Keep in mind though that these challenges are only in place to find the top riders. I won’t get into the scores here or how people were picked for semi-finals but I will say that the scores between people was very tight up until the end and you did not need to excel at every category to be a semi-finalist.
Police bike was very high. In fact, the three professional motorcycle cops in the qualifier made it to the semi-finals. Navigating very tight on-road cone exercises was a challenge that I was not expecting to even be a part of this. The Trophy is off-road and I didn’t practice cones at all on-road. We’re talking tight figure eights, snow man, light-bulbs, slalom with angles that were next to impossible to make (tight slalom), turns within boxes then exits, elephant turns (off-road) and deductions for basically any kind of error you could make. If I wanted to qualifier in 2024, I would become exceptional at slow-speed police-bike maneuvers.
The rough terrain included slaloms up hill, down hill, up a mountain, down a mountain into a 180 degree turn with little to no space to turn, up stairs, through gravel/rocks/sand and balance beams and some single-track up and down hills sideways (as in not straight up and down but riding off-camber around cones then back up a hill with no runway on loose/muddy terrain).
Slow speed balance was a part of every single exercise except the team challenges. There wasn’t a single exercise where you didn’t need to be completely balanced atop your bike both standing & sitting (yes these were rules depending on the exercise)
I assumed physical and mental stamina would be higher but it wasn’t. if you’re healthy and can do woods riding for an hour, you’re healthy enough for this event. That would have been different if this was a typical Labor Day weekend in SC but temps were mid-70s and a nice breeze so I didn’t have to sweat too much. We had a lot of downtime where I’d spend 2 minutes doing a challenge then rest for 10-30 minutes. Stay hydrated and you’ll be fine. The rules weren’t there to trip you up. I took them all literally and I felt I did okay but I later found out there were some unspoken rules that frankly, upset me. I can’t go into detail here but now knowing I had DNFs for rules that I didn’t know existed is pretty frustrating. I spent 4.5 minutes on a steep hill getting my bike picked up and positioned only to find out a few hours later, I probably DNFed that event. I would have just rolled down the hill and let the next guy go if I knew that