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The Spanish Armada Has Landed!

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G2F17237The 2013 Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) has once again confirmed itself as the single most important event in the international trials calendar, with this classic competition set in the Scottish Highlands having attracted just under two hundred and seventy riders from twenty-two different countries. Whilst the home nations continue to make up the bulk of the entry, it is the mighty Spanish Armada who are dominant in terms of the foreign contingent, which help to swell the ranks.

Making up just shy of ten percent of the start list, Spanish riders have enjoyed a long and loyal association with the SSDT stretching back several decades. Whilst Great Britain may still be considered the birthplace of the sport of trials, in more recent times it is Spain that has ruled the roost both in terms of quantity and quality of riders on the world stage. However it was not until Jordi Tarres (Beta) conquered the Scottish terrain in 1987 that Spain could boast its first SSDT winner.

Since then only two other Spanish riders have managed to match Tarres' feat, with Amos Bilbao (Montesa) claiming a highly popular win in 2002 before his compatriot Juan Pons (Sherco) then added his name to the famous trophy a year later. Spain's Jordi Pascuet (Jotagas) looked like he might join this elite club when he led last year's event to the halfway stage, but he finally finished in a respectable seventh position and as the highest placed foreign rider.

Aside from the main challengers, one Spanish rider has become synonymous with The Scottish having now ridden it twenty-four times since he made his debut back in 1979. Carlos Casas has become as much a part of the SSDT as the boulders in the burns and has been an outstanding ambassador and advocate of the event over a prolonged period. As always, he only had kind words to say about his beloved Scottish.

"Since I first came here in 1979 I have been a real fan of the SSDT as I love this event so much. I rode eleven times to start with, and then missed some years before returning again in 1990. Since then I have never missed a year and have been lucky enough to finish every time," explained Carlos.

"The Spanish riders see this event as a big adventure and really love to come at least one time in their life to experience this very special trial. I would recommend every Spanish rider, and any rider from any country to come and ride the SSDT. You can learn so much and can have so much fun too. I especially want to tell the young riders that it is something that they cannot miss as it will certainly improve their riding," continued the ex-bank manager.

"I have so many special memories. The best things about the SSDT are the friends I have made over the years, the scenery, the sections and just the incredible organisation. My best results were when I finished thirteenth twice, won the best foreign rider award four times and also won the over 40 class too," said Casas.

"Now I come purely for enjoyment, but it is still the most important week in my year without question," ended Carlos.

View the full article on the SSDT Website
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