Coming To Kingman: FIM TrialGP Championship

Cycle News Staff | July 24, 2017

Coming To Kingman: FIM TrialGP Championship – The FIM TrialGP Championship is coming to America—more specifically to Kingman, Arizona’s Hualapai Mountain Park—this weekend, July 29-30, for round six of the series.

Coming To Kingman: FIM TrialGP Championship

Coming To Kingman: FIM TrialGP Championship
Repsol Honda’s Toni Bou leads the 2017 FIM TrialGP Championship coming into the Arizona round this week. Photography by Repsol Honda

The U.S. has enjoyed a long and rich association with the sport. This history stretches all the way back to the final year of the European Trial Championship in 1974 when Alan “Sid” Lampkin—Martin’s brother and Dougie’s uncle—took a five-mark win over Malcolm Rathmell at Saddleback Park in Orange County. Up until then no rider from the USA had ever even contested a round. Five competed at Saddleback.

In 1975, for the inaugural FIM Trial World Championship, TrialGP USA was included in the calendar at Stepping Stones Ranch in New England and this time around there were nine U.S. riders taking part.

The history books show that Lane Leavitt—winner of the first U.S. National Trials Championship in 1974—was the best-performing of the home heroes in ninth and his score of 70 was only four behind Martin Lampkin, who would go on to win that year’s FIM Trial World Championship.

With interest in trials growing Stateside, the 1976 FIM Trial World Championship travelled to Gold Bar, Washington, for round eight where 18-year-old Marland Whaley—a North American Trial Council Hall of Famer—finished a sensational second just six marks behind Martin Lampkin.

Coming To Kingman: FIM TrialGP Championship

That year 11 American riders competed in their home round and by 1977 the number had swollen to 15 with Whaley again finishing second, this time behind fantastic Frenchman Charles Coutard at Port Huron. It is also worth noting that although he finished out of the points in Michigan, top American performer in that season’s FIM Trial World Championship was Bernie Schreiber in seventh.

Schreiber was back for more in 1978 when he made history as the first American winner of TrialGP USA at Roaring Branch in Pennsylvania and he repeated his victory the following year at Pueblo on his way to taking the FIM Trial World Championship title.

Since then no American has ever won his or her home round or indeed the FIM Trial World Championship again, although the U.S. has appeared regularly on the calendar with venues including Donner Ski Ranch, Watkins Glen, Duluth, Sequatchie and Stepping Stones all featuring multiple times.

Kingman, Arizona, will play host to the TrialGP USA for the first time, with all the male riders looking to add their name to the famous Wagner Cup that has become synonymous with this event. The mountain venue will also welcome the opening round of the 2017 Women’s Trial World Championship, which visits the USA for the first time in its almost 20-year history.

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