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Despite being too young to compete at this year’s Scottish Six Days Trial on his home turf, a young Roy Bridge rider has been flying the flag for Lochaber in Europe this week.
Sixteen-year-old Ben Dignan is bidding for another podium finish at the FIM Europe Trial Championship in Italy this weekend after he took third place at the first round of competition last Saturday in Pietramurata.
After enduring a gruelling two laps of 12 sections, taking five hours to complete the section in the baking sun, Ben narrowly lost out on second place and is looking to go one better this week at Monza.
The Gas Gas UK Youth Team rider said: ‘Good way to start the European Championships with a podium. My riding was on and off today and made some silly mistakes which cost me second place. Now looking forward to a further week of training in Italy before next weekends second round.’
As well as the European Championships, Ben is also competing in the World Championship 125. He remains hopeful of finishing well in those competitions after claiming second at the British Championship Elite 125 in March, the next round of which is in Neath, Wales.
Ben will continue his training in Italy with his coach Michael Brown, a former World Rider and British Champion, who himself will compete in the Scottish Six Days Trial in Lochaber next month. The pair move on to Monza on Thursday. Friday is registration, practice and walking the sections then the competition itself takes place on the Saturday.
A member of Lochaber and District Motorcyle Club, Ben has previously been coached by riders including Kinlochleven-based trials legend Gary Macdonald, experienced riders Dan Thorpe and Adam Raga, as well as World Rider Jack Price.
Ben has sponsors from all over the country, including Highland Leisure Sport from Invergordon who have supported him from an early age and have helped Ben achieve his dream of competing at an international level. He is also very grateful for the backing of local sponsors MacPhee and Partners, AN Fraser Joiners and Inverness Taxis.
Ben Dignan in action in Italy. Photo: Pixel Point Photography NO F17 Ben Dignan 01
Ben, right,on the podium after his third-place finish at Pietramurata. Photo: Pixel Point Photography NO F17 Ben Dignan 02