With the Santa suits put away for another year and television dominated by holiday and the obligatory DFS “This Week’s Sale” ads, the world of Trials turns to the upcoming World Indoor Championship due to kick off right here in the UK at Sheffield Arena on Saturday 5th February.
The Sheffield Indoor Trial has always been a massively popular event with thousands of Trials fans raising the roof year after year watching the world’s best battle it out. Spectacular sections, spectacular riding and even the odd spectacular crash along with the atmosphere in the Arena make for a great night’s entertainment.
2013 sees the Sheffield Indoor Trial return to the World Championship after three years run as a standalone event. The Trial was last run as a World Indoor round in 2009 when it was, perhaps unsurprisingly, won by the man who is very much setting the standard across World Trials at present, Spain's Toni Bou. Since then, free from the format and restraints placed by the FIM, the Trial has continued to grow in popularity and in entertainment value. With no pressure on the competitors and no vital world championship points at stake we have seen the riders more relaxed, having fun and witnessed some incredible showboating that simply wouldn’t have happened in a world championship event.
So, does the return to World Championship status mean Sheffield won’t be as entertaining? Not at all. With World Championship points at stake comes pressure. Pressure to perform and pressure to win. All the riders will be trying their utmost, particularly given this is the opening round. They’ll be keen to stamp their mark and get a solid foothold in the Championship standings before moving on to the second round in Barcelona on the 2nd of February. The tension will be high and the atmosphere electric.
One familiar face missing from the rider line-up this year will be twelve times World Champion and the “King Of Sheffield”, Dougie Lampkin who made his final riding appearance at last year’s event. However, Dougie fans need fear not as he’ll be taking up a new role this year assisting regular commentators Martin Crosswaite and Wayne Kershaw (we’re not sure if there will be subtitles for the non-Yorkshire attendees!) There is nobody more qualified than Dougie to give a technical perspective on the sections and the riding so we’re sure his input will be followed with great interest.
Organisers, Neil Crosswaite and Martin Lampkin say there are still limited tickets available so if you have Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket, get yourself down to Sheffield Arena on Saturday 5th January for what is sure to be a great night’s entertainment.
Tickets are available online via the Arena Box Office by clicking here or by calling 0114 256 56 56. Naturally, Trials Central will be there to bring you the high standards of coverage you've come to expect.