On The Pegs August 2017 - Volume 2 - Issue 8 - Page 114

On The Pegs Marc Freixa struggles to find traction in Saturday’s section three. Pat Smage was the only Pro rider to get through this second on the first lap and he got a one. Sherco USA’s Pat Smage clinched his ninth US National MotoTrials title with a 1-2 performance at the final round of the 2017 SWM US National MotoTrials Championship at Stepping Stone Ranch in Exeter, Rhode Island this weekend. Smage topped Montesa USA’s Marc Freixa by six points on Saturday to all but wrap up the title with one round remaining, leaving him needing only to fin- ish Sunday’s event to clinch the championship. Freixa came out swinging on Sunday, however, and claimed one last victory over Smage by 11 points, but the Spaniard’s effort was too little too late as Smage’s first and second place finishes at the two-day event were more than enough for Sherco USA rider to clinch the title. There was no argument that Saturday’s event was the toughest event of the season, as a hard rain in the morning left the moss-covered boulders and steep climbs extremely slippery. The conditions were similar to last year’s final two rounds in Oregon, where Freixa beat Smage handily. However, the Wisconsin rider turned the tables Freixa at this year’s finale, handling the slippery rock walls and muddy climbs with finesse and confidence en route to Saturday’s win. Smage credited the extra work he put in during the off-