Team GB ready for Coupe De L’Aviner! – Team Manager Dave Garland – Interview, Preview and Full Line ups
Fresh from tasting some podium pie at last weekend’s Motocross of Nations in Assen, it’s the turn of the Team GB Under 21’s to gun for their piece of the glory as a 9 man squad head to Belgium and the fantastic Coupe De L’Aviner event in Belgium, which is essentially the Under 21 MXON.
British riders have a strong heritage in this competition which is in its 53rd year and hopes are high of more glory in 2019 with a strong team of eager youngsters representing the Union Jack. Jeff Perrett caught up with team GB Under 21 Team Manager Dave Garland to talk through the team and the event.
Jeff: Hi Dave, can you bring us to speed on the Team you have picked and why you have picked them?
Dave: Yeah it’s the fourth year I have managed the team, three years ago it was yourself and I, and then I took over fully. We have a great open class with Joel Rizzi without doubt outstanding this year, and he will be out on a 125. Michael Ellis and Taylor Hammal are our MX1 and MX2 riders. Controversial, maybe. Maybe not. Michael Ellis rides the track so well and gave Mikkel Haarup a run for his money in all three races. Tom Grimshaw was on my list, and Ashton Dickinson was on my list, and they are the two riders who have missed out, but to be fair Taylor Hammal has shown great speed all year, he has returned from injury and had a great second race at the last round of the Maxxis, so in the Open class we have a great chance of sticking it on the box.
In the 85’s, it’s a real shame Charlie Heyman can’t make it, as I am sure he would have been capable of getting the win, but unfortunately work commitments for Mark his Dad mean’s he can’t make it, and we have had withdrawals from Ollie Colmer and Tyla Hooley.
We have a great team still with Arai Elcock who has shown great speed this year, as have his teammates Jake Randall and McKenzie Marshall so we are confident we can pull off a great result.
Then we have the 65’s, Reece Jones would have been a pick but he has moved onto the 85’s, Ashton Boughen would have been a shoehorn ride and would have probably have gone out and won, but he couldn’t be part of it as he has already gone Big Wheel, so he has gone straight from 65’s to a Big Wheel 85.
So the team is Charlie Richmond has had some great rides and is a local lad who I have followed for a few years now, and little Freddie Gardiner and Brandon Buckley are the three riders who are certainly capable of running top ten out there. I am not expecting a podium but you never know they might surprise us.
Jeff: For those who have never been to the event, try and outline it, as it’s a cool event, it should be an event we support more as the track and everything is awesome and it’s our young riders Motocross of Nations. The set up of the track and everything is awesome and it’s just over the water…
Dave: Yeah absolutely it’s a 2 and a half-hour drive from Calais, so for those who want to come over this weekend it’s a great track. It’s a hard pack track, quite technical. The event itself is 52 years old. In the past Graham Noyce has won it, Neil Hudson has won it, Dave Thorpe has won it, Paul Malin has won. Plus the likes of Jason Higgs… Harri Kullas won it in 09, and more recently Josh Gilbert, and I am sure Josh wouldn’t mind me saying, I am sure Josh gained a lot of confidence from winning it and I am sure he has carried that forward over the last year or two.
So yeah it’s a great event, it’s the Under 21 MX of Nations with 15/16 nations being represented and some great riders, with a super atmosphere over two days of racing. There is Qualifying and plenty of bike time for the young riders, and I am privileged to be part of it.
Jeff: Yeah certainly, and I hope the UK media do more with it as it’s a big deal
Dave. We want riders to want to be part of this, and riders to think at the start of the year that is something I want to be part of.
Jeff: The selection process is still hard work. It’s like Mark (Chamberlain) picking the MX of Nations team, it’s a hard job and you are not going to please everyone…
Dave: I have been around long enough now to know the kind of rider you want to select for a team event. You want riders who are going to stick it on the line and finish races. We have got some cracking guys coming through the youth ranks and this is their time to shine in Europe, and I think we have a good chance.
Jeff. And from an adults point of view, it’s worth going over as the beer tent is something special…
Dave: Yeah absolutely, there’s more than one beer tent there are three or four of them. There’s beer tents everywhere, it’s a typical Belgium event, so the Junipor or whatever brand they have got there will be flowing.
Jeff: We wish you the best of luck and we will come back to you after the event and find out how it all went.
Dave. Thanks Jeff.
The Full line up is as follows…