BMW Motorrad UK has selected the three riders who will be representing their nation in the International Final of the GS Trophy in South America. Over fifty GS riders and their supporters showed their ‘GS spirit’ and joined BMW UK to camp and take part in the weekend-long UK Qualifier event, which was held at the BMF Show in Peterborough. GS owners Nick George, Cameron Thompson and Steve Rose will represent the UK in the International Final this November.
The BMW Motorrad GS Trophy is an international off-road riding competition, which sees three-rider teams from around the world competing in a long-distance overland adventure. The first GS Trophy was held in 2008, in and around Dakar and North Africa, while in 2010 the final was won by the British team in South Africa. This year’s final will be held in South America, where the riders will take part in a ten-day off-road adventure ride, covering more than a thousand miles on BMW’s stunning lightweight F 800 GS parallel-twin adventure motorcycles.
The fifty competitors were put to the test in a number of arenas, devised and judged by BMW Off Road Skills chief instructor Simon Pavey and his team. Tasks included a quarry section, road riding loops, a trials arena and timed teamwork challenges which saw pairs of competitors changing wheels on a motorcycle and setting up a campsite.
The six finalists had to complete a further six challenges in the Showground’s main arena in front of the crowds at the show, further adding to the pressure. The final tasks ranged from the simple, who could do the longest controlled skid; to the unexpected, doing a slalom on a specially-modified one-off R 1200 GS with the clutch and brake levers both on the same side; to the bizarre, controlling a GS while rolling alongside it on top of a giant cable drum.
The three winners proved themselves to be the best riders and team players of the weekend and will now go on to take part in the International Final in November.
Simon Pavey, chief instructor at BMW Off Road Skills, said: “We had a fantastic weekend of riding and competition at the GS Trophy UK Qualifier. Every one of the competitors threw themselves into the challenges with enthusiasm and dedication. In particular, the six finalists who we took into the main Arena were absolutely outstanding and took on the most devious tasks of the weekend with a smile on their faces! In Cameron, Nick and Steve we have found three very worthy riders to represent Team UK.”
Finalist Nick George, 46, owns a glazing company, is an R 1200 GS Adventure rider from Ely in Cambridgeshire: "I'm shocked and elated! I had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, irrespective of the result. It's been so much fun to ride and meet the other contestants. And to have won a place in Team UK is incredible. It's such an opportunity; I'm so excited to be heading off to South America. This means the competition isn't over, it's only just beginning."
Finalist Cameron Thompson, 48, owner of a Citroen dealership, is an R 1200 GS Adventure rider from Stroud in Gloucestershire: “This is the second time I’ve entered the GS Trophy. In 2010 I just missed out on the final, so I thought I’d try again – and I’m glad I did! I’m over the moon to have won a place in the final. I think I need a drink now"
Finalist Steve Rose, 51, owner of outdoor pursuit centre, is an R 100 GS Paris-Dakar rider from Brecon in South Wales: “I’m overwhelmed. It’s been a fantastic weekend with a great bunch of guys and girls. To get through to the final is just a dream. I’ve spoken to Kevin and Alastair, the winners of the 2010 competition, to get an idea of the challenge we’ll be facing in South America and the whole event sounds amazing. I can’t wait.”
To see the list of GS Trophy UK Qualifier results and prize winners, please click here.