Rebekah Cook – Team SXS, claimed first blood in the 2015 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship as she won on the opening day of the series at Sokolov, Czech Republic. Cook finally claimed what is only her third ever victory after a day long fight with reigning FIM Women’s Trial World Champion and compatriot Emma Bristow – Sherco who had to settle for second spot on this occasion. Sandra Gomez – Scorpa rounded out today’s top three, although the Spanish rider was off the pace of the leading duo in conditions that would have been more to the British competitor’s likings.
Heavy rain overnight and into the early part of the morning forced the organisers to make several changes to the twelve sections that were to be ridden three times, with them all located in a dense wooded area close to the lakeside paddock area. Steep loose climbs with slippery rocks and tree roots were very much the order of the day and proved to be a tough challenge for most of the entry.
Not riding at her best by her own admission and perhaps feeling the pressure of riding as a defending champion for the first time, Bristow looked tense on her initial lap and was to surrender the interim lead to Cook as she fived section eleven at her first attempt. Rebekah needed two dabs in same hazard to close out a solid opening performance that saw her head the lap one results on nine marks, two better than the scored recorded by Emma. Gomez was very much in contention at this stage, just one mark further back on twelve whilst Donna Fox – Sherco who was also making her return to the series ended the first tour in fourth spot on thirteen marks.
Despite incurring her second five of the day, this time on the very difficult eighth section, Bristow rode herself back into the lead come the end of lap two as she posted a tally of just eight marks compared to the eleven dropped by Cook on the same lap. With a slender one dab advantage the Sherco rider headed out one final time in hope of holding on for the win. By this point Gomez and the others had began to slip out of contention for the victory as they were unable to match the level of the leading British pairing.
A five in the sixth hazard on her last visit was to cost Bristow dearly and would see her chances of an opening triumph disappear as she eventually came home six marks behind Cook who waited until lap three to produce her best lap of the Trial and in doing so clinch a well deserved win. Gomez also improved slightly on her final tour to secure third spot just in front of Fox, as Germany’s Theresa Bauml – Ossa completed the top five on day one.
Spain’s Berta Abellan – Sherco recorded her highest ever placing in the FIM Women’s Trial World Championship as she finished in sixth and only just one mark of a top five placing. Fresh from her debut at the recent Scottish Six Days Trial, Ina Wilde – Gas Gas from Germany ended the day in seventh position as she improved significantly as the Trial wore on. Wilde’s total score was three marks better than Mireia Conde – Beta who occupied eighth spot come the close of play, whilst her compatriots Maria Giro – Beta and Elisabet Solera – Ossa finished ninth and tenth respectively to make it five Spanish riders in the top ten.
With the weather expected to play its part again, further modifications will be made to the sections ahead of tomorrow’s second and final day for the girls at the Czech Republic GP.