Unbeaten in the FIM Trial des Nations since 2004, the Spanish men’s team of Toni Bou (Repsol Honda), Adam Raga (TRRS) and Jeroni Fajardo (Gas Gas) kept their country’s incredible win-streak going with victory on home turf today on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza.
And, just to underline their position as the major players of World Trial, Spain also doubled up in the Women’s category with Sandra Gomez (TRRS), Berta Abellan (Vertigo) and Neus Murcia (Gas Gas) wrestling the coveted title away from Great Britain.
In the keenly-contested second-tier men’s International Trophy the German trio of Hendrik Binder (Beta), Franz Kadlec (TRRS) and Paul Reumschuessel (TRRS) claimed a commanding victory.
The Spanish men’s team started the competition as firm favourites following 13-time World Champion Bou’s comprehensive win in yesterday’s Qualification session and all three riders brought their A game to the Balearic island. With the best two scores to count through each section, they were in dominant form on a course predominantly plotted on the rocky coastline.
Comfortably leading at the halfway stage on a score of just two compared to second-placed Japan – represented by Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Honda), Kenichi Kuroyama (Yamaha) and Tomoyuki Ogawa (Montesa) – who trailed on 12, they then parted with just another two marks on lap two.
Japan upped their game on the second lap to incur only a further seven marks but the damage was already done and Spain claimed the crown yet again.
“We started well yesterday with a great Qualification,” said Raga. “We continued today – the Trial wasn’t too hard but we didn’t make any mistakes. We have a great team and we are very happy with this victory.”
Benoit Bincaz (Beta), Alexandre Ferrer (Sherco) and Teo Colairo (Gas Gas) put France on the lowest step of the podium with a total of 24 as the British team of James Dabill (Beta), Jack Price (Gas Gas) and Toby Martyn (Gas Gas) came home fourth on 27, a full 18 marks ahead of Italy’s Matteo Grattarola (Honda), Luca Petrella (Beta) and Gianluca Tournour (Gas Gas) in fifth.
The Women’s category was always going to be a more closely-contested competition but the Spanish feet-up females were in charge from the get-go with their opening lap score of just two a full six ahead of the British team.
Represented by six-time World Champion Emma Bristow (Sherco) along with Donna Fox (Montesa) and Jess Brown (Scorpa), the British ladies fought back hard but their second lap total of two was still a mark behind the Spanish team’s.
“We worked together as a team,” said Gomez, “and it was really nice to win in Spain. It feels great to win and be on top of the podium and know that the Spanish men are on top also.”
After ending Qualification in second yesterday, Norway kept the momentum going and their team of Huldeborg Barkved (Gas Gas), Ingveig Hakonsen (TRRS) and Erika Melchior (Sherco) ended the event in a solid third, eight marks behind Great Britain but four ahead of Germany’s Theresa Bauml, Vivian Wachs and Sarah Bauer who were all representing TRRS.
Team USA – comprising Kylee Sweeten (Sherco), Maddie Hoover (Gas Gas) and Louise Forsley (Scorpa) – were fifth a further four marks off the pace.
America started last in the men’s International Trophy category thanks to Pat Smage (Sherco) who put in an amazing Qualification run but even with Josh Roper (Sherco) and Daniel Blanc Gonnet (Gas Gas) providing back-up they were no match for Germany who ended the day with just a single penalty to easily win from the Swedish team of Daniel Andreasson (Gas Gas), Eddie Karlsson (Sherco) and Linus Almthen who recorded a total of seven.
“We are very happy,” said Kadlec. “It was close so we could not afford to make any mistakes but we all rode well.”