Day Four, the final day of the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Female Team Qualifying 2017 brought drama and action aplenty – Mongolia awaited 

Thursday 16 November, 2017

Country Trax, Amersfoort, South Africa

The BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Female Team Qualifying 2017

Day Four (& Final) Review

The BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Female Team Qualifying 2017 concluded today with a shock outcome. Traveling to Mongolia for the sixth International GS Trophy will be not three but six women! Such has been the standard of riding at this event, the BMW Motorrad team decided to double up and take two international all-female teams to Mongolia. 

In fact it’s been a tumultuous 24 hours here at Country Trax, for last night, after yet another long day of competition, there was a second rider-elimination with the 14 remaining participants being pared down to just the nine for the final day of the competition. That competition started at 7am this morning – as ever, under turbulent skies – although for once there was only light rain, and no thunder and lightning! 

Backwards to the finish?

Two challenges, run back to back, started the day. First came a ride through a tightly packed maze of straw bales with a reverse-exit – meaning the participants had to stop their bikes and push them 25 metres backwards to the finish. And it’s not easy to push a 244kg motorcycle ever-so-slightly uphill on rain-slicked grass. Then followed a team challenge; the nine became three teams of three, charged to lift a GS (with a dead engine) up against an elevated fallen tree trunk

A short break followed to allow for breakfast before the grand finale, an extended parcours challenge which included in an extended course a see-saw, log grind, elephant turn and railway sleeper sections. There were plenty of opportunities for disaster and no small amount of risk, as South African competitor Ezelda van Jaarveld showed when she fell nearly two metres (six feet) from the top of the see-saw, fortunately without injury (BMW marshals being in close attendance to ensure no rider would get trapped by a falling GS).

A change of thinking...

When all was done and dusted, with over 20 challenges completed in over four days of competition – much of it in the worst weather imaginable – the six who have won their way through to Mongolia are: Ezelda van Jaasveld (South Africa), Julia Maguire (Australia), Sonia Barbot (France), Jocelin Snow (USA), Linda Steyn (South Africa) and Bettina Nedel (USA).

Svenia Ohlson, BMW Motorrad Brand Manager, summed up the event: ‘We’ve been delighted by the performances of the women. Some 23 came from 13 countries, and in our opinion all of them had the essential riding skills to compete in Mongolia. The question was how would they perform to that same standard when under pressure? This being critical because the GS Trophy is tough – we needed the best of the best.

‘What impressed us was just how many of the women showed over the four days that they had the mental conditioning to deal with such pressure. It changed our thinking, and as we entered into the final day while we knew we couldn’t take everyone we wanted, to take just three as originally planned would be to miss a fantastic opportunity. So we were delighted to revise our plan and take the best six. As with the male competitors, the level of ability is always improving. In the GS Trophy, the women are here to stay!’ 

BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Female Team Qualifying 2017

Final standings:

  1. Ezelda van Jaarsveld (South Africa)
  2. Julia Maguire (Australia)
  3. Sonia Barbot (France)
  4. Jocelin Snow (USA)
  5. Linda Steyn (South Africa)
  6. Bettina Nedel (USA)

(the above all go to the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy in Mongolia in June 2018)

Finishing order of the non-qualifiers:

  1. Jessica Leyne (France)
  2. Marion Linder (Germany)
  3. Louise Hodgkinson (UK)
  4. Stephanie Schinkel (Mexico)
  5. Andrea Box (Australia)
  6. Leticia Benitez (Mexico)
  7. Gritt Ahrens (Germany)
  8. Khai Zabidin (Malaysia).
  9. Ai Mizutani (Japan)
  10. Valerie Heroux (Canada)
  11. Camila Mejia (Colombia)
  12. Sun Renhui (China)
  13. Wanwisa Phirom (Thailand)
  14. Kirsty Hodges (UK)
  15. Louise Mitchell (Canada)
  16. Xiaomin Li (China)
  17. Yoshida Miko (Japan).

Day Four Photo Gallery

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