The AMA has announced the members of the 2017 U.S. Trial des Nations teams who will travel to Baiona, Spain, where they will compete against the best trials riders in the world Sept. 23-24.
The 2017 U.S. men's team includes Daniel Blanc-Gonnet (Montesa), Bryan Roper (Gas-Gas) and Pat Smage (Sherco). The men's team alternate is Sam Fastle (Sherco).
The 2017 U.S. women's team is Rachel Hassler (Gas-Gas), Madeleine Hoover (Gas-Gas) and Kylee Sweeten (Sherco). The women's alternate is Madison Leigh (Scorpa).
The event is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, and the U.S. teams are organized by the AMA and the North American Trials Council.
"Trials competition is a growing sport in the United States, and we welcome this opportunity to showcase our best riders on the world stage," said AMA Director of Racing Kevin Crowther. "We're very proud of these AMA members who will challenge the world's best."
The U.S. team will be managed by Todd Roper.
"I could not be more satisfied with our teams this year," Todd Roper said. "All of these men and women have proven themselves over many years of competition, and we are anticipating a strong showing. We are very much looking forward to rejoining our friends and competitors from the international community in Spain."
The sport of trials involves riders navigating their motorcycles over seemingly impossible terrain.
The FIM Trial des Nations began in Europe in 1983 as a way to bring the best trials riders from each country together to compete as teams, and it has evolved into one of the most anticipated motorcycle events of the year. Each competing country fields two teams: a men's and women's team, each consisting of three riders.
"Overall, we are attempting to create the opportunity for our riders to be able to participate in the Trial des Nations in such a way that they can focus on what they do best -- riding," Todd Roper said. "Sometimes, the trip details and logistics can get in the way of the fun and we intend to help as much as possible by creating a once in a lifetime event every year."
Fans wishing to support the team can do so by purchasing Trial des Nations apparel available at: www.amagear.com. You can also support the team by sending a check payable to:
NATC - TdN
5119 West Barbara Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85302
Contact the North American Trials Council at firstname.lastname@example.org. View updates about the team at www.facebook.com/USATrialDesNations.
"A very special 'thank you' must be given to our friends in California, headed up by Jared Malmquist," Todd Roper said. "With their efforts at local trials and the El Trial de Espana, they were able to raise some significant funds for our U.S. team this year."
The support of sponsors is crucial to the ability of the teams to compete. 2017 sponsors include: Zip Express (Brad Baumert/www.zipexpress.com), Specialty Welding and Machine (Dawna Maulden/www.swmtx.com), Integrated Solutions Inc. (Ropers/www.isiaz.com), Ryan Young Products (Ryan Young/www.rypusa.com), US Montesa (Martin Belair/www.usmontesa.com), Gas-Gas USA (Geoff Aaron/www.gasgas.com/us) and the motorcycle manufacturers and importers.