Russian Domination - MXdN 1968
Posted on May 22, 2020
The 1968 Motocross des Nations was held at the Kishinev circuit in Russia, and not surprisingly, it was Team Russia who took victory, with Kishinev, Russia having Leonid Shinkarenko, Evgeny Petushkov, Valdimir Pogrebniak and Arnie Angers available. I saw not surprisingly, because many teams didn't race that day
The event was started in drama as the major teams boycotted the event, with Great Britain the defending champions no appearing, also second placed Sweden from the previous year and third placed Belgium also didn't race. Other teams to not race were Czechoslovakia and The Netherlands.
So with no Roger De Coster, and no Joel Robert for Belgium, no Torsten Hallman or Bengt Aberg for Sweden and no Dave Bickers, Jeff Smith or Vic Eastwood for Great Britain, it was a walk in the park for the local team.
Team Great Britain had won the previous five MXdN events in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967 and their line up of Bickers, Smith, Eastwood and Rickman in that golden era were unbeatable at the team event. Amazingly, Team GB didn't win again until 1994 with Paul Malin, Kurt Nicoll and Rob Herring. How quickly a golden era can end.
Belgium would come back the following year with Sweden and Great Britain second and third, but 1968 belonged to the Russians.
Top Three MXoN 1968
1. Russia (Leonid Shinkarenko, Evgeny Petushkov, Valdimir Pogrebniak, Arnie Angers)
2. East Germany (Paul Friedrichs, Helmut Schadenberg, Reiner Fischer, Heinz Hoppe)
3. France (Serge Bacou, Joel Queirel, José Barbara, Georges Lenoir, Jacques Avronsart)