The FIM X-Trial World Championship opens for 2021 in Andorra la Vella on Saturday
The X-Trial World Championship makes its long-awaited return as the 2021 season gets underway at the Poliesportiu d’Andorra on Saturday, in what will be the first event in over twenty months as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The World Championship’s third visit to Andorra is the second to its capital Andorra la Vella, following an excellent debut in 2019 that saw Toni Bou (Repsol Montesa-HRC) come out on top in front of an enthusiastic fanbase from the city itself and the principality more broadly.
Bou will again be the favourite at what for him is a home Round, as he sets off in pursuit of a fifteenth consecutive World Championship title, in a shortened 2021 season that only reduces the margin of error for the sport’s top performers.
Bou, who turned 35 last month, will again expect fellow veteran Adam Raga (TRRS), who has finished runner-up to Bou in each of the last six seasons, to be his closest rival. But the likes of reigning world number three Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco), Jorge Casales (Gas Gas) who finished third at X-Trial Andorra in 2019, and Jaime Busto (Vertigo), who took bronze in the 2018 and 2019 World Championships, to be his closest rivals.
Young guns Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa), Miquel Gelabert (Gas Gas), Wild Card Toby Martyn (TRRS) and in-form old-hand Matteo Grattarola (Beta) will complete the field.
Regular fans can look forward to a familiar competition format of two knockout phases before two Finals to settle the podium places. For 2021, the preliminary phase is expanded to feature nine riders, but the same six will qualify for Round Two, the Heat stage. From there, the runner-up in each group will progress to the Consolation Final while the winner of each will go through to the head-to-head Grand Final.
All spectators attending this event will be required to respect healthcare measures adopted by the government of the Pyrenees nation. For those unable to attend in person, competition gets underway at 6pm local time and can be watched live at www.x-trial.tv