Looking to secure his third Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) win James Dabill - Beta remains in control as the 2018 edition reached its halfway mark on the wettest of the three days of competition to date. Determined to complete a hat trick of Scottish victories, his last being back in 2011, Dabill dropped his first mark of the week to move three marks clear of his nearest rival and reigning SSDT champion Dougie Lampkin - Vertigo.
Whilst Lampkin currently represents the biggest threat to Dabill, his own continuation in the competition remains very much in doubt with the already eleven times SSDT winner having had to fight with technical issues all day long. This included an almost hour long roadside repair at the bottom of Big Dar's Burn where Lampkin incurred his three-mark total for day three after he was forced to literally push his bike through the end cards as his engine dramatically lost power at the critical moment.
Local hero Gary Macdonald - Scorpa remains in touch of the leading duo, losing a single dab on day three, the highest placed Scottish protagonist sits three marks behind Lampkin in third on a total of seven marks as he bids yet again to win an event that has so far eluded him. 2005 SSDT winner Sam Connor - Beta continues to produce his best riding in the Scottish Highlands and holds fourth position on eight marks going into the second part of the week. World Championship regular Jack Price - Gas Gas currently completes the top five with a tally of ten marks, a score shared by sixth placed Andrew Chilton - Scorpa.
Just one mark separates the next four riders, who round out the top ten at the mid-point of the 2018 SSDT. Ross Danby - TRRS is the best of this chasing group, but has close company in the form of Jack Sheppard - Sherco, Iwan Roberts - TRRS and Richard Sadler - Beta who are placed eighth, ninth and tenth respectively. The only rider to go clean today, reigning Trial2 World Champion Iwan Roberts deserves a special mention having successfully ridden himself back up the leader board despite suffering the effects of a recent illness.
Despite his machine problems Lampkin continues to head the over 40's class going into day four, carrying a seventeen-mark advantage over his younger cousin Ben Hemingway - Beta who is perfectly poised if Dougie's technical issues continue. On a highly respectable total of thirty-nine marks, Emma Bristow - Sherco rightly holds her place inside the top thirty overall and is by far the best female rider at the halfway mark. The newcomer category has its third different leader in three days with Dabill's World championship minder Jiri Svoboda - Beta from the Czech Republic now heading Thomas Housecroft - Beta by seven marks after a tough and wet Wednesday.
Thursday often plays a major part in deciding the eventual winner at the SSDT and this year has the potential of doing just that. Day four is the second longest of the week, with the riders taking in iconic groups such as Callart, Pap of Glencoe, Chairlift, Ba House, Gorton and the much revered Fersit around a ninety-one mile route, that may prove pivotal once again.
It wasn't a great day for photography. No accessible group in the morning and pouring rain all afternoon. Gallery from day three can be found by clicking here
Video courtesy of John Hird & Matt Betts