After months of fundraising and training, the 2023 Trials des Nation event is complete, and the riders are making their way home to Canada, proud and passionate for next year!
Melissa Andrist, Katie McGeachy, and Jaclyn Delacroix (photos @pepsegales)
Showcasing a women’s team for the first time in 15 years, the group that traveled to Auron, France was doubled in riding and support crew from 2022. The women’s team was led by Melissa Andrist
of Victoria, BC, with several CMA national titles under her belt, as well as Katie McGeachy from Vernon, BC, and Jaclyn Delacroix from North Vancouver, BC who are both only a few years into their trials careers. This event was the first world championship event for all the ladies, who showed some nerves on the first loop but came in strong on the second loop to produce good rides from everyone. The scoring, which takes only the top two scores for each section, does not reflect the improvement in every ride from lap 1 to lap 2. The severity of the event was a challenge, and we’d like to thank minders Steve Day and Christy Richards for some great saves. Despite the difficulty, the ladies are undaunted and already planning for 2024.
Alex Walton, Sean Bird, and Michel Fortin-Belanger (photos @pepsegales)
The men’s 2023 team was Alex Walton, of Mission, BC, Sean Bird of Port Coquitlam, BC, and Michel Fortin-Belanger, of Notre-Dame-Du-Portage, QC. All three riders have had previous experience at the Trial des Nations; although this was the first time they came together as a team. Practice the week before in Ancelle helped the team with working together and preparing for the terrain and altitude of Auron. They were assisted on the day by minders Felix Fortin-Belanger and Jean-Felix Fortin, as well as team manager Paul-Yvan Belanger (who has also represented Canada at previous TdNs). The men’s team finished ahead of 3 teams in the International Class and this result is just a taste of what this team can achieve. It was incredible to watch the team work together, and team Canada was certainly a crowd favorite with lots of cheering and support!
None of this would have happened without sponsorship and support from the trials community, especially our top sponsors and contributors LePage Millwork, True Mechanical, the Canadian Trials Initiative, Canada Pacific Trials Association, Windley Contracting Ltd, Beta Canada, and SpeechTech Ltd. To every Canadian (and further!) trials rider who purchased a t-shirt, came to a training weekend, donated to the Go Fund Me, or participated in anyway to any of our other fundraising events, thank you so much for helping us to showcase the heart, determination, and sportsmanship that the Canadian Trial des Nation team displayed this weekend. To Michael Traves in particular, and the Canadian Trials Initiative, thank you for your hard work in logistics, fundraising, and support of the Trial des Nations team, and your support of trials across Canada in general.
We look forward to the Canadian National on September 30/October 1 in Notre-Dame-du-Portage, Quebec as the starting point for our 2024 Trial des Nations team, and to a new season ahead for everyone.