Preview of the ACU Trial Expert Class
Our final group to look at is the ACU Trial Expert class with a massive thirty six riders entered for the initial round at Hookwood next Saturday. This class is sure to be wide open with the top four from last year moving up into the ACU Trial 2 class, (Guy Kendrew is taking a year out) which on paper leaves evergreen Dan Thorpe as the main contender. However, with the Sheffield rider now at the age of 40, it will open up the chance for riders like Chris Stay, who regularly makes the journey from the Isle of Wight and Sam Yeomans to step up to podium places whilst Ben Morphett, who won this round in 2018 will hopefully contest the whole series this year. Talented Gus Oblein moves up from the old Youth Elite Class to make his challenge whilst there are a host of other riders -too many to mention here - who could stand on a step of the podium at some stage during the season.
Could this be the year we see a lady challenge for the top spot? On paper, from last year's results, our own multi World and British Champion Emma Bristow is seeded fourth and has to talent, confidence and stamina to be right up there at the sharp end.
In the first round the ballot could prove quite important as it is just one single ballot for starting positions for all 36 riders. In subsequent rounds the top eight will be seeded into a secondary ballot, but in round one the playing field is completely level.
The action takes place at Hookwood in Surrey and starts at 9.30am next Saturday.