Dougie Lampkin started his 2007 World outdoor assault with a battling third place at the opening Grand Prix of the new season held in Mancha Real, Spain earlier today. Lampkin made a strong challenge for his 100th World win and actually led the trial in the early stages as he looked very much at home in the wet and slippery conditions. However his fight faded during the second lap, and in the end Dougie had to defeat his Japanese team mate Fujinami on a most cleans tie break to hold on to a well deserved third place.
Lampkin was one of the few riders smiling yesterday afternoon, when the heavens opened and turned an already difficult course into an impossible mess. Credit must be given to the organisers for working hard to create a good event as rain throughout the night threatened to wreck the first Grand Prix of the campaign. All the sections, with the exception of the final two man made affairs, were situated on the outskirts of the town that featured steep limestone outcrops. The combination of awkward steps with muddy run ups created some hefty scores.
After the first fifteen sections Dougie held a close third place behind Raga, and eventual winner Bou, despite having had to take a five at the penultimate section to finish within his allotted time. Whilst both young Spanish riders improved their scores on the final lap, Lampkin fought to remain in contention and actually recorded a tally one mark more than his morning performance. This however was just enough to take the final podium position.
Lampkin commented. "Unlike many riders I was actually happy to see the rain yesterday, as I knew this would make the conditions better for me. Thankfully the organisers decided to change the sections due to the weather otherwise it could have been a real disaster. Whilst I am happy to be on the podium at the first GP of the year, perhaps I should have taken more advantage of the wet sections. Overall it has not been a bad day, although we have to be aware of the riders' safety now we can have only one minder in such a tough event."
Current championship standings:
- 1: Bou - 20
- 2: Raga - 17
- 3: Lampkin - 15
- 4: Fujinami - 13
- 5: Cabestany - 11
Dougie Lampkin's next event: 21-22/04/07 Saturday / Sunday - La Antigua, Guatemala Rnd 2 World Outdoor Chp.