Rebekah Cook – Beta claimed an historic win on the opening day of the 2013 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship held in Sant Julia de Loria, Andorra. With reigning champion Laia Sanz absent due to her competing in the FIM Women’s Enduro World Cup, Cook recorded her first ever Grand Prix win to take command of the new series. Although having visited the rostrum on no less than twenty previous occasions this was the first time that the twenty-six year old British rider had stepped up to the top box of the podium, as she edged out Sandra Gomez - Ossa by four marks. Pre-event favourite and runner-up in last year’s title race Emma Bristow – Sherco, could only manage third place on the day as she suffered a disastrous closing lap.
Under blue skies and in swelteringly hot conditions the twenty-three female competitors representing six nations got the 2013 campaign underway as they tackled two laps of eighteen sections scattered around an ultra tough mountain loop than totalled twenty kilometres. Despite the extremely testing nