MOBILITY/MOTORBIKES: Day 7. The winner is decided. The eighth edition of the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2022 Southeast Europe is won by South Africa.
South Africa wins the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2022.
Summary of day 7.
Location: Kavaje, Albania
Weather: Sun, 35º C
Course: 80 km around Kavaje
Terrain: 20 km asphalt, 60 km trails
Tests: SP1: Final course (exercise with double points)
Top three male teams (final standings):
1st South Africa, 2nd United Kingdom, 3rd Germany.
Top three placed women’s teams (final ranking):
1st South Africa, 2nd Germany, 3rd Mexico.
Kavaje, Albania. The BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2022 Southeast Europe, the eighth edition overall, has come to an end with a spectacular ride in the hills and on the beach near Kavaje. After 1230 km of strenuous adventure riding and 15 special stages, we can crown our winners: Team South Africa won a double victory – they were equally convincing in the men’s and women’s categories.
Today’s route was the shortest of the event, but probably also the most beautiful. The sporting directors Chris Zimmermann and Tom Weinmayr put together a highly technical route with some of the best trails in the region. As the GS riders were to get one last chance to prove their trail skills, the route included a sequence of climbs and descents that confronted the riders with a labyrinth of super-deep rain gullies, ruts, steps and downhill sections. There were also several river crossings between the hills. Even though the water level was low, the banks and stony riverbeds were still a challenge. It was technically very demanding and exhausting. In any case, you had to choose your line and stick to it. It was a great route and a lot of fun. Once again, it showed what a strong all-round talent the BMW R 1250 GS is – and how reliable it is. Apparently there is nothing it can’t do!
After returning to base camp, it was time to prepare for the Super Test in the afternoon – the last decision of this year’s GS Trophy. The course along the coast was fully marked and had both Enduro and Trial parts. The riders started from the base point and first had to fight their way through several zigzag courses between the trees on the shore – in deep sand. Then it was up and down the beach, first on sand, then over rocks weathered by the sea. There, the water line had narrowed the track to a scant vehicle width, making it extremely difficult to navigate. If you made a mistake here, as some drivers found out, you ended up in the water. Fortunately, it was only knee-deep! The test ended with a super narrow „garage“ section under a pergola, under which the riders slalomed several times on sand and rocks at the steering angle. After that, there was another lap to do in the deep sand and then back to the base point.
This description is long, but the time needed by the teams was often long as well: sand and rocks challenged the drivers at every opportunity. The women’s teams took the super stage first and had a slightly harder time as they had to drive in the lines. The heat and humidity on the beach were enormous. So it was doubly tough. Nevertheless, all the women’s teams mastered the course. The surprise of the day gave the spectators the petite Christelle Van Der Meulen from Team South Africa, who had buried her R 1250 GS in a deep rut and single-handedly lifted the rear wheel out again – over 200 kilos! Apparently not only South African men have superhuman strength!
Christelle’s performance proved instrumental in the South Africans finishing top of all the women’s teams ahead of Germany and Latin America. In the men’s teams, the leaders, Team South Africa, finished third with a solid driving performance, giving Latin America the chance to collect the full number of double points and move ahead of Mexico. South Africa’s closest pursuers, the teams from the United Kingdom and Germany, finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The results of the photo and video competitions were also announced today. During the week, teams had been asked to submit their most creative photo and a one-minute video about their week of adventure. These were judged by the audience as well as by the teams themselves. Among the male participants, Team Japan was more creative than all the others. Team Germany came out on top among the female participants.
In the overall standings, Team South Africa stood at the top of the podium for the fourth time in a row at the GS Trophy. After a solid start in the men’s competition, they improved more and more as the week went on. They were physically and mentally strong and extremely experienced both individually and as a team. Team United Kingdom was the closest to competing with the South Africans. However, they respectfully admitted that they had been beaten by the better team. Team Germany took a well-deserved third place.
The competition between the women’s teams could hardly have ended more narrowly. Only one point separated Team South Africa from runner-up Germany. Since the teams received point deductions for damage to their motorbikes, such as broken turn signals and replaced levers, they added up their wins and losses. In the end, Team South Africa won the inaugural GS Trophy women’s competition, securing the double victory.
Warren Ventner, Team South Africa: „This is fantastic, we didn’t expect this. After we added up the results last night, we knew that nothing was certain. Everything stood and fell with the last challenge. Now we are totally thrilled and it is great to have won for the fourth time. We had a bit of pressure that we didn’t want to be ‚the‘ team that didn’t win in the end. We had told ourselves that we would give it our best shot and that whatever comes, comes. We would also like to thank everyone who supported us at home. They have really contributed to making this adventure here possible.“
Hanneli Zondagh, Women’s Team South Africa: „It’s unbelievable. Yesterday we were only one point ahead of Germany and we weren’t the best in the last leg. We didn’t know how it would end until the result was announced. But somehow we managed to keep that one point lead. That shows what teamwork can do when you just don’t give up. It was a great competition. We really enjoyed our time with the other women’s teams, they were fabulous and we really had a lot of fun together.
When women get involved with this great sport and hobby of adventure motorcycling, they quickly realise how great and liberating it is. With a motorbike you can go around the world, meet new people and new places, even in your own country. It’s a wonderful thing. „üdafrika gewinnt die BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2022.
BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2022
1st South Africa 217 points
2nd United Kingdom 204
3rd Germany 185
4th China 2020 169
5TH USA 165
6th Netherlands 155
7. thailand 146
8. South Korea 142
9. Latin America 141
10. Mexico 139
11. France 133
12. India 120
13. china 2022 113
14. Brazil 100
15. Japan 88
1st South Africa 297
2nd Germany 296
3rd Mexico 264
4th France 241
5th Latin America 237
6. Brazil 167
The Photo gallery to the article
BRAND: BMW AG
virtualdesignmagazine Michael Hiller