This coming weekend will see the small and mountainous principality of Andorra host the highly prestigious FIM Trial des Nations for a third time. The town of La Rabassa has twice previously held the team event, once in 1994 and then fourteen years later in 2008, before the competition is now set to return to the region just six years after its last visit. Twenty years ago when the FIM Trial des Nations first came to Andorra it consisted of just one main class, but like when it came back just before the turn of the last decade, this time around the event now has three trophies up for grabs – World Championship Group – International Trophy Group and the FIM Women’s Trial des Nations.
In 1994 not surprisingly it was Spain’s men who were victorious. The quartet of Jordi Tarres, Marc Colomer, Joan Pons and Angel Garcia proved far too strong for the opposition as they ran out easy winners over eventual runners-up Great Britain. Whilst Dougie Lampkin, Graham Jarvis, Steve Colley and Steve Saunders were unable to seriously challenge their Spanish counterparts they rode themselves clear of the Italian team that included Diego Bosis, Donato Miglio, Dario Re Delle Gandine and Piero Sembenini.
Italy’s performance kept the French line up of Thierry Michaud, Bruno and Christophe Camozzi plus Jean Luc Nictou off the podium, as France and Finland placed fourth and fifth respectively in what was a high scoring event. Belgium who finished sixth were the last team with a total sub two hundred marks, as Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic completed the top ten respectively as nineteen nations contested in a single class. A year later the 1995 FIM Trial des Nations held in Piesting, Austria saw the introduction of the International Trophy Group for the lower ranked nations.
By the time the team event returned to Andorra in 2008 the FIM Women’s Trial des Nations had been added to the line up, the female class being first being included in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg in 2000. Spain’s victory in the World Championship Group in 2008 marked their fifteenth in the competition and their fifth on the bounce having last been defeated by Great Britain at the event held in Lavarone, Italy in 2003. Japan and Great Britain completed the podium as the FIM Trial des Nations paid its second visit to the small principality.
On the same occasion with eight teams contesting the World Championship Group, sixteen other nations were left to fight it out in the now established International Trophy Group. The Czech Republic narrowly edged out Norway in yet another tough and high scoring battle in the mountains of Andorra.
Australia made their long trip to Europe very much worthwhile as they sealed the last rostrum position by beating Ireland and host nation Andorra who ended the day in fourth and fifth spots respectively. This was to be Andorra’s best ever result in the FIM Trial des Nations and remains the case today.
Matching their male counterparts Spain’s ladies clinched the 2008 FIM Women’s Trial des Nations title with the trio of Laia Sanz, Sandra Gomez and Mireia Conde who finished fourteen marks in front of Germany. The previous year’s winners Great Britain ended up third this time around as they were beaten on to the lower step of the rostrum by a single mark by their German rivals. Both male and female teams considered, twenty-two nations will be represented as the end of season team event returns to Andorra for a third time this coming weekend.