Here's a recap on the outcome of the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Female Team Qualifying 2017 

The BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Female Team Qualifying 2017

The Finalists

The BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Female Team Qualifying 2017 concluded with something of a shock outcome. After four days of competition at the Country Trax enduro Park near Amersfoort in South Africa not one but two teams qualified for the sixth BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy that will be held in Mongolia in June 2018. Such had been the high standard of riding at this event, the BMW Motorrad team decided, in a spontaneous act, to ‘double up’ and take six women GS riders to Mongolia.

The path to qaualification hasn’t been easy. After national qualifiers in 13 countries some 23 women won their way through to international female team qualifier in South Africa, no doubt expecting a tough competition, conducted in the toughest conditions, all under a hot African sun. They certainly found tough conditions, but not the expected as huge thunderstorms rolled across the veldt on all four days (and nights). The sun made only fleeting visits when the clouds reluctantly allowed.

Celebrating the achievement of the finalists, here's the excellent round-up video from BMW Motorrad (created by Indie Village Creative in SA) and comments from the women themselves.

Zelda van Jaarsveld (South Africa): I’m quite surprised, amazed – it’s unbelievable! I have no other words for the emotion. The standard has been high and I have been astonished by the riding skills of the girls, while the camaraderie has been awesome. It still all has to sink in, what’s happened. I guess now I’ll have to continue my training programme, improve on the skills that I have. As well, to have my friend Linda on the team is amazing, I’m so pleased for her, too.

Bettina Nedel (USA): Oh my gosh, this is epic for me, priceless – all of the greatest words can’t describe this feeling. And my family has grown, and I have grown with them. BMW has put on such an amazing – epic – event. Epic is the word! It was very emotional the whole way and at the end when they announced the winners that too was a roller coaster. Thinking I had missed out when they announced the first three – we only expected three to go – you can’t help but feel disappointed. But then to hear you’re going after all, and to be going with Jocelin, my American team-mate, was just so amazing. You know, the camaraderie between all the riders has been amazing but it has grown exponentially between Jocelin and I.

Linda Steyn (South Africa): I’m ecstatic. We worked hard for this, so there’s relief too. When they announced the results and they called the third placed rider – and it wasn’t me – I felt so disappointed for a split second, but then I was like, ‘just be happy for them, it’s been an experience, a journey, and this is not the end.’ Then when they said there was going to be a second team I was just ‘waaaaaaaaah!’ Now I’m going to start training again, there were a couple f things I wanted to do by the time I got to here, but I couldn’t conquer them, so I’m going to try and have them practiced in time for Mongolia. I’ll get back on my trials bike, for feet-up stuff and on my GS. I can’t wait to tell my hubby and my two sons, they all ride and I know they’ll support me as we go on.

Sonia Barbot (France): I’m very excited, this is unbelievable, it’s just wow. It proves the saying: never give up! And now I’ll have to learn more English for when I get to Mongolia! And I’ll have to do more practicing and training. At home I have my husband and my son – and my mum and all my friends, I can’t wait to tell them. And to be going to Mongolia... I’ve had a dream of going to Tibet, and Mongolia is almost next door, so this is special for me. But mostly now I’m thinking I need to learn more English so I can explain more what this means to me. Merci, BMW!

Jocelin Snow (USA): That was shocking, because the talent in this little area here is huge. These women are so very skilled and to be here now, a winner, is incredible – and for there to be two teams that was surprise! And now what was really just a long-distance fuzzy dream that I was expecting to come true for the other women is now true for me – foof! More importantly than going to Mongolia, more importantly than making the team, I really want this to inspire other women out there. Just to get one more female to take a ride, one more female to take a risk, to step up and do it, not let anyone say you can’t do it. If that happens then that’s a win.

Julia Maguire (Australia): I’m so excited, very-very excited. Relieved! It’s been an emotional few days, although I think you always get that with a bunch of women! But so, so pumped to be going to Mongolia. I believed I could do it, and here we are! I didn’t know what level of riders would be coming, and the girls have been amazing, so it was challenging to keep it together through the whole thing, it was intense. Telling yourself, ‘you’ve done this a million times’ – I’ve been riding so many years – but then suddenly the pressure is on, everyone is watching, it’s a lot harder than doing it in the paddock at my parents’ place back at home! The pressure was tough, but I just had to believe, to do it. What is it they say? ‘Smooth is fast and fast is smooth!’

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