Andrew Putt Tops El Trial de Espana

ETdE dominated by up-and-comers

Andrew Putt, ETdE 2016
Andrew Putt launches up one of the many giant holders used at this year's El Trial de Espana in Keyesville, California.Photo By Shan Moore

The the 46th running of El Trial de Espana was held this weekend in Keyesville, California, and after two days of intense competition, 17-year-old Andrew Putt dominated the action in the Pro division, easily taking the win over up-and-comers Daniel Blanc-Gonnet and Sam Fastle.

Putt was nearly flawless during the two-day Trial, dropping just three points on Saturday and only one point on Sunday (including four exhibition sections) for a total of four points for the entire event. Putt just returned from Nice, France, where he an Sherco USA teammate Bryan Roper represented the United States in the 2016 X-Trial des Nations, an invitation-only indoor Trial that featured five nations, and the experience obviously paid off.

“It's an honor to win this event and have my name engraved on the trophy with so many top riders,” said Putt. “The California rocks are a little bit out of my comfort level, but I really liked the setup of this trial. More technical, a little bit easy, but it kept me on my toes. This was a great opportunity to get ready for the nationals.”

Daniel Blanc-Gonnet, ETdE 2016
Daniel Blanc-Gonnet finished second in his first competition for his new team Montesa USA.Photo By Shan Moore

Blanc-Gonnet, who was competing for the first time on a four-stroke after signing during the off-season with Montesa USA, spent most of Saturday adjusting to his new bike, but look comfortable on Saturday’s final lap as he tightened up his lines and turned in a final tally of 45 points for second best after Day One. On Sunday, Blanc-Gonnet appeared smooth and relaxed and dropped just eight points on the morning lap and 17 in the four exhibition sections for a total of 64 and second overall.

“The more I rode the more comfortable I got on the bike,” said Blanc-Gonnet. “This was a great event and I’m glad I was able to get this under my belt.”

Sam Fastle, ETdE 2016
Sam Fastle looked good for someone who is coming off a two-year hiatus from motorcycles.Photo By Shan Moore

Sam Fastle returned to competition at ETdE after spending two years away from bikes to do mission work. The Sherco USA-backed rider rounded out Saturday’s top three with 48 points. On Sunday, the New Mexico rider dropped seven points in the morning and 17 in the exhibition for a weekend total of 72 for third.

“I have a lot of work to do before the nationals start, but I’m ready for the challenge,” said Fastle.

El Trial de Espana has been one of the most prestigious non-national Trials events in the United States for the past 46 years. Since its inception in 1970, ETdE has attracted some of the best talent in the nation. Past winners of “El Trial” include world champions (Adam Raga) and national champions (Geoff Aaron, Lane Leavitt, Scott Head). Proceeds from the event typically go to help fund the US Trial des Nations team each year, and this year the Southern California Trials Association wrote a sizable check to the US TdN fund for the 2016 Trial des Nations, which will be held on September 10-11 in France.

The US National MotoTrials Series kicks off on May 21-22 in Ocala, Florida. For more information on US MotoTrials, check out www.mototrials.com.

RESULTS
El Trial de Espana
April 16-17, 2016

  1. Andrew Putt (Shr) 4
  2. Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (Mon) 64
  3. Sam Fastle (Shr) 72