TrialGP Andorra has enjoyed a long association with the FIM Trial World Championship and this weekend sees the venue celebrate a very special silver anniversary.
Yes, it has been twenty-five years since the Pyrenees principality first played host to the best Trial riders on the planet when the great Jordi Tarres won that inaugural event in 1992. Ever since it has been more or less a permanent fixture on the FIM Trial World Championship calendar, staging a round every year apart from a few.
TrialGP Andorra was initially staged higher up the hill at La Rabassa until 2000 when it moved down into the town and to its present location at Sant Julia de Loria, but with the sections still predominantly plotted on the steep sided valley.
The paddock returned to La Rabassa in 2006, 2009 and 2012, but Sant Julia de Loria, with its municipal facilities has proved a more popular choice of venues.
After his first victory Tarres went on to win just once more in Andorra in 1995 on the way to his seventh and final World crown. Sandwiched between his two victories was Finland’s Tommi Ahvala, at the time the reigning Champion, who won in 1993.
Kenichi Kuroyama took the sole TrialGP Andorra victory by a Japanese rider on day one in 1997 before Britain’s Dougie Lampkin topped day two and began a winning streak that lasted until 2001 when Spain’s Marc Freixa and Britain’s Graham Jarvis shared the wins.
The following year Spain’s Albert Cabestany and Lampkin traded wins and Lampkin then took a record seventh win in Andorra on day one in 2003 with Freixa beating him into second on day two.
With the World Championship reverting to a one-day format it was Spaniard Adam Raga who claimed back-to-back wins in 2004 and 2005, but Cabestany denied him a hat-trick in 2006.
Of course, it was only a matter of time before Spanish superstar Toni Bou got in on the act and his debut TrialGP Andorra win came in 2007.
Spain’s Jeroni Fajardo took his first and so far only TrialGP win in 2009 and after another year’s gap Bou bagged win number two in Andorra in 2011.
With the two-day format restored in 2012 it was Bou and Cabestany who shared the wins and the following year Bou was forced to share again, this time with Raga.
Raga doubled up in 2015 and then Bou returned the compliment last year to tie his great rival on six wins apiece and set up a scintillating showdown this coming weekend to see if either of them can join Lampkin on seven Pyrenees premier positions.
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