The spirit of Trial des Nations lives on and strong, with no less than twenty-three nations taking part in the 2018 edition of this season ending team competition that was held beside the lake at Sokolov in the Czech Republic.
Revisions to the 2017 event format saw increased squad involvement, with two riders from each team competing in Saturday’s single qualification session, which meant that both the women and men competed on the same day – Sunday – in the Trial itself for the first time in the long history of the TDN.
Saturday’s qualification took place under blue skies and delivered some unforgettable action in front of the large assembled crowd as Japan stole pole position away from clear favourites Spain in the main men’s class, as Switzerland were equally surprise winners in the International trophy category. It was only the British Women who ran true to form as they seized an early advantage in the female fight.
The predicted rain arrived early on Sunday morning and persisted all day to make conditions out on the steep wooded hillsides ultra-tough. With grip hard to find in the fifteen sections, the final team tallies rose due to the increased severity and made for a real war of attrition.
Despite the very wet hazards, Spain’s men still confirmed their superiority come the close of play to extend their winning run to fifteen TDN titles on the bounce. Much to the delight of the home fans, the Czech Republic were victorious in the International men’s group as Britain’s Women regained the trophy that they had surrendered to the Spanish girls twelve months before.
With the heavy responsibility of bringing the curtain down on a highly successful 2018 season, TDN certainly met the challenge and proved to be a fitting climax to the second year with Sport7 at the helm.
Click here to watch the TDN highlights programme.