The Australian Mens Team has wrapped up the 2010 Trial des Nations in an impressive seventh place in the International Nations Trophy class.
Following on from the Womens event on Saturday, the guys put in a stellar effort – overcoming unfamiliar conditions and riding unfamiliar bikes against the best riders in the world.
While the World Championship Class for National Teams was taken out by Spain, Great Britain and Italy, the Australian Team consisting of Tim Coleman, Colin Zarczynski, Neil Price and Lewis Nolan, faced stiff competition from the likes of the Norwegian, Czech and German teams.
Only a handful of points separated Australia from fourth place, with the teams second lap an astonishing 17 points better than the first.
Speaking after the event Coleman said the team worked together so well and was stoked with his first taste of the Trial des Nations.
“It was so good to ride as a team out there,” Coleman said. “Everyone helps each other out, and having a support crew who were cheering at the end of each of the sections helps you to ride even better.
“It’s such a great feeling when people are cheering you on, it really gets you pumped up and it’s good to have some Aussie support.
“For my first Trial des Nations experience, I’m really happy, I felt I rode well, and I’m happy with how everyone else was riding, so it was all a good team effort and the results aren’t bad!”
Nolan, who also made his debut in the Australian Team, did face some nerves at the beginning of the day, especially with some top teams lining up against the Aussies in the International class, however he was thrilled with the results.
“I was really nervous at the beginning of the day, but as I got into the swing of things it got better,” Nolan said.
“We’d all expected Ireland to be one of the teams to beat and they started just in front of us so we got to watch them on a lot of the sections – we knew we were pretty even with them and ended up beating them by 31 points, but the Norwegian Team were riding brilliantly.
“This has been such a good experience and I definitely want to be back in 2011.”
While the conditions had been a concern coming in to the event, Zarczynski said that they were a lot better when things eventually kicked off.
“The conditions out at the sections were a lot better than when we walked through them on Saturday,” Zarczynski said.
“The water level in the river had dropped overnight so we could actually see what we were riding in which was better, so we weren’t going to drown our bikes and there weren’t as many tree roots as we’d expected which was definitely a bonus!”
Looking ahead to 2011, Price said that while there were some areas the team could work on, everyone did an outstanding job.
“From this event we’ve been able to identify a few areas we can definitely improve, particularly how best to use the minders to our advantage,” Price said.
“It was a good decision for the selectors to select a team with European experience, because it really paid off – there’s a lot of stuff here that back home you never get to ride and the guys here adapted to it very well.
“The points are just so close, and there were a number of unlucky calls, but we weren’t beyond the other teams, it was only a couple of points that separated us from the top four.
“We did really well, the whole team rode awesome, the two young guys adapted to the conditions superbly and adapted to the situation too, so next year we’re going to be even better for sure.”