Thunder from Down Under.

The Aussies are coming.

Watch out for Team Australia. It may be their first time at the International GS Trophy but after a quarter of a century of BMW GS Safari experience, they are more than ready for this competition.    

The Team Australia trio who triumphed at their national GS Trophy qualifiers.    

It’s been a long time coming.

Shane Guttridge can’t wait for the journey to Mongolia to begin.    

It’s been a long time coming.

Finally, we can welcome an Australian team to the Int. GS Trophy. The ‘big brown land’ is GS-riding heaven and the announcement that an Aussie team would enter the international finals attracted many highly-skilled riders to the national qualifiers. Competition was fierce throughout, but Shane Guttridge, Simon Turvey and Michael Haley coped with the pressure and showcased their skills and off-road techniques best to earn their ticket to the finals. And now they can’t wait to show the rest of the world what Team Australia can do.    

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It was never a question of ‘if’ Australia would become involved, it was ‘when’.
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Miles Davis

First time for everything.

Miles Davis participating in the iconic Finke desert race. He will be a marshal at this year’s Int. GS Trophy.    

First time for everything.

Helping the team prepare physically and mentally for the upcoming competition is Miles Davis, who will also be a first-time marshal at the event. Miles’ credentials are strong, having hosted many BMW Safari and Safari Enduro events, ridden a GS across the Simpson Desert unsupported and even raced the iconic Finke desert race (an Aussie extreme rally similar to the Dakar) on a modified BMW R 1200 GS Rallye.    

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“This is it, we’re in!” confirms a delighted Miles. “It was never a question of ‘if’ Australia would become involved, it was ‘when’, so it’s great that there will be an Aussie team competing in Mongolia.

“I think there could be a fair bit of pressure. People expect the Aussie team to be very strong because of the riding opportunities we have. I’m confident we are strong, but being realistic, this is our first attempt and I think we will learn heaps. I know the riders are excited and honoured, so I hope they have a smooth event, do well, and have an unforgettable time!”    

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Preparation is key.

Relaxing during a recent training camp.    

Preparation is key.

Miles is excited about his first Int. GS Trophy experience, is eager to support it as a marshal and is looking forward to meeting keen GS riders from all over the world in Mongolia. Sharing his excitement is team member Michael Haley, who can’t wait to make the journey to central Asia to see how the team squares up.

“I’m so looking forwards to putting ourselves against other riders from different countries to see how we stand up, compared to the rest of the world. The competing, the friendships we’ll make, the whole atmosphere of all participants riding together — all those aspects will make it such an unbelievable experience.”    

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Learning curves.

As part of the team preparations, the guys recently hooked up for a training camp in the mountains outside of Melbourne, where they worked on technical riding, teamwork, bike maintenance and a bit of team bonding. They were joined by Julia Maguire, who won her place alongside Jocelin Snow and Bettina Nedel on Team AusAmerica (one of the two international female teams) at a hard-fought qualifying competition in South Africa last November. She’s taking the upcoming competition seriously but isn’t sure if there’s anything she can teach the boys!    

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Julia Maguire will be one of two Australian females at this year’s Int. GS Trophy — the other one being Amy Harburg.    

Plenty to prepare.

Julia Maguire joined Team Australia for a training camp.    

Plenty to prepare.

“They’re all pretty skilled guys and there isn’t much I can advise them on, maybe other than getting them to rein in their speed and ride slower — I could offer them a few tips there,” she jokes.

“Between now and Mongolia, I’m going to be spending lots of hours in the saddle doing as much riding and skills drills as I can, as well as weight training, spinning and lots of mountain biking, so I’m as fit and strong as possible before Mongolia. We’re also planning on doing a ladies’ team training in California in May, so if we can make that work it would really be fabulous to ride with the girls and polish up on our skills before the Trophy.”    

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On Safari.

Training camp fun.    

On Safari.

Actual time on the bikes hasn’t been an issue for Team Australia, as they’ve just come off the back of an amazing week of High Country riding with 200 other GS owners at the annual BMW GS Safari. This was ideal preparation for the Int. GS Trophy, according to team member Shane Guttridge.

“The GS Safari was great, I learnt a lot about my team-mates and we had a lot of fun together,” he enthuses. “The training camp was fantastic too — I really got a lot out of it. Even though you’ve been riding a long time you can always learn from someone else and being with Miles and the boys was invaluable. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”    

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Australia offers GS riders plenty of scenic beauty to explore and enjoy.    

Community support.

This is a sentiment echoed by third team member Simon Turvey, who found the BMW GS Safari experience a steep learning curve but was thrilled at the level of support within the Australian GS community, who have really thrown their collective weight behind the team.

“People were coming up and congratulating us for making it into the team, but also telling us to go there, do our best, put in everything we have and come back home knowing that we’ve given our all,”he says.    

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You don’t know what you’re capable of until you give it a go so I say let’s bring it on!
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Simon Turvey

Relishing the challenges ahead.

A BMW GS will get you to some wild and wonderful places — especially ‘Down Under’.    

Relishing the challenges ahead.

Like all participants, the Aussie team’s Trophy preparations are now stepping up a few notches as the competition approaches. Confidence is high, according to BMW Motorrad Australia Marketing Manager Nigel Harvey — another GS devotee who will be watching keenly, albeit from a distance.    

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“We’re so pleased that the boys — and Julia — will be representing Australia’s vibrant GS community at the Int. GS Trophy finals. Our focus has always been on the local BMW Safari events which have been running since 1994, but we’re delighted to now be part of the action in Mongolia, too. The whole country will be following events closely throughout the competition and we wish all teams the very best of luck — the experience will stay with them for ever, that’s for sure.” 

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