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Steady overnight rain continued throughout the entire day, but failed to dampen the spirits of our Aussie womens riders who finished 7th in the Womens Trials des Nations today, in Myslenice Poland. Riders Kristie McKinnon, Brooke Lonie and Ailsa Anderson fought their way through two laps of 14 muddy, slippery, steep hills and river bank sections in a fanstastic effort in incredibly difficult conditions.



After Fridays sighting laps in the world championship round, the riders were well prepared for the event, before the rain started during the presentation of riders the evening before the des Nations event.


Starting out from the pretty township of Myslenice, the ladies set off up the mountain, where the sections were set in a free flowing stream, which had risen into a full gushing river overnight. The opening section was set on a muddy hill, with most of the girls taking a dab to line up in the mud, to drive out for the exit.


With the teams event, the best two scores per section are counted toward the team score. So here Australia took rides of a two and three as our best rides, giving a section score of five marks. This scoring pattern was used for the whole event.


The second section was tough, with three fives from our riders giving a team score of 10, but this was a little unlucky as one of the bikes stalled in the section, but it was only the start of a very long day. The team had a total of five hours to complete the two laps.

Hill climbs over loose rocks saw a mix of scores, with Kristie McKinnon doing well on the bigger hills, in part aided by the more powerful 280cc bike she was able to use compared to the 125cc bikes that Ailsa and Brooke are required to use under FIM rules.

Section 5 was the make or break section for all of the top teams, and like all the teams had a few problems in this demanding zone. Ailsa Anderson had a spectacular over the bars ride into the river, but she brilliantly kept the bike out of the deep water by putting her body ahead of the bike.



 Brooke Lonie had a strong ride on this section, making it right up to the big mud hill climb out of the river, but the 125cc bike just didn't carry over the crest of the slimmy bank and she eased back down into the mud.


 More rocky hill sections in the wooded hillsides, this time with steep downhill turns,  lead the riders back into the stream.


 Kristie McKinnon was putting in a huge team effort, riding each section before running back and pointing out the line for her Aussie team mates.




 At the end of the first lap, the Aussie girls had lost a total of 78 marks over the 14 section course, and set out on the final circuit. Leading after the first lap was the team from Great Britain on 10 marks, closely followed by Spain on 11 points.





Coming to the end of the final lap, the first Aussie girl arrived at section 14 with just one minute of their five hour allowance remaining. With one point added to the team score for each minute that each rider is over the five hour time. The riders made the quick decision to take fives on the section, which was far from easy anyway, to try to avoid time penalties. Even by taking this action, the team accumulated seven time faults, which added to their second lap score of 79 point for total of 164 points, and 7th place overall.


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