AMA Announces Teams for 2008 Trial des Nations PICKERINGTON, Ohio-The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the North American Trials Association (NATC) are pleased to announce the rosters for the men's and women's teams that will compete...
AMA Announces Teams for 2008 Trial des Nations
PICKERINGTON, Ohio-The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the North American Trials Association (NATC) are pleased to announce the rosters for the men's and women's teams that will compete on Team USA at the 2008 Trial des Nations (TdN) in La Rabassa, Andorra, September 28-29.
"The Trial des Nations is an important part of our international racing effort, and we're excited that these talented riders have agreed to support that effort as part of our men's and women's teams," said AMA Off-Road Racing Director Chuck Weir. "The competition at the world level in trials is tough, but we're confident that Team USA will be up to the challenge."
The men's Team USA will feature Patrick Smage, Cody Webb, William Ibsen and Keith Wineland.
Smage, from Elkhorn, Wisconsin, is the defending AMA/NATC National Trials Champion. Smage, who also currently leads the points race for the '08 national title, will be returning for his second trip to the TdN.
"I'm real proud to return and race for Team USA at the TdN," said Smage, who will be 18 at the end of July and will ride a Sherco 290 at the TdN. "Last year, because I was too young, I had to ride a 125cc, so I'm really looking forward to showing what I can do on a full-sized bike this year."
Webb, from Watsonville, California, currently sits second in the national points race behind Smage. He will ride a Sherco 320 four-stroke in Andorra.
"This will be my fifth consecutive time representing the U.S. in this prestigious event," Webb said. "I have been to Spain, Italy, France, the Isle of Man, and I can't wait to try and earn America's best result ever this coming September. Thank you all for your support."
Ibsen, from Roswell, Georgia, will ride a Gas Gas 300cc two-stroke at the TdN. Ibsen is third in the national points race and will be returning for his second trip to the TdN.
"I hear they have some awesome riding there," Ibsen said. "It might be a more difficult round than the Isle of Man, but I think we'll fare better this year (than last year's sixth-place finish). It's a big privilege to get to do this, so I hope to have a strong performance and represent the country well."
Wineland, from Fountain, Colorado, is currently fourth in the national series. Wineland, who will ride a Beta 270cc two-stroke, last went to the TdN in 2006.
"It's totally amazing to be on the team. I didn't go last year, so it's good to be going again this year," Wineland said. "I've heard Andorra is dry and grippy, kind of like Colorado, which is where I'm from. So I'm hoping to do well."
The Women's Team will showcase the talents of Louise Forsley, Sarah Duke and Caroline Allen. Forsley, from Hillburn, New York, will make her fifth trip to the event. Duke, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, is returning for her fourth TdN, and Allen, from Norton, Massachusetts, will make her TdN debut.
"I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to ride in another country," said Forsley, who will field a Gas Gas 250 at the TdN. "The competition is a lot of fun and it is also a great learning experience."
Added Duke, who will also ride a Gas Gas 250 in Andorra, "When I travel to other countries to do these competitions, I feel like I am not just another tourist. But I am there for a reason and to show everyone what America can do in world competition."
Allen, the youngest member of the team, says she is "expecting to go out there and have fun and try to ride the best that I can. Not a lot of people get this type of opportunity so it really is an honor."
The sport of trials involves riders navigating their motorcycles over seemingly impossible terrain. The Trial des Nations began in Europe in 1983 as a way to bring the best trials riders from each country together to compete as teams, and it has evolved into one of the most anticipated trials events of the year. Each competing country fields two teams, a men's team consisting of four riders and a women's team consisting of three riders.
Andorra is a small country on the border between France and Spain that is known for its thriving tourism industry. Located in the eastern Pyrenees mountain range, Andorra has a predominance of rugged terrain and no shortage of elevation changes. La Rabassa is roughly a 390-mile drive from Madrid and a 550-mile drive from Paris.
For more information on Team USA for the 2008 Trial des Nations team, including information on how you can support the effort, see the website www.usatdn.org.