The 2021 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship concludes this coming Saturday with a single day of points-paying action at the Portuguese TrialGP at Gouveia before the Trial des Nations is staged on Sunday at the venue on the edge of the beautiful Serra da Estrela Natural Park in the north of the country.
On paper the premier TrialGP title looks to be a done deal with defending champion Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) holding a commanding 19-point lead over his Spanish compatriot Adam Raga (TRRS). With 20 points on the line for a win the 34-year-old appears to be assured of a record-shattering 15th-straight title to confirm his position as the most dominant trial rider of all time.
That’s not to say that there’s no interest in the TrialGP class. While Bou is firmly in pole position and Raga can’t be overhauled for second, the battle for the coveted FIM bronze medal is still wide open. Spain’s Jaime Busto (Vertigo) currently heads Italy’s Matteo Grattarola (Beta) by six points and the pair are evenly matched but Busto has been gathering momentum in the second half of the campaign.
It’s much too close to call in TrialGP Women where defending champion Emma Bristow (Sherco) and returning Spanish legend Laia Sanz (GASGAS) have traded blows all year. With just one round to go, the British rider – who’s aiming for her eighth consecutive title – leads the 13-time champion by a single point. Basically, it’s a winner-takes-all scenario and the title will depend on who can hold their nerve over the venue’s huge boulders.
Third place is between the Spanish pairing of Berta Abellan (Vertigo) and Sandra Gomez (TRRS) but Abellan has beaten Bristow this season and should be a shoo-in for bronze.
It’s almost as tight in Trial2 where British riders Toby Martyn (TRRS) and Jack Peace (Sherco) have been the stand-out stars. The pair have taken turns at the top of the championship table but last time out Martyn finally pulled clear of his fellow 21-year-old.
After finishing third on the second day in Spain, Martyn doubled his advantage to eight points. In a fiercely-contested class, Peace knows he’ll have to be at his best on Saturday and hope that riders including the Beta duo of Italy’s Lorenzo Gandola and Spain’s Aniol Gelabert – who’ve both won this season – can push Martyn down the order.
The smart money in the Trial2 Women class is on Andrea Sofia Rabino (Beta) who finally broke clear of her fellow Italian rider Sara Trentini (Vertigo) in Spain. With little to separate them heading into last weekend’s event, Rabino’s 2-1 results have lifted her into a 20-point lead after Trentini struggled to a pair of sixth-placed finishes.
Just five points behind Trentini, British rider Kaytlyn Adshead (TRRS) could still end the day in second in the championship.
Practice kicks off the action on Friday morning with the trial getting under way at 8.30am GMT on Saturday.
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