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30/06--01/07/2001 - World Champ.: Foppolo, ITA

Back in 2001. Why? Do we suffer of nostalgia? Probably yes, but the reason is simply a mistake we made (just one!) when reporting the lately GP of Germany at Gefrees, we said that Matteo Grattarola in seventh position, brought glory to Italy, something missed since the time of Bosis and Miglio.
WRONG! Dario Re Delle Gandine, who now is working for the Italian federation, managing the motor home used in all the events, finished seven on Saturday in that occasion. We apologize for that wrong statement, living again together that great day.
Looking for some shots of Dario, we found out in our archives other interesting photos, why not to show you? Consequently, please go down on this page and you will discover…
Also at the time I was working for US Cycle News and Italian SportAutoMoto, so at the bottom, you will find what I sent to the two weekly magazines.

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Un salto nel 2001. Perche’? Soffriamo di nostalgia? Probabilmente si’, ma la ragione e’ semplicemente per riparare all’errore che abbiamo fatto nel pezzo relativo al recente GP di Germania a Gefrees. Abbiamo scritto che il settimo posto di Matteo Grattarola era un risultato che mancava ai piloti italiani dai tempi di Bosis e Miglio.
ERRORE! Dario Re Delle Gandine, che al momento sta lavorando per la FMI, gestendo il motorhome usato come supporto in tutte le gare, aveva concluso al settimo posto al sabato di quella occasione. Ci scusiamo per quella affermazione errata, rivivendo insieme quel gran giorno.
Poi cercando qualche immagine di Dario, abbiamo trovato altre foto di quel evento ed abbiamo pensato di mostrarvele. Le potete trovare scorrendo la pagina.
In fondo ci sono anche i due articoli che all’epoca avevo scritto per due settimanali per cui collaboravo: Cycle News, statunitense e SportAutoMoto, nostrano.

Dario Re Delle Gandine

premiato come miglior italiano
Winner of both days , a young Dougie Lampkin / Vincitore in entrambi i giorni un giovane Dougie Lampkin

...more attracted by the trophies than the girl next to him.../... piu’ attento ai premi che alla ragazza accanto a lui...
Second was Takahisa Fujinami, but only Saturday... / secondo Takahisa Fujinami, ma solo sabato...
...because on Sunday he was beaten by Adam Raga / ...perche’ domenica veniva battuto da Adam Raga
...good ol’ times, Adam did not dare call me “chandelier’ / ...bei tempi, Adam non osava chiamarmi “candelabro”
...riders could inspect the section by foot/...i piloti potevano ispezionare la zona a piedi
and were kissed by beautiful girls on podium.../ e venivano baciati da belle ragazze sul podio...
...there were scooters available for journalists (so many!) / ...i giornalisti (tanti) avevano a disposizione degli scooter
…Jake Miller was not in charge for the FIM, and loved Italian food…/ …a Jake Miller, che non lavorava ancora per la FIM, piaceva la cucina italiana…
in the press offices, blonde girls brought us beers…/ negli uffici stampa , attraenti bionde ci portavano delle birre...
30/06,01/07/2001: Foppolo, Italia
  Saturday, Sabato Sunday, Domenica
1. Doug Lampkin
Montesa
Doug Lampkin
Montesa
2. Takahisa Fujinami
Honda
Adam Raga
Gasgas
3. Adam Raga
Gasgas
Takahisa Fujinami
Honda
4. Marc Colomer
Gasgas
Marc Freixa
Sherco
5. Marc Freixa
Sherco
Albert Cabestany
Beta
6. Kenichi Kuroyama
Beta
Marc Colomer
Gasgas
7. Dario Re Delle Gandine
Montesa
David Cobos
Montesa
8. Graham Jarvis
Sherco
Kenichi Kuroyama
Beta
9. Marcel Justribo
Sherco
Graham Jarvis
Sherco
10. Albert Cabestany
Beta
Steve Colley
Gasgas
11. Amos Bilbao
Montesa
Marcel Justribo
Sherco
12. Josè-Manuel Alcaraz
Montesa
Josè-Manuel Alcaraz
Montesa
13. Jordi Pascuet
Gasgas
Dario Re Delle Gandine
Montesa
14. Steve Colley
Gasgas
Josep Manzano
Sherco
15 David Cobos
Montesa
Bruno Camozzi
Gasgas

30/06--01/07/2001 - World Champ.: Foppolo, ITA

Lampkin stretches on the difficult Italian Grand Prix!

