Tom’s 2019 Review

After switching machines for 2018, Tom would continue to ride for Scorpa UK with support from importer Nigel Birkett Motorsport. The support that Tom received in 2018 made it an easy decision to continue with the same marque and team

The Scottish Six Day Trial at the beginning of May is world famous and immensely popular, as one years event finishes the planning for the next one starts! Entries have to be submitted towards the end of each year, with the lucky 260 riders finding out if they have an entry around the Christmas period. Since Tom’s first entry in to the event in 2017 as a newcomer, this event has been one of the must do events for each year. In 2019 Tom would be riding for a personal award, as part of Scorpa UK and also as part of South Shropshire MCC in the club trophy.

With the longer and harder days coming in the middle of the event, its at this point that riders hope the weather is going to be kind and allow the sun to shine. Sadly in 2019 this didn’t happen, with heavy rain making long days longer! Throughout these tough days Tom continued to show he calm and balance in the Scottish sections, being able to keep within the top 20 positions. Friday however nerves began to rise as his Scorpa 300 started to sound more like a tractor than a trials bike, a problem which worsened through the day and meant a decision needed to be made, strip the bike to fix the problem or continue until it stopped. After riding off the start ramp on Saturday morning, the final day, Tom along with Scorpa UK importer Nigel Birkett stripped the bike to solve the issue and ensure a third consecutive finish for Tom at the Scottish Six day event. Although not what Tom was hoping for, he finished the event in 17th place overall, still a great achievement when you look at the talent packed top 20

In the ACU British trials championship Tom started the season in the top championship class, with riders who are regularly competing in the World and European championship. After competing in this class for the first few rounds of the championship, Tom then made the decision to drop down to the Trial2 class. Although not eligible for championship points after dropping down a class, Tom could still fight for a podium position at each event, an achievement he accomplished on several occasions

In mid October the famous Scott Trial tends to see out the national calendar of trials, an event steeped in history having been run for over 100 years. Much like his sister Alice at the Mintex trial in June, the Scott is a Time and Observation trial needing the rider to know when to push hard and when to ease off. With 80 miles of riding and 70+ sections during one long lap, the temptation is to speed out of the start field and try to maintain that for the day, the reality is that’s a very hard task to achieve. With this being Tom’s third Scott trial, knowing how to approach the day is now something he is used to. Although being passed by riders in the early stages will put others off, the reality is that these positions will come back to you as you continue at a constant repeatable pace. This is what Tom exercised, a pace that saw him with a solid time finish and a combined score total with observation good enough for 9th overall, the highest finish in the Scott trial for Tom

For 2020, the plan is more of the same, Trial2 Championship at the ACU British Trials Championship, as many national trials as if possible to fit in along with the big nationals of the Scottish Six Days, Scott Trial and the Reeth Three Day