Alice’s 2019 Review

2019 was a year with many changes and new challenges for Alice – New bike, new competitions and new achievement levels…

At the beginning of 2019 Alice moved to riding for Scorpa UK, supported and maintained by Nigel Birkett Motorsport. This was a decision made by Alice after having tried the new 125cc machine from Scorpa and feeling that there was good opportunity for the Scorpa to help move her riding to the next level

Before the season started Alice and father Will applied for dispensation from the ACU T&E committee, this would be to allow Alice to move up to the top flight class of the ACU Ladies & Girls championship (ahead of the ages restrictions) but it would be on a “no award basis”. Alice could continue to progress and challenger herself on the highest class in the Ladies championship

Throughout the year Alice’s scores in this class would have put her in 3rd position, not only at individual events but overall in the championship behind Jess Bown and Donna Fox. This point was noted by the elder riders, who at times would have been fighting for 2nd place on the podiums, if Alice was riding for awards

Whilst being given dispensation for the Ladies & Girls championship, Alice’s age still meant that she could rider in the Boys Youth Championship in the eldest A-class. Alice has never been one to shy away from mixing it with (and sometimes beating) the boy, 2019 was no different with Alice competing in as many of the championship rounds as possible. This was a good chance once again to continue to push her riding progression and learn from the boys who are also mixing results with some of the well known adults in British Trials

One of Alice’s favorite events of the year is the Mintex Time & Observation trial. This is an event by the same club as run the famous Scott Trial in October. The difference for the youth’s is that there are two loops of a shorter (but still as grueling) course. 2019 would be Alice’s third attempt at this trial, each year she’d been adding more pressure to herself with the expectation of higher results. Before the start the benchmark was set out, with a top 10 being the aim. With all riders being announced at the prize presentation, as the top ten got close the nerves increased, further more as 8th and 7th were presented. Next up 6th position and Alice’s name called, not only taking this award but also the best female finish for the third year in a row

2019 continued to be a year of new levels with Alice and Will looking to take on the TrialGP Women’s Trial2 class, this including rounds in Portugal, France & Spain. The format of a World Trials weekend is different to normal British Trials with Saturday being Qualifying and Sunday being the main trial day. Different to normal trials, but tying in with the Mintex trial type of event qualifying is as much about speed as keeping the riders feet up! From her first attempt in Portugal Alice showed that she could master both, speed and balance, becoming fastest qualifier and for the following events pushing for that same spot. The purpose of qualifying is to create a starting order for Sunday’s trial, quickest on Saturday would start last in class on Sunday, this allowing them to see others rider the sections first, often of great benefit

In Portugal and France Alice had achieved two 2nd place finishes, possibility of clinching the championship win was still possible as the World Trial Championship moved on to Spain. In the very hot and dusty conditions the section terrain was similar to the previous rounds, however the championship leader and Alice both losing marks that were out of character. During the second lap Alice began to regain her normal riding balance, clawing back positions through to the end, her championship competitor continued to struggle with the end result meaning the championship standings were tied, Alice narrowly missing out winning the title

2019 started with the intention of being a base to build from in World and European trials, but as is normal Alice surpassed everyone’s expectations, including her own! Watch out in 2020 as Alice will be competing in the ACU Ladies Championship, fighting for podiums and wins. It’ll be her final year at the Mintex trial, so is sure to go out with a bang at an event she loves. World trials again but this time taking part in as many rounds as possible, including one in UK!