Coupe de l'Avinir 2015  (Oct 5, 2015)

Picture: The 85cc team lined up and ready for action.

The 2015 ''Coupe de l'Avinir'' took place this past weekend at the Circuit de la Ferme des Monts in picturesque village of Baisieux nestled in the Quievrain region on the France - Belgium border.

This annual event, now in its 44th year, is essentially regarded as the Youth ''Motocross of Nations'' and consists of three teams of three riders per country, 9 riders total per full team, to give you entry into the 65cc 'Coupe' class, the 85cc 'Coupe' class and a mixed team of a 125 machine, an MX2 machine and an Open class machine in the 'Coupe de l'Avinir'' class. With over a dozen countries competing at this event it was going to be an exciting event for all involved.

TM UK attended this event with two of our current team riders, Callum Gasson on his TM 85 MX machine and Chubbie Hammond on his TM 125 MX machine, who were chosen by the team principals to represent team GB for 2015. Upon arrival we were greeted with a spectacular circuit with many near-vertical drop-offs and near-vertical step-ups, some super fast sections and more technical tighter turns, a track to test the nerve of many rider and for sure not the kind of circuit we would normally see in the UK, but one that all the riders adapted too and rode impressively on over the weekend. Saturday gave the riders two free practice sessions and a final qualifying session, this allowed the riders some great track time to familiarise themselves with the circuit before having to get down to qualification. Sunday saw each group having another free practice followed by the three main races, 65cc, 85cc and the Open 'Coupe'.

After the three races for each group was complete the scores were tallied and the results given. The Team GB riders can hold their heads up high, competing on a circuit most unfamiliar in its design and against some of the best riders Europe has to offer in each of the capacity groups the 9 riders representing Great Britain did enough between them to achieve excellent results in all three groups.

In the 65cc class Charlie Heyman, Bradd-Lee Timms and Harvey Cashmore went 5/19/29 respectively to give them 5th overall for the event. In the 85cc class Callum Gasson, Lewis Hall and Kacey Hird went 7/8/26 respectively to give them 4th overall and finally the 'Open' team of Chubbie Hammond (125), Liam Garland (250F) and James Harrison (Open) went 26/15/3 respectively to take 4th overall, just missing the final podium step by one point and with Chubbie and Liam getting injured along the way, both twisting their knees badly.

A great result for the Team GB riders and an event thoroughly enjoyed by all, especially the TM UK riders of Callum and Chubbie. Callum showed some incredible pace in the 85's, a bad start in race one left him at the back of the pack but an incredible ride in some of the toughest of competition, where he set some of the fastest laps, earned him a 9th place, race two saw him take the lead for a couple of laps before a small mistake and fall dropped him down the order to eventually finish 10th and the last race saw him fired-up, on the now rougher track, where Callum's technical prowess gave him a great 5th place. Chubbie had work to do on the 125 in with the larger capacity 4-strokes, but nevertheless he gave it his all and put himself into the top end of the 125 riders in all three races. Some mixed starts, a small fall and a miss-fire caused by an errant spade connector getting knocked and broken all gave him challenges to overcome but Chubbie soldiered on right till the end even with a badly twisted knee in race three to put himself in the top end of the 125 finishers.

A great weekend and an event that deserves even greater support.

A big well done to all the Team GB riders, their 'crew', families and supporters.