|Top line from the left: Bhuvan Chowdhary, Hugo Wilson, Steve Fraser, Eduardo Generali, Timo Schafer, Camilo Quiroga, Terrance Duncan and Victor Ronco|
Second line: Sam Bendal, Massimiliano Spostato Perrella, Jess Zekusn, Vir Nakai and Felipe Iturra
Ducati plan was they wanted all 14 riders to come down to Italy for a Bootcamp to help decide who the final 7 riders will be. This is how that mad day went down in the words of Ducati.
The magnificent Castello di Nipozzano, in the Chianti hills, provided a stunning backdrop to the rider selection bootcamp for Globetrotter 90, the round-the-world relay organised by Ducati to celebrate the company's 90 years of success.
Fourteen finalists from all over the world (India, Australia, United States, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Italy, the UK, Germany and many others) took part in off-road riding sessions and tests on the Multistrada 1200 Enduro in a breath-taking natural setting that is also the venue for the Ducati DRE Enduro riding courses.
At the start of this tough day the candidates competed in an (on-foot) orienteering trial in the grounds around the Castello to check out their navigational and problem-solving skills.
Following this physical test, the group mounted their bikes and, under the guidance of Beppe Gualini, went through a wide range of off-road riding challenges.
Following this test of their riding capabilities (made all the more difficult by the rain that greeted them as they entered the woods), the candidates enjoyed a brief rest and some great Italian food before getting stuck into the second part of the day.
In the afternoon the competitors were put through a test of their abilities in wheel-changing, puncture repair, brake pad replacement and handlebar/lever assembly: the tests were tough, but the skills are a must for solo globe-trotting.
Together with the mechanical trials, the aspiring Globetrotters also had to show they could be confident in front of the camera by putting together a brief video presentation and posing for a photo shoot.
Only seven candidates will make it through the final selection process, but all of them have already demonstrated passion, tenacity and preparedness, not to mention inspiring team spirit.
This heterogeneous, multi-cultural group immediately succeeded in getting on and having fun together, establishing a great rapport that made the day a rewarding one.
The selected Globetrotters will be announced soon, while the departure of our first round-the-world hero is set for 4th July, from the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale, Bologna.
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Now we wait...