James Dabill eased the factory Beta into the sole lead of the 2019 Scottish Six Days Trial today (Tuesday) with a clean observation score for the second consecutive day to remain the only rider to retain a clean sheet through the two days and sixty sections of competition.
In contrast, Welsh ace Iwan Roberts (TRRS) who had shared the lead with Dabill following a clean ride on Monday dropped down to eleventh with a disastrous ten mark loss for the day. It wasn't a good day for the TRRS contenders as the normally ultra-dependable Ross Danby also dropped ten and slipped out of the top ten overall scores.
It was Gas Gas UK rider, Michael Brown who took over second place after day two with a very steady two mark ride for the day and just three in total. Brown lost one mark at Forest Gate and the other in the third sub at spectator favourite Creag Lundie. Impressive for a rider who, by his own admission, is not riding nearly as much these days.
Sitting ominously in third place, shadowing the leading duo, is Dougie Lampkin on the factory Vertigo. In the rotating starting order, Tuesday was Doug's early day and it started disastrously with Doug losing three marks in the final section of the second group of the day. The stream bed at Forest Gate, which followed three sections up the loose rocks at Laggan Locks, was super slippery and cost many fancied runners dearly. Dougie re-grouped as only he can though and concentrated hard to clean the rest of the day in a damage limitation exercise. He will of course move to the back of the field on Wednesday and resume his attack on a thirteenth SSDT victory.
After Dabill's clean ride, only two riders made it round with just single marks, Sherco's Dan Peace and Spanish ace Francesc Moret (Montesa). Dan's mark was lost in the top section of Creag Lundie whilst Moret made it to the penultimate group, Loch Arkaig, before signing off at a spectator packed Witches Burn.
The opening Monday of the 2019 Scottish Six Days Trial had been a relatively gentle introduction to the week with mild weather and a 'mere' seventy one miles for the 283 competitors, but Tuesday was a very different day. Jeff Horne, Clerk of the Course for the Edinburgh & District Motor Club promoted event had ramped the daily route mileage up to 107 with the day's thirty observed sections spread over a dozen groups linked by long road stretches and some challenging off-road on the moors. The weather too played its part with riders, spectators and officials hit by some heavy showers of rain, hail, sleet and even snow.
Leading lady Emma Bristow (Sherco) coped brilliantly with the harsh conditions and sits in a superb thirtieth place on twenty-eight marks, juxtaposed with the eighty-two of second placed girl, the ever cheerful Jess Bown.
Lampkin holds an eight point lead over Dan Thorpe (Gas Gas) in the well subscribed Over 40s class with Bassenthwaite Clubman Richard Gaskell (Beta) holding off Ben Hemingway (Beta) for third in class.
The Newcomers is a lockout by foreign riders with Frenchman benoit Dagnicourt (Vertigo) ahead of Italian Filippo Locca (Beta) and Germany's Tobias Baptist (Montesa).
In the battle for the Best Scot award, Calum Murphy (TRRS) moved into the lead on a total of forty-four as fellow TRRS rider Joe Dawson slipped back to second just four marks behind. However, Scorpa mounted Andy Anderson made a big move up the leaderboard with a score of just fifteen for the day which slotted him into third place with just six marks covering the top three in class. Andrew Rose (Montesa) currently holds a healthy lead as the Best Scottish Newcomer.
Wednesday's route will see the mileage back down to seventy-seven but with a mixture of roadwork and forest tracks plus some short but sharp off-road sections.