With selections made and the members thick in competition for the 2010 AMA Racing/NATC Observed Trials National Championship Series, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports that AMA Team USA is ready to take on the world at the 2010 Trial des Nations (TdN) in Myslenice, Poland, on Sept. 11-12.
"Trials is one of the world’s premier competitive motorcycle disciplines, with a history and heritage that go back generations," said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. "The Trial des Nations is a major part of the AMA’s international racing effort, and it is an honor to compete at this event. We’re confident our riders will hold their own and make America proud at this world-class meet."
The 2010 men’s team — riding the International class this year — will feature Pat Smage, Cody Webb and Keith Wineland. All veterans, these riders were part of the lineup that represented the United States in Italy in 2009 and collected AMA Team USA’s best-ever fifth-place finish in the world championship event.
The Women’s Team, which finished eighth in the Women’s division last year, welcomes back the talents of Sarah Duke and Caroline Allen.
Smage, from Elkhorn, Wis., is a four-time AMA/NATC National Trials Champion and is tied for the points lead with Webb for the 2010 title. He will be returning for his fourth trip to the TdN.
"This year should be good," said Smage, who will ride a Sherco. "I’m glad I’m on the team this year. We should have a legitimate shot at getting a podium and potentially a shot at the win. I rode in Poland in 2007, riding the 125 line, so this should be a little tougher this year. I’ve had a lot more practice since then and feel a more confident."
The 19-year-old Smage is a veteran at international competition. In addition to the TdN, he has competed in various world rounds since 2007.
"I have a couple wins in the 125 class and one in the junior class," Smage said. "It’s a different game over there. It’s more mental than here. There are so many good riders that it’s hard to go in and expect to excel. They have different techniques about how they go about their day, how they ride each section and how much time they take. Here, we could spend an hour in the first section, waiting for someone to go first. There, they go right away and they keep moving. Other riders try to get in front of you. There are bottlenecks. The pace is a lot quicker."
Webb, from Watsonville, Calif., will ride a Gas Gas in Italy. Wineland is from Fountain, Colo. He is third in the national points chase and will ride a Gas Gas at the TdN.
On the Women’s Team, Duke, from Colorado Springs, Colo., is returning for her seventh TdN, and Allen, from Norton, Mass., will make her fourth trip to the event. Both will ride Gas Gas bikes at the TdN.
The sport of trials involves riders navigating their motorcycles over seemingly impossible terrain. The Trial des Nations began in Europe in 1983 as a way to bring the best trials riders from each country together to compete as teams, and it has evolved into one of the most anticipated trials events of the year. Each competing country fields two teams: a men’s team consisting of four riders and a women’s team consisting of three riders.
For more information on Team USA for the 2010 Trial des Nations team, visit USATdN.org.