Eric Storz Reports on 2011 Trial Des Nations
ES: Hi everyone. I’ve just returned from competing in the 2011 TDN event, which was held in Tolmezzo, Italy this year. Tolmezzo is a small town in a mountainous area not far from the Austrian border. We flew into the Venice, Italy airport, arriving on Wednesday night to allow plenty of time to compensate for jet lag before our Sunday trial. We spent Thursday morning checking out Venice before heading off to Tolmezzo in the afternoon.
You can find a few images here...
We were able to get our bikes and practice on Friday and Saturday alongside some of the best trials riders in the world from Spain, England, and Italy. Watching Raga, Bou, Cabestany, and others ride up close was unbelievable. Our Men’s TDN team consisted of Keith Wineland from Colorado, Brian Roper from Arizona, Karl Davis, Jr. from Florida, and myself. My brother Neil, Todd Roper, and Al Duke worked hard as our minders.
The opening ceremonies for the event were really neat. Riders from each country marched as a team, carrying their country’s flag in a parade through the streets of Tolmezzo. The parade ended in the town square where each team was invited on stage at the FIM trailer where the team and each rider were introduced individually. This took awhile as there were more than 20 countries competing.
The weather leading up to the trial was beautiful with mid 80’s temperatures and lots of sunshine. Sunday however, dawned with heavy rains, which made things difficult. The trial consisted mainly of muddy hillside sections with slippery rocks, tree roots, etc. and two separate man-made stadium type sections in town. Because the sections were spread all over different areas surrounding the town, we were allowed to ride our bikes alongside normal auto traffic on the streets to get to the various groups of sections. This experience was a little different to say the least.
We finished in 7th place out of 16 countries in our division with 26 minutes to spare before packing up all of our gear for the trip home. Overall the sections were pretty tough, but I really enjoyed the trial and I definitely learned a lot. I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who made this trip possible, especially all of my SCTA trials friends.