Sensational Spain doubled up at today’s 2022 FIM Trial Des Nations, claiming victory in both the premier men’s and women’s classes at Monza in northern Italy.
For the male trio of Jaime Busto (Vertigo), Adam Raga (TRRS) and Toni Bou (Montesa) it was a relatively straightforward day in the office but Berta Abellan (Scorpa), Sandra Gomez (TRRS) and Alba Villegas (Beta) had to work hard for the win, eventually taking it on a tie-break.
The sections were plotted over an imposing series of man-made hazards comprising rocks and logs but Mother Nature also played her part with super-steep bankings providing an additional challenge.
Overnight rain made for slippery conditions on the opening lap of 15 sections but Spain, with Busto starting first followed by Raga and then Bou, breezed through the first seven sections without loss.
The rock steps of section eight provided a much more severe challenge and, with a team’s best two scores to count through each hazard, Spain emerged from here on a total of six. Italy, Great Britain and Norway all picked up 10 with only the French trio of Benoit Bincaz (GASGAS), Hugo Dufrese (Vertigo) and Gael Chatagno (Electric Motion) escaping on less than a maximum.
At the halfway mark Spain was firmly in the driving seat on a total of eight with the Italian team of Matteo Grattarola (Beta), Luca Petrella (GASGAS) and Lorenzo Gandola (Beta) 15 behind but still 10 clear of Great Britain.
Great Britain was the last nation to taste TDN victory before Spain began its domination of the event in 2004 and, after missing the podium last year in Portugal, the 2022 team of Jack Peace (Sherco), Billy Green (Scorpa) and Toby Martyn (TRRS) were determined to get back on the box and led France by four at the end of the first lap.
With the sections drying out, clean rides were easier to come by – even on the formidable eighth where a new line along a log that had been too slippery earlier in the day came into play which allowed a more direct approach to the steps on the exit.
Italy and Great Britain went clean here at the second attempt while Spain incurred the trio’s only mark of lap two and France added an additional four but the Norwegian team of Sondre Haga (Beta), Mats Nilsen (TRRS) and Jarand Vold Gunvaldsen (TRRS) picked up another maximum.
Turning the rest of the lap into a trial masterclass, Spain breezed to the win on a total of nine with Italy improving a place on last year to finish second on 31 which was 21 clear of third-placed Great Britain before a big gap to France and Norway.
“We are very happy with this victory,” said Raga. “There was a lot of pressure to win so all the team had to concentrate and work together.”
At the start of the day the fight for glory in the women’s class was, on paper at least, between defending champions Spain and Great Britain and that is exactly how it turned out.
Led by newly crowned TrialGP Women champion Emma Bristow (Sherco) with support from Alicia Robinson (Beta) and Kaytlyn Adshead (TRRS), Team GB led after the opening lap on a total of three that put them two ahead of Spain with Italy third on 12.
Lap two was super-tense but the Spanish, who boasted two of the most experienced riders in the field in Abellan and Gomez, stayed calm and added just a single mark to finish on six to match Great Britain’s total and claim a third consecutive victory following a tie-break.
“Today was so good,” said Abellan. “It was a real team effort, finally we won and we all enjoyed it a lot.”
The Italian trio of Andrea Sofia Rabino (Beta), Martina Gallieni (TRRS) and Sara Trentini (Vertigo) put together two laps of 12 to finish third ahead of Norway and Germany.
With the Norwegian men promoted to the main class following their 2021 win, the only guarantee in the International category was that there would be a new winner and the Czech Republic’s Martin Kroustek (TRRS), Martin Matejicek (GASGAS) and David Fabian (Beta) stepped up to the plate.
Just two marks ahead of the German trio of Franz Kadlec (TRRS), Joschka Kraft (TRRS) and Paul Reumschussel (TRRS) at the halfway stage, the Czechs posted a faultless second lap to win on a total of seven, three ahead of Germany.
“It’s perfect,” said Fabian. “The first lap was quite hard because it was slippery but the second lap was much drier and we scored zero so I’m super-happy.”
The podium was completed by Austria’s Marco Mempor (GASGAS), Fabio Schollar (GASGAS) and Philipp Wimmer (TRRS) on a total of 17.
New for 2022 was the TDN Challenge where mixed gender teams of two fought it out and it was Italy’s Mirko Pedretti (Beta) and Alessia Bacchetta (GASGAS) who did the business.
Their total of 16 earned them a clear-cut victory over Norway’s Andreas Jorgensen (Beta) and Seline Meling (Beta) who ended the day on 34 to take second by five marks from the German pairing of Johannes Heidel (TRRS) and Pia Emonts (Beta).
“I’m so happy,” said Bacchetta. “Today was fantastic and to win feels incredible.”
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