JACK CHALLONER: TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE
FLY53 friend Jack Challoner took victory in the first round of the European Championships last week in Italy, check out the report below…
Challoner takes first blood in Italian Championship
Held near Giaveno in the highlands of northern Italy, the opening round of the Italian Championship saw some of the best riders in Europe battle it out in one of the most impressive championship openers in years. World-class Italian riders, Daniele Maurino (Beta), Matteo Grattarola (Gas Gas) and Fabio Lenzi (Montesa) were all eager to contest for the championship lead, but it was British sensation Jack Challoner (Miton Top Trial Team Beta) who managed to take the championship advantage on the day, with Grattarola runner-up and Lenzi, narrowly behind him concluding the podium.
The trial, held mostly on rough river banks and amongst the surrounding woodland provided a tough start for the International riders; with all but one failing to take anything less that a maximum five mark penalty on the opening two sections. However, a determined Jack Challoner managed to make headway soon after taking only two dabs over the following six sections putting him in-front of his rival contenders towards the end of the first lap. Challoner led eventual runner-up, Matteo Grattarola by a single mark upon returning the the paddock at the half-way point.
Jack, armed with the knowledge of his narrow lead going into the second lap was determined to seek an advantage over the fellow world championship contender Matteo Grattarola. Following a series of spectacular crashes, Jack badly damaged the clutch cable and lost all use of his clutch, an issue not easily resolved; fortunately Miton Top Trial Team manager and Jack’s full-time minder, Michele Bosi and colleague Riccardo were able to make a speedy repair while Jack prepared for the remaining five sections of the trial.
Jack, commenting on the issue, “I have never seen anything like it, Michele and Riccardo really proved why Miton Top Trial Team are one of the best teams in the world. When you lose all use of your clutch in the championship opener, I thought it was all over. I knew that the scores were tight and every point matters so to see them replace the whole cable in the time it took me to walk a few sections was incredible and totally world-class – I knew after that, that I had to give the podium a real shot”
Arguably one of the most famous trials riders to come out of Italy and numerous time Italian champion, Fabio Lenzi proved that he is no means out of contention, the Italian veteran lost only three fives on the final lap recording the best lap of the day, and in-doing so edging out in-front of Daniele Maurino who also showed he is capable of upsetting the championship over the course of the year.
Delighted with the final result Jack commented; “Today has been a tough one, the trial was in many ways similar to the Devon round of the British Championships, the scores were high and there were many crashes along the way. I am glad I managed to take the win, especially after only managing to take fourth in the British Championship last week. It’s always a great feeling to start the championship with the win”
“I am riding well, but I know I can ride better all the time. The Italian Championship is going to be a tough championship to win, Grattarola, Lenzi and Maurino are not going to make it easy…”
Jack now heads back to the UK for the third round of the British Championship in Kinlochleven, Scotland this weekend, before returning to Europe before the Scottish Six Day Trial at the start of May.
1) Jack Challoner (Miton Top Trial Team Beta) – 72
2) Matteo Grattarola (Gas Gas) – 73
3) Fabio Lenzi (Montesa) – 75
4) Daniele Maurino (Beta) – 78
5) Simone Staltari (Beta) – 99