The small town of Silsden is home to a

multiple world champion.

Bill Marshall talks to him

and his family

What is there left for Dougie Lampkin to prove in the motorcycle trials scene?

The 23-year-old from Silsden made a well-publicised switch from Beta to Montesa a few weeks ago, just before the start of the latest world indoor season, and that has given him the new challenge he has been yearning for.

"I had been with Beta for ten years, and won the worlds for the last three years both indoors and out," said the 6ft 2in Lampkin.

"Moving to Montesa has provided me with the motivation to succeed all over again.

"My main rivals thought they had a chance to beat me when I switched, but I want to prove them wrong."

And so far he has. With seven rounds already gone and three to go of a pretty intensive indoor season, Lampkin is seven points ahead of Spaniard Marc Colomer in the standings, 23 in front of Steve Colley and a massive 39 points better than another Briton Graham Jarvis.

Dougie's dad Martin, who was world outdoor champion in 1975, added: "There isn't much to choose between any of the leading three bikes - Beta, Montesa and Gasgas. It is a mental thing in the main."

When you are the world's leading motorcycle trials rider, the opportunities for spare Saturdays and Sundays are rare.

"My first weekend off is on may 2," Dougie admitted. "Even then I could ride domestically if I wanted."

Trials riding is on the up and up in Britain, and Martin, who was world outdoor champion in 1975, feels the advent of satellite television has had much to do with this.

"Eurosport has been a key factor," said Martin. "Crowds are now so knowledgeable that no one has to explain the rules to them anymore.

"They (Eurosport) tend to concentrate on the world indoor events (some are also shown on Sky), but Eurosport also now have the rights to show half an hour of each of the world outdoor rounds, which is great."

Martin, who was helping his son deal with a pile of letters, faxes and entry forms on the dining room table of their family farmhouse in Silsden, added: "Dougie will do about 64 trials events a year, of which 28 will be indoors, and 20 of the indoors will be shown on Eurosport.

"The Spanish ones are shown live on their equivalent of ITV. In my day I used to scramble in the summer and trials ride in the winter, and would do about 58 meetings a year."

Although I caught Dougie at Silsden, he is only there for about 30 days a year - "and that is mostly for stopping-over purposes."

That morning, for example, he had flown in from the Isle of Man - where he now lives with his girlfriend Nicola Wherity - on his way to a world indoor round in Barcelona.

"He's a star over there - he is always on manx radio and TV shows - but mention the word Lampkins to Yorkshire Television and they think you come from the other side of the planet," said Martin with feeling.

"People are always stopping me in the street in Douglas (capital of the Isle of Man)," admitted Dougie.

"Also I am more well-known in Spain and France - particularly in the trials riding areas - than in England, which is again down to Eurosport, I suppose."

Dougie, cousin of former Bradford City winger Steve Lampkin, went straight into trials riding, and won his first event - a beginners' trial at Pateley Bridge.

Since 1993 much of the energies of Martin (number one helper or "minder"), his wife Isobel and their other son James (second minder) have been taken up by helping Dougie in his non-stop travelling to trials events around the world.

"We travel in a nine-metre, seven-and-a-half tonne transporter, which cost in the region of £100,000," said Martin. "And it had better last us a lifetime!

"Isobel is a very important member of the team with her cooking skills and general support."

Dougie may be setting the standard for many years, but even he hasn't bettered his mum and dad in one respect - being invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen in 1992.

"It cost me an outfit and a hat for my wife, but it was worth it," quipped Martin.

"There were about 400 motor sport world champions there that day, and I have to admit the Queen didn't come up to me and say 'Well done Martin', or anything like that!"

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.