At Foppolo, mountain village situated at 5,000 ft altitude, the top riders found what they ever asked for: tough sections where any mistake could be recovered without compromising the competition. Many big stones covered by mud dragged by the bikes, steep hills , slippery rocks, roots, creeks. What we can call ideal terrain for Trials.
Unfortunately , organizers exaggerated a bit, drawing the hazards and only the top riders were able to enjoy their riding on Saturday. After the decision of changing 5 sections for the following day, things have gone only a little better, because in the night a heavy rain dropped.
Lampkin did not win easily. On Saturday his teammate Fujinami threatened him quite close, while on Sunday after having lost the pole position at half competition in favor of Freixa, he was worried for the great second loop of Raga and won for just 3 points ahead of the young Spaniard.
The judgment’s matter came out again because some observers were too tight and other the complete opposite, so we saw riders asked the checker before entering the section what they should do, miming hopping, etc… Good or not there are people that think seriously to change again the rules to simplify the marshals job and to make more understandable the play for the public. New era, again?
Saturday.
On the slippery rocks due to the ground covered by mountain grass, all the riders had to fight to keep their balance well and be very carefully for the lack of grip. After the first 3 sections not so difficult, all the participants studied a lot section 4 and only few finished it. Dougie cleaned and was the only one!
Then all the top riders stood for many times into section 5 where the final steep rock did not allow to anyone to reach the end. Even Doug and Fuji fived it. Meanwhile the time spent and a few left to dedicate at the other sections. Sections 11 was impossible, too.
After 4 hour and half gone (out of 5 and half total), Doug, Fuji, Jarvis and Freixa started the second loop. They had only 1 hour to finish!! Doug led, scoring 24 points. Then Fuji with 33. In third place, Cabestany 38, ahead of Freixa (39). Raga , only in 7th position, as usual preferred run ahead of this late group and managing his time better, he could improve his score.
All the sections worsened for the ground dragged by the bikes. Nevertheless the hurry, Doug found the time to try again section 5 and to score a very good “3”. His score was still the best, 21 points. This time Fuji was just on his shoulder (25). In third place Raga, but quite far from the two Honda-riders. Also good the performance of Colomer, that climbed to the fourth place.
Sunday
Even if organizers made many changes in order to make the competition easier , the rain dropped in the night complicated their job and at the beginning the ground was quite wet and it was difficult for everybody to find the right grip. Fortunately the sun dried the sections and in the second loop every rider improved his score.
The things for the World Champion and for his teammate number two started very badly. Due to carburation problems both fived the steep hill of section two astonishing the unbelievable public. Raga, instead, cleaned it. Doug failed also section 3, but he was the only one to finish section 5 with less then 3 points: just 2! Freixa proceeded very well , so at half competition he led with 17 marks. Lampkin was behind scoring 22, tied with Cabestany.
In fourth position, Fujinami guilty of 26 points, two points ahead of Raga. This one was superlative in the second lap: he scored only 10 points and this was the best performance of the day! He was propelled to the runner-up place. Indeed Doug rode quite well too and scored 13. He won for only 3 points. Fujinami scored the third best result and got the third step of podium, ahead of Freixa very unhappy for having thrown away a possibly victory.
Briefly….
• Second time for Foppolo, little mountain village 60 km from Bergamo, North of Italy, in the Alpes . Already in 1993, Moto Club Bergamo organized a World round won by Jordi Tarres with 24 points in total (3 loops). Great organization as usual in Italy, very careful for the facilities for spectators, for entertainment’s like fireworks on Sat night. Pits well structured , press office perfect with many phone and faxes lines and also Beta scooter available for journalists.
• The sections were split in 3 groups : from 1 to 7: 500 mt from the Start:; from 8 to 12 about 1 km in the other direction and they were the farest. Then section 13 to 15 close to the Start. All of them were natural section. It was possible thanks to the fact to be in a mountain place. About 10,000 spectators attended paying a ticket of 4.5 USA dollars.(10,000 Italian lire).
• Josep Manzano, today World Champion Junior had a very bad crash in the high wall of section 15 : he hit heavy the ground with his back and was taken to the hospital of Bergamo by helicopter. Fortunately in the late evening good news came: he broke a vertebral bone in his neck, but he was able to move all his legs and arms, so it should not be harm seriously.
• The Junior class was won in both day by him: indeed he crashed at the last section and his card was given to chronometrist and so he finished the race. Runner-up in first day was Tanaka and in third place Italian Valerio Bauce. On Sunday in second position we found French Jerome Berthune, followed by Taichi Tanaka.
• Positive record of participants: 51 riders at the Start. Many Italians tried the experience, but faced the hardest round of teh whole 2001 Championship, so collected five after five. A good surprise for Italian fans was the 7th place on Saturday for the National champion Dario Re Delle Gandine, more confident if supported by shouting public.
• The public was a great protagonist of this Grand Prix. Dragged by speaker Roberto Rossi in every section riders were boomed and clapped when overtook the spectacular obstacles. Especially the big wall of the last section.
• Rumors on possibly changes in the rules for the next year are even more consistent. The Octagon Esedos, Spanish society that manage Trials World Championship this year on behalf of FIM met factory’s representing and riders to ask them what would like to change for the future. Very soon there will be an official release on this matter. • During the press conference, in both days Doug complaints himself to ride very bad and under his skill. Was it to discourage the rivals? Adam Raga reached now the fourth position in the overall standing and is becoming a pain in the neck for Fujigas, alternating him in the runner-up position. Young Spaniard likes to run for himself without waiting a long studying the sections. Many times it was the right tactic.

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Lampkin si impone nella prova italiana, la piu’ dura del mondiale finora disputato.

A Foppolo, in Val brembana, 60 km da Bergamo, ha trionfato il campione in carica imponendosi con autorita’ nei due giorni di un gran premio in cui il pubblico e’ stato un vero protagonista. Ben 10,000 spettatori hanno applaudito i funamboli del campionato del mondo ed hanno incoraggiato il numero uno italiano, Dario Re Delle Gandine al punto di proiettarlo in una posizione mai raggiunta nella sua carriera: un settimo posto al sabato.
La gara ,organizzata magistralmente dal Moto Club Bergamo, ha mantenuto quella tradizione che ci vede protagonisti nell’allestire manifestazioni , attenti a tutti quelli aspetti tanto cari a pubblico ed addetti ai valori. Naturalmente in attesa di tornare ad essere protagonisti anche in campo: con piloti che tornino a lottare per i primi posti. Intanto prendiamo atto di un circuito in cui era possibile seguire la gara con facilita’ , di uno speaker d’eccezione, il conosciuto Roberto Rossi che commentava i passaggi e contribuiva a “scaldare” il pubblico, di un paddok ben attrezzato, etc.
Il percorso risultava invece perfin troppo selettivo nella giornata inaugurale, tanto da costringere gli organizzatori a modificare 5 zone per la giornata successiva. Ben poco riuscivano a fare i tanti giovani italiani che avevano approfittato dell’occasione per provare l’emozione forte di una partecipazione cosi’ importante. Ma per i big, tutto andava bene: finalmente ad un “5” si poteva rimediare. Doug vinceva al sabato , tenendo dietro il suo rivale compagno di squadra Fujinami, grazie ad un vantaggio accumulato nel primo giro. Adam Raga era invece partito molto male, ma sapeva rimontare dal settimo al terzo posto finale.
Per noi italiani il fiore all’occhiello era il settimo posto del nostro numero uno e, contemporaneamente il terzo posto nella classifica Junior del giovane Valerio Bauce, battuto solo da Tanaka e da Manzano.
Meno bene andavano i nostri portacolori nella giornata successiva. Dario segnava un pessimo primo giro , ma rimediava egregiamente e finiva in zona punti (13-esimo). Bauce era solo 12-esimo nella Junior, dove pero’ veniva fuori bene Daniele Maurino che raggiungeva la quarta posizione.
In “alto” sembrava potesse cambiare qualcosa quando Doug, lamentando qualche problema di carburazione alla moto, falliva la zona 2 e 3 al primo giro. Ne approfittava Freixa che passava in testa a meta’ competizione. Poi pero’ Lampkin recuperava bene, ma doveva ancora guardarsi da un superlativo Raga, autore della migliore prestazione assoluta della giornata. Doug vinceva giusto per 3 punti. Raga giungeva in seconda posizione. Terzo era Fujigas, sempre beniamino della folla, mentre scendeva al quarto posto Freixa.
Una brutta caduta dello spagnolo Josep Manzano sul muro finale della zona 15, con il seguente trasporto in elicottero all’ospedale di Bergamo, facevano temere il peggio per la sua colonna vertebrale. Invece in serata le notizie giunte ci rassicuravano: una vertebra rotta e lieve commozione cerebrale. Appuntamento in Francia la prossima settimana.