Josh Stephens tackling a water section



James Stay

There were mixed fortunes for a cohort of Isle of Wight riders who travelled to North Yorkshire last weekend for this year’s tough Scott Trial.

Whilst Mark Coombes and James Stay joined over 100 other riders who never saw the finish, both Chris Stay and Josh Stephens fought through the pain barrier to make it to the end.

The first man down the start ramp was Mark Coombes from St Helens, but after only 10 miles Mark flooded his bike in one of the many river crossings and was forced to retire.

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Next Islander away was James Stay who was having a brilliant ride until just after the second fuel stop when his bike overheated. He was also forced to retire having completed about 20 of the 80-mile course.

Chris Stay at the start of the Scott Trial

Riding for the TRS UK team, British Expert Champion Chris Stay was flying along keeping pace with the best in the country – that was until he crashed at speed while crossing the notorious Grouse Moor. He was forced to change both his clutch and front brake levers as a result. After sorting his bike out and a few more hours riding, he was back on the pace for a brilliant result until he punctured his rear tyre just 10 miles from the finish. After nursing the bike home he finished in just over 6 hours to end the day in 28th place.

Although Chris’ result was the best ever performance by an Isle of Wight rider at this event, had it not been for that puncture he would have finished much higher in the results. He did help his team to 2nd place in the manufacturers’ awards, however.

It was a tough day for Josh Stephens who was competing in the Scott Trial for the second time and hoping to finish in the awards this year. After 7 hours and 45 minutes of riding, a very tired Josh was happy to make the end but just missed out by 12 minutes.

Mark Coombes before retiring

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