Spaniard Adam Raga
broke the defending champ's rule, but only briefly, winning
the first day before Lampkin returned for a Sunday victory.
In sections that were quite familiar for the Spanish riders
(due to the dry ground and dusty rocks), it was normal to get
several great performances from Iberian riders. Raga has already
had the honor of defeating the World Champion in the last round
of the Spanish Championship, but few thought he could repeat
the exploit on the World circuit - especially so early. Nonetheless,
the young Catalan has superb riding style, though it must be
said that he still needs to learn to keep his cool in high pressure
situations. Raga was superb on Saturday's second loop, taking
the first World round victory of his life. Lampkin's reply came
promptly on Sunday, as he left all of his rivals far behind
and took a convincing win. Somewhat surprisingly, Takahisa Fujinami
- the only rider to defeat Lampkin this year, and the second-place
sitter in the points standings - was somewhat in the shadows
As mentioned above, Raga was the Saturday winner, but his victory
was an even greater surprise than it would seem.
because the Gasgas rider only sat fifth after one loop, and
he had to come from behind on the second circuit to score the
win. He amazed everyone by scoring only one point in loop two,
and although he and Lampkin were tied with a total of 20, he
beat the Brit thanks to a larger number of cleans, giving Lampkin
his second defeat of the year. As usual, the last riders in
the standings started first, and wasted a lot of time examining
the most difficult sections in order to find the best possible
route through. Sometimes, no one wants to be first, and this
is always a nervous time. Raga, however, did not participate
in the hesitation, abandoning the group and running by himself.
This was a wise decision, because although he lost some points
in the first loop, he saved precious time for proceeding tranquilly
through the competition's second half. Meanwhile, Lampkin fived
section six. Even Fujinami did some dabs, while those who proceeded
quite well were Spaniards Albert Cabestany and Marc Freixa -
comfortable in the dry terrain. Freixa, however, slipped up
and fived section 10. At the end of first loop, Lampkin led
with 12 points, and next was Cabestany with 13, just ahead of
Fujinami's 14. In fourth place were Freixa and Raga, tied with
19. At this point, most of the top riders faced a race against
time, as they tried to make it through loop two without being
late. Raga, however, was already midway through the second loop,
and consequently, was better able to relax and menage his time.
He dabbed just once, in section 14, a performance that was truly
incredible! In fact, not even Lampkin was able to come close,
scoring "only" a strong eight and losing out thanks
to his having two clean less. Fujinami's sub-par performance
resulted in a score of 18, while Cabestany annulled a great
first loop with too many mistakes in the final.
Sunday was once again sunny and windy for the 24 riders who
took part in the second part of the event. Four sections were
modified, narrowing parts in order to make them more difficult.
One rider, the World Champion, more then ever, was determined
to avenge his defeat of the previous day, and it soon became
clear that Raga was a little nervous with the pressure that
came with his win. Unaccustomed to riding slowly with the top
riders, raga, who likes to go fast, was uncomfortable, so he
overtook Lampkin, Fujinami, Freixa, Jarvis and Cabestany. Despite
the rush, his score was not so bad until he arrived at hazard
13, one of the modified sections. There, in the final narrow
step, he failed and picked up a very disappointed five. Lampkin,
on the other hand, had no problem there, elegantly picking up
just one point (for a stop).
At the end of the first loop, Lampkin was already far ahead
of everyone else, having scored only two marks! In second place,
Freixa had 10 points, and then came the previous day's winner,
Raga, with one point more. In fourth place was Cabestany with
12, and only in fifth place was Fujinami, whose concentration
was off. The second loop was a piece of cake for Lampkin, who
confidently rode to his eighth win of the season. He proceeded
almost perfectly, again picking up just two marks, and leaving
no doubt as to his trials dominance. Behind the Montesa rider,
the fight for second place was closer. Freixa and Fujinami both
scored 7 points and finished in order with podium positions.
Raga was catastrophic: he added another three to his first and
slipped to fifth place. Riding more consistently was Cabestany,
who ultimately did not ruin the strong performance he constructed
in the first half of the competition, and in fact climbed to
· The World Series goes back west: this was the first
World round for Goldendale, a little town near the Columbia
river, which separates Washington state from Oregon. Despite
its rookie status, the event offered excellent pits and expert
section layout, thanks o a good job done by John Isherwood and
his club, COTA (Columbia Observed Trials Association).
· Unfortunately, not many European riders contested the
event, a problem that also plagued the previous event in Japan.
In total, there were 26 riders at the start.
· The sections were split into three groups. The first
two zones were close to the start. Three through 14 were on
a hill that could be reached by bus, and the indoor-style number
15 was also at the start.
· COTA's Bob Reed prepared a vintage museum in a building
in the pit area. Thanks to the help of several private collectors.
Reed was able to put together 75 old bikes, 26 of which were
specifically for trials.
· About 6,000 spectators showed up on Sunday and 8,000
on Sunday, paying an admission fee of $ 15 to take in the action.
· Finn Tommy Ahvala, the USA champion in 1999, was only
a cameraman at this event. He works for Gasgas USA's Dale Malasek
and is busy doing 260 demonstrations this year all over the
country. One such demo was held on Saturday in downtown Goldendale.
Ahvala said he enjoys this new activity, and he does not miss
· There was a great step forward in press-office organization
compared with some previous U.S. world rounds. This time there
were three computers available, and although no fax machine
or telephone was present, the kindly work of Michael Niemela,
who was responsible for the computers, satisfied the needs of
· In the Junior class, Josep Manzano won both days. He
was especially dominant on the second day, when he performed
at a level above the others. Indeed, the Spaniard scored six
points on the sections reserved for junior-class entrants, against
the 45 of two-day runner-up Taichi Tanaka. Taking third on both
days behind the Japanese rider was Polish rider Tadeuzs Blazusiak,
the only non-elite pilot to make the overseas transfer.