Undefeated for the last decade, Spain’s male team will arrive in Andorra this coming weekend as the outright and hot favourites to lift the FIM Trial des Nations trophy for an eleventh straight year in a row. Headed by the recently crowned 2014 FIM Trial World Champion Toni Bou – Repsol Honda and ably supported runner up in the same series Adam Raga – Gas Gas plus World number three and four Albert Cabestany – Sherco and Jeroni Fajardo – Beta respectively it is not difficult to understand why anyone would doubt another victory for Spain’s men this Sunday.
Great Britain once again have the dubious task of leading the line up in terms of being the best of the rest, and were actually the last nation to beat the Spanish back in 2003. This year the British will field a mostly unchanged squad to the one that finished second to the Spanish last time out. Alexz Wigg – Gas Gas is the new recruit thanks to his performances on the World stage during 2014 and he joins the more established trio James Dabill – Beta, Michael Brown – Gas Gas and Jack Sheppard – Beta.
The usual tense and close battle for the final podium place failed to materialise at the 2013 FIM trial des Nations as the host country France romped to an easy third spot some fifty eight marks of their fierce European rivals Italy. For this edition of the team event the French will be represented by Loris Gubian – Gas Gas, Alexandre Ferrer – Sherco, Steven Coquelin - - Gas Gas and the bay faced Quentin Carles de Caudemberg – Beta. They will come up against the more than capable Italian quartet of Matteo Poli – Ossa, Francesco Iolitta – Montesa, Matteo Grattarola – Gas Gas and Luca Cotone – Sherco. Finally Norway complete the World Championship Trophy class with Kristian Sorensen Ole - Sherco, Norum Ivar – Ossa, Pedersen Hakon - Ossa and Ib Anderson – Beta all deserving a special mention as they go into battle against four of the most dominant nations in the history of Trial.
2013 victors Germany represented by Junklewitz Jan – Sherco, Franz Kadlec – Beta, Micro Kammel – JTG and Jan Peters - Beta headline the International Trophy Group that includes sixteen nations. Once again the Czech Republic pose the biggest threat to Germany making it two wins in a row and will be desperate to regain the crown they last captured in 2012. Overseas challengers the United States of America and Australia both again appear to be strong candidates to fight for a podium finish, but know that their potential place in the top three will mean that they will need to see of the likes of Belgium and Sweden when the men go into battle this coming Sunday.
With an unchanged team from last year Great Britain head to the mountains of Andorra with high hopes of defending the FIM Women’s Trial des Nations title they captured in France twelve months ago having last won the trophy back in 2009. Current FIM Women’s Trial World Championship leader Emma Bristow – Sherco will be accompanied by Rebekah Cook – Beta and Joanne Coles – Gas Gas for the second year in a row. Spain’s also unchanged line up of Sandra Gomez - Ossa, Elisabet Solera - Gas Gas and Mireia Conde – Beta who finished as runners up in 2013 are sure to be eager to retake the female team title and potentially match their male compatriot at a venue that almost be considered as home ground for the respective Spanish teams. Germany will once again have to fend off their French rivals if they are to repeat the third position they earned last year.
With more that twenty countries taking part, all in is in place for yet another memorable edition of this season closing team competition.