Dougie Lampkin missed his 13th SSDT victory and which would have been Vertigo’s 5th one despite giving absolutely everything throughout the six intense and long days of this iconic trial, the toughest one in the calendar.
Vertigo’s ambassador and developer delivered a powerful performance at the helm of the Vertical R, that demonstrated what it is capable of by letting Lampkin ride at his best in each of the 180 sections that make up the race. Competition began on Monday with Lampkin leaving one mark at the second group of sections, which meant his trail on main rival Dabill, who remained faultless on the opening day, had already begun.
Day two was the toughest one for Lampkin, having to face his early day with many sections featuring very slippery conditions. He lost 3 marks in a section where grip was really hard to find as not many riders had gone through before, and that would eventually be one of the key moments of the trial, as now Lampkin was four points behind his country fellow. Wednesday was a solid day for Lampkin, the 12 times World Champion and SSDT winner only left a single dab and started catching up with Dabill, who lost two. By the half-way stage they were carrying 2 and 5 marks.
Thursday, which is usually one of the toughest days of the week was easier than expected, meaning the battle for the top spots didn’t suffer any change as the leading duo cleared all the sections without a single mistake. On day five Lampkin continued to push hard and minimized the difference with the current leader thanks to finishing with just a single dab against two of his rival. So everything was set for the last showdown, pretty much replicating what happened last year, with Lampkin trailing Dabill by 2 marks.
Lampkin displayed all his technique and riding skills in order to keep his victory chances alive until the last sections of the day, but this time wasn’t enough and with both riders matching punctuations in 1 mark Lampkin had to settle for second with 7 points at the end, two behind Dabill. It was an incredible battle between these two throughout the week, with Lampkin minimizing little by little the gap his former teammate was able to open specially on the opening stages. The 13th victory will have to wait, but with Lampkin showing such a great level against active TrialGP riders it is more than evident next year his chances of getting the trophy back remain as high as any time he has been on the starting line.
There is another performance that deserves special mention. Benoit Dagnicourt got the Best Newcomer’s award thanks to an incredible week in the SSDT, struggling a bit during the first stages but making huge improvements once he got used to the tricky rocky sections, he built his way up to a very positive 19th place overall. On the other hand, Carlos Casas and Vertigo had the privilege to wear the SSDT number 1 plate, an honour that before this year’s edition had only been given to local riders.
Photo Credit: ©Trials Central