The Czech Republic, venue for this coming weekend’s seventh round of the 2017 FIM Trial World Championship, has a rich tradition of staging top-flight Trial competition that can be traced all the way back to 1974.
That was the final year of the European Trial Championship before it was upgraded to full FIM World Championship status and the country that was back then known as Czechoslovakia hosted the penultimate round of the series at the town of Ricany to the south east of Prague.
Ossa-mounted Torre Evertsson from Sweden won that year, beating future FIM Trial World Champions Martin Lampkin, Yrjo Vesterinen and Ulf Karlson. After that the country enjoyed a seven-year unbroken run on the FIM Trial World Championship calendar before it fell out of favour for a further six years.
Returning to the schedule in 1987 it once again became a firm fixture and as Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic following the famous Velvet Revolution of 1989 it continued to be a regular stop on the TrialGP tour until 2001.
TrialGP Czech Republic was back again in 2007 and it is now an established favourite with the FIM Trial World Championship making its last visit in 2015 when the current venue of Sokolov – just a handful of kilometres from the famous Loket motocross circuit – was visited for the first time after eight consecutive events at Kramolin near the Austrian border.
Since 2007 when Toni Bou won his first World Championship title the TrialGP Czech Republic has been staged six times, but surprisingly it has not always been a happy hunting ground for the Spanish superstar who has only won twice with both his victories coming in 2015.
Instead, the all-time winners list is headed by the great Jordi Tarres and fellow Spaniard Adam Raga with five victories each. Spain’s Marc Colomer, the 1996 FIM Trial World Champion, is next with four wins before the inevitable inclusion of British legend Dougie Lampkin who won once in 1998 and twice in 2000.
Bou is joined on two victories by America’s Bernie Schreiber who took victory here during his World Championship winning campaign of 1979 and again in 1980 with no fewer than eight riders – Evertsson, Tommi Ahvala, Mick Andrews, Gilles Burgat, Graham Jarvis, Martin Lampkin, Karlson and Vesterinen – all savouring the sweet taste of victory on one occasion since that historic day in 1974.
With such a rich history, and the return to the excellent venue at Sokolov, this coming weekend’s TrialGP Czech Republic promises to be one of the highlights of the 2017 series.