Craig Austin (WA – Sherco), was the cream of Australia’s Trials gifted - Brendon Smith (TAS – Sherco), Kyle Middleton (NSW – Gas Gas), Sam King (Vic – Beta), Trevor Campbell (VIC – Beta), Chris Bayles (TAS – Gas Gas) and Tim Coleman (Vic) – Beta). Nice one fellas for making the trek to Australia's most isolated city and it’s refreshing to see such talent be so approachable to the public. You’re a nice bunch of blokes you know.
Friday night had the crowds gasping, cheering and chanting as man and machine pitted themselves against sections designed to showcase their incredible abilities. Leaping high from a standing start featured heavily, as did big gaps and tight platforms and the ‘balance’ beams of section two certainly tested riders concentration. The format was for two riders to complete the course, taking turns at each section and finishing with a race from the top of the sea containers, across the pallet track, along the grass in front of excited spectators and back again. The action was not only gripping for Trials and motorbike enthusiasts but also for Trials virgins who couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Kyle Middleton made gravity redundant, taking out night one on only 3 points while Tim Coleman and Neil Price battled it out to finish on 13 and 15 points respectively. The remaining field of riders did not fail to impress with their feats of daring and technical skill and the night closed with a huge roar of appreciation from a thrilled crowd.
Additional to the breathtaking achievements of riders, a highlight this night was a race between Neil Price and Tim Coleman when Tim, certain to win, fist pumped his kill switch lanyard off, stalling his bike at the bottom of the finish ramp. In the unique spirit of Trials camaraderie, Neil pushed Tim up the ramp to the finish, much to the delight of the crowd.
The final night was a game changer, starting with the substitution of Neil Price with Craig Austin after Neil’s wife Jess literally burst with excitement and gave birth to their second child post Fridays’ show. Congratulations! Mum & baby Charlotte are doing well. To follow that, it rained on several occasions during the event, making conditions slippery and extra challenging for the riders....but a spectacle for onlookers!
Bodies and bikes became bruised and battered, catchers worked overtime and timing out became an issue, resulting in some nail biting performances and frustrated competitors. Chris Bayles was exceptional taking the nights win while favourite Kyle Middleton ended his night disappointingly on a loan bike set up for Freestyle, after a terminal foot-peg-losing incident on the concrete. Tim Coleman was sensational to take 2nd place and determined Trevor Campbell placed 3rd in spite of obvious shoulder and ankle pain following some heavy landings and in the wake of a recent knee injury.
Combined scores over two fantastic nights saw Kyle Middleton take 3rd, Chris Bayles 2nd and Tim Coleman crowned 2015 Aust X Trial Champion. With appetites thoroughly wet for more and tyre tracks still fresh on the grass, it is with much anticipation that spectators and riders alike await the next X Trial event.
Photos of the event can be downloaded for free from https://www.facebook.com/xtrialchamps?ref=hl and make sure you like the page to keep updated for future events.
Written by Kylie Folini-Kearns