On the May bank holiday weekend more than 160 riders enjoyed the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons and some very tough off-road challenges for the GS Trophy UK Qualifier.
After completing a scored road ride, the competitors battled through a series of challenging off-road activities in an effort to win a spot in the grand finale and a chance to represent the UK at next year’s International GS Trophy in Mongolia.
While there were many skilled motorcyclists competing in the event, the difficulty of this year’s challenges meant that by the end of Sunday there was a clear group of forerunners.
A second road ride on Monday morning preceded the lunch time announcement of the finalists.
On Monday afternoon, this dozen-strong group faced similar tasks to the previous day, albeit with added severity. The acceleration and braking test now began in a ditch, the already-tricky trials challenge had reversed direction, riders were now pitted against one another in the slow race, and a steeper section had been added to the hill climb. Their scores were reset to zero, and the aim was to collect as few points as possible along the way.
Spectators watched with baited breath as the competitors wrestled the R1200GS Rallyes through the obstacles, occasionally letting their nerves get the better of them and dropping, or worse, crashing the bikes.
When the four individual tests were over, the 12 were split into groups of four to complete a team challenge, which involved moving two bikes – one of which didn’t have keys – around a course and over obstacles.
Ingenuity shone through when the four leading retailer teams undertook the same challenge. When one section required the bikes not to touch the ground, various items of clothes were removed to create a path over which to roll it.
In the end Cotswold 3 took the team title, with Hurst and Rainbow 2 taking second and third places respectively.
The members of Rainbow 5 each had a point removed as a bonus after they helped to rescue a car from a ditch in the Brecon Beacons.
Simon Pavey, owner of Off Road Skills commented: “What a great weekend. So many happy faces and so many people taking on the spirit of the event. The attitude of the competitors makes the work of all our team worthwhile.
“Most importantly, after years of encouraging our women to take part, Linley and I would especially say a massive congratulations to all 15 of the women that came out and had a go.”
Scott Grimsdall, National Marketing and PR Manager at BMW Motorrad, added: “This was our most successful GS Trophy Qualifier ever, with 165 riders in attendance – 15 of whom were women!
“The challenges were harder than they have been in previous years, allowing us to show the true capability of the GS.
"It was great to see all the riders embracing the GS spirit and it just goes to show what an incredible following BMW adventure motorcycles have.”
To see the full list of results click here.