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BRITISH TRIO HEAD FOR EUROPEAN OPENER

March 22nd, 2018.


The six-round 2018 European QX Championship starts in Holland this Sunday where three Brits - Harry Walker, Oli Sansom and Liam Garbett - will be flying the flag.


The quads will run alongside a round of the World Sidecar Championship in the deep sand at Oss, and Walker spent last weekend bashing out motos in the sand at Dunkirk in France to prepare himself for inevitably rough going.

"Everything went really well and we put in some good, hard sessions," said ZIP Yamaha-mounted Walker, who also recently made the trip to Desertmartin for the opening round of the Ulster Championship, where he finished fourth overall.

Cromwell Trucks Yamaha-mounted Sansom, a former British beach race champion and winner at this winter's Barmouth beach race, is also making his debut in the series; "I like the sand, so I'll do the first round and see how it goes."

Garbett also goes well in the sand, as his podium finish at last year's Weston Beach Race testifies, and he will be looking to repeat his excellent seventh overall at last year's opening round at Oldebroek in Holland. It was the only round he contested in 2017.

Reigning Champion, Kevin Saar from Estonia, is back to defend his title and will be among the favourites, along with the 2014 European Champion, Mike van Grinsven, who was on superb form during this winter's French Sand Championship, and the ever-popular Italian star, Andrea Cesari Jnr.

Holland's van Grinsven has unhappy memories of the opening round though after badly breaking his pelvis in the corresponding meeting last year.

The entry is dominated by local sand specialists, with 18 of the 31 riders on the published entry list being from either Holland, or neighbouring Belgium, including Joe Maessen, Mark de Vries, Ricardo Phoelich, Oliver Vandendijck, Jan Vlaeymans and top female rider, Kelly Verbraeken.

Sadly, for the Championship, there is not a single French entry, despite France being awarded round two of the series, at Castelnau de Levis on the 8th of April, and there being no date clash with meetings in France this weekend.

The series then heads to eastern Europe with rounds in Ukraine, Poland, Estonia and Latvia between May and July.


Pictured: Oli Sansom, pictured at Barmouth, will be in action at Oss this weekend