Team Germany will take an 18 point lead into the final day of the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy 2012. After a busy day that took in three special tests and the announcement of the result of the second photo competition, Germany scored highly – including a win and a runner-up – and were able to double their advantage over the competition.
The morning started wet, after an uncomfortably wet night that had seen many in the GS Trophy bivouac inundated by the rain. So the very early morning hours were given over to drying vital equipment around a log fire in one of the Huilo Huilo resort’s open lodges.
This completed, the riders then found themselves saturated yet again as they took on the first special test of the day, the navigation challenge – a test based on the popular sport of geocaching. Here rivals Argentina were the quickest on their booted-feet as they completed a succession of dashes to find way-points in the woods surrounding the resort.
The riders then rode a 45 mile (70km) off-road course to arrive at the majestic Lake Calafquen for a riding special test: an out-and-return sprint along the black sand beach. Here Team Germany was able to counter-attack with a win over Team Russia and Team Alps.
Team France won the second photo competition ahead of Team Germany and Team South Africa (go to www.gstrophy.com to see the submitted photos). France will no doubt regret not having submitted a photo for the first photo competition as a score in that round may well have substantially narrowed the points difference at the top of the leader board.
Ali Métayer, Team Germany: “We are very pleased to be leading the competition, but this was not our primary goal in coming to the GS Trophy. We enjoy participating but we also enjoy making new friendships and together experiencing these remarkable countries. To win will be nice, but the success of this event for us isn’t in the winning but the experiences and friendships.”
The fall and rise of the team journalists.
Today was a day where the embedded team journalists were surprisingly at the forefront of the action. During the ride to Lake Calafquen, Team Brazil’s Luciano ‘Kdra’ Lancellotti collided with one of his team riders while riding along a wooden bridge over a ravine. The impact threw Luciano and his bike off the bridge and 11 feet (3.5 m) down into the ravine. Fearing the worst, the other GS Trophy riders were relieved to find Luciano emerge entirely unscathed. Incredibly so was his F800GS, having only snapped the two mirrors when it landed upside down. The GS Trophy riders then used ropes and straps to haul the bike back out. Having knocked the worst of the dirt off, and having let the engine oil resettle the bike started first touch of the electric starter and Luciano was able to continue on his way.
“I used to race bicycles so I have a bit of experience in crashing,” said Luciano. “When I went over the side of the bridge my instinct was to separate myself from the bike and I was lucky to land on a soft bank. Hauling the bike out was an international affair as riders of all nations came together to pull the bike back out. Then I was both amazed and relieved that the bike really wasn’t damaged and I could simply ride it away. I think both myself and the bike are very luck!”
A little while later at the Beach test, it was Canadian journalist Lawrence Hacking’s turn to surprise. Substituting for the injured Marc-André Octeau, 58-year-old Hacking – a former International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) rider – tore up and down the beach to beat both his younger Canadian team riders and set one of the quickest times of the day, helping Team Canada to a tidy points haul.
GS Trophy 2012
Overall standings after six days:
1. Germany, 195 pts
2. France, 177
3. Argentina, 171
4. Italy, 164
5. Alps, 159
6. Canada, 158
7. UK, 146
8. South Africa, 136
9. CEEU, 135
10. USA, 134
11. Latin America, 132
12. Russia, 111
13. Brazil, 103
14. Spain, 90
15. Japan, 72