Laia Sanz – Gas Gas sealed an incredible twelfth FIM Women’s Trial World Championship when she won the third counting, and what turned out to be the decisive day of the series in Tramelan, Switzerland earlier today. This year’s title was determined by the best three results being taken from the five counting days over three rounds, thus Sanz can now not be overtaken in the general standings. Laia had to fight off strong opposition from Emma Bristow – Ossa during what was a tough day of competition to claim her twelfth crown.
Sanz’s latest victory and title came after she has missed two and half months of riding due to a serious injury to her toe that she sustained during an enduro event. Aware that Laia had missed a lot of bike time recently, her rivals tried their best to take advantage of this situation. Bristow who finished as runner up to Sanz’s in last year’s title race applied pressure throughout the day, finishing the first lap just two marks behind her Spanish nemesis in some almost British like conditions. The sections were wet and slippery due to heavy overnight rain and showers during the Trial itself.
Despite giving it her best shot Bristow would end the day seven marks away from the winning, but her second runners up spot in this year’s campaign now sees her move up to second in the points table after Sandra Gomez – Gas Gas could only manage fifth place today. Sanz and Bristow were joined on the podium by newly crowned European champion Rebekah Cook – Beta who dropped nine marks more than her British compatriot. France’s Sandrine Juffet – JTG equalled her best finish of the season to date in fourth position.
The inclement weather made the sections much more difficult than expected with mud dragging onto the rocks, this created the theme for most of the course. A series of more natural hazards were complimented by some man made tests near to the paddock, but all of which were made much more complicated thanks to the rain. This unfortunately reflected in the scores with even Britain’s pairing of Donna Fox - Beta and Katy Sunter – Gas Gas who finished sixth and seventh respectively, dropping eighty and eighty-four marks apiece. Fifteen year old Nikita Smith – Gas Gas achieved her best ever result in eighth spot to make it five British riders in the top ten.
Kristie McKinnon – Gas Gas made her long trip from Australia very worthwhile as she placed ninth, whilst Spain’s Mireia Conde – Beta came home in tenth place. Tomorrow will see the second day of competition take place over a similar course, but with the sections being eased to suit the changing weather conditions. Although Sanz’s has already taken the 2012 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship, with two counting days (tomorrow and one day in Moutier, Switzerland next Friday) remaining the other female riders in the series still have much to battle for.
1. Laia Sanz - 44
2. Emma Bristow - 51
3. Becky Cook - 60
4. Sandrine Juffet - 67
5. Sandra Gomez - 74
6. Donna Fox - 80
7. Katy Sunter - 84
8. Nikita Smith - 87
9. Kristie McKinnon - 89
10. Mireia Conde - 90