Bou’s regular rival Adam Raga (TRRS) pipped Matteo Grattarola (Beta) for second after the Italian made the first podium of his X-Trial career. On top form, Grattarola conceded just a single mark from the opening Round to set himself up perfectly for qualification to the Final. From there the 34-year-old was almost a match for Raga over the six decisive sections, heading the reigning world number two after three and only losing out when he failed sections five and six consecutively.
It was a difficult night for 2021 bronze medallist Jaime Busto (Vertigo), two failures in each of the opening two Rounds depriving him of a place in the Final. And he was somewhat fortunate to squeeze home in fourth on countback thanks to his superior Round Two performance over Benoit Bincaz (Gas Gas). The Frenchman, on his return from injury, looked back to something close to his best. And Toby Martyn (TRRS) impressed with sixth, progressing to the second Round for the first time in his short X-Trial career and finishing just two marks short of Busto and Bincaz.
The first two riders out onto the Round One sections, Norway’s Sondre Haga (Beta) and home Wild Card Téo Colairo (Beta), were eliminated at the preliminary stage in seventh and eighth respectively.
Toni Bou (1st): “This is the best way to start the season. My performance was almost perfect and my new bike was working really well, so I have to congratulate the team for all of the hard work they have done this winter. It’s been great to win in front of a packed crowd after two difficult years with Covid, it is brilliant to be back here in France and that makes it a special feeling.”
Adam Raga (2nd): “I’m satisfied with this second place because it is a good way to start the season. In the Final I made a couple of mistakes and really I choked a bit but overall I view this Round positively.”
Matteo Grattarola (3rd): “This is my first podium in X-Trial so you can imagine how happy I am. I felt really good throughout the night and I’m particularly pleased with my first lap. This result is another step forward continuing my progress from 2021.”
The X-Trial World Championship remains in France for the second Round of the season on the 25th March in Chalon-Sur-Saône.