Fred Belair, founder of the El Trial de Espana, dies

Fred Belair, father of US Montesa importer Martin Belair, died Monday in California. Fred was the founder of the El Trial de Espana.

“Created by Fred Belair, the ETdE event has helped promote trials in the United States and has even managed to draw international recognition. Belair’s dream was to ‘provide the basis for an American to become World Trials Champion,’ and that hope was realized at the hands of American Bernie Schreiber in 1979. To this day, Schreiber remains the only American to have ever reached the sport’s pinnacle. But the El Trial de Espana event continues to live on.”

I spoke to Martin this afternoon. People can contact him via email. Here’s the info sent out by the Belair family.

“Fred Belair, known as the “Father of El Trial de Espana,” passed away in his sleep Monday morning. He was 83 years old.

A racer in his early years, Fred became a supporter of Observed Trials back in the 70’s and founded El Trial de España, an annual event that raised funds to send the top American riders to compete in the FIM World Trials Championship against the world’s best, the Europeans.

El Trial de Espana, now in its 36th year, today continues to support the U.S. Team’s annual effort at the Trials des Nations, the trials equivalent to the Motocross of Nations.

Earlier this year, Fred was inducted into the the North American Trials Council (NATC) Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Rose, as well as sons Fernando and Martin, and daughter Christina.

A rosary will be held at Custer-Christiansen Mortuary in West Covina, CA, Thursday, October 5th at 7:30PM. Services will be at 10AM Friday morning at St. Christopher’s Church, 629 S. Glendora Ave. in West Covina.”