Trial truly will be coming home this coming weekend when the best riders on the planet descend on the amazing Addingham Moorside overlooking Silsden for TrialGP Great Britain, round seven of the 2018 FIM Trial World Championship. With four classes - TrialGP, TrialGP Women, Trial2 and Trial2 Women - competing we will definitely see at least two World Champions crowned and possibly even four. Add in the first-ever Youth Challenge featuring some of Britain's brightest young talent and it is an action-packed programme.
Steeped in Trial history, the Yorkshire town of Silsden is the spiritual home of the legendary Lampkin clan and will certainly be a fitting venue for Toni Bou - Repsol Honda, the greatest rider in the history of the sport, to take a record-shattering twelfth consecutive TrialGP title. The superstar Spaniard is currently sitting twenty-three points clear of the chasing pack and looks an odds-on certainty to retain his crown on Sunday. His closest challengers are all from Spain with a twin-pronged Gas Gas attack coming from team-mates Jeroni Fajardo and Jaime Busto with wily veterans Adam Raga - TRRS and Albert Cabestany - Beta filling out the top five. With just twelve points between second-placed Fajardo and Raga in fourth the final podium positions are a long way from being decided and the imposing boulders of Addingham Moorside could prove pivotal before the men's season signs off with TrialGP Italy on the 15th/16th September.
There is also a British hero to cheer on in the shape of James Dabill - Beta. The thirty-two-year-old, who grew up just down the road from Addingham Moorside, has not had the best TrialGP season, but is hoping for strong home support to lift him up the order. Currently seventh, just six points behind Japanese fan favourite, Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Honda, Dabill will be disappointed with anything less than a podium finish.
In TrialGP Women it is Britain's Emma Bristow - Sherco who is in the driving seat. Unbeaten so far this season, Bristow leads Spain's Berta Abellan - Vertigo by seventeen points heading into the final round and will be expecting to wrap up a fabulous fifth straight title. The battle for the remaining podium positions is shaping up into a fierce three-way fight between Abellan and her compatriots Sandra Gomez - Gas Gas and Neus Murcia - Beta with just five points separating them.
The closest contest this season has come in Trial2 where Britain's Toby Martyn - Montesa and Matteo Grattarola - Honda from Italy have been going toe-to-toe since the opening round in Spain back in May. The veteran Italian, who has dropped down from the TrialGP class for 2018, set the early pace before Martyn reeled him in with back-to-back victories in France and Belgium. Heading into TrialGP Great Britain it is the eighteen-year-old who holds a slender two-point lead with Spain's Gabriel Marcelli a further eleven points behind in third. British brothers and Gas Gas team-mates Dan and Jack Peace currently sit fourth and fifth and both will fancy their chances of a top-three finish at their home round.
Trial2 Women has been dominated by Italy's Alex Brancati - Beta who is unbeaten this season. Her main opposition has come from rising American star Maddie Hoover - Gas Gas who has yet to finish off the podium and would love to sign off with a victory and reduce Brancati's eleven-point advantage. Currently third, Norway's Erika Melchior - Sherco leads Sophia Ter Jung - TRRS from Germany by a single point with Mona Pekarek - Sherco, who is also from Germany, only two points further back.
The two days of feet-up finesse will be complimented by the Yeadon Guiseley & DMC's Youth Challenge on Saturday morning. The club has a long history of developing riders - Dougie Lampkin springs instantly to mind - and the exciting new competition will continue this worthy tradition In total ten invited riders will take part and included in the entry are Dougie's sons Alfie and Fraiser. Well, you can not come to watch top-flight Trial in Silsden and not see a Lampkin in action!
Tickets will be available on the gate both Saturday and Sunday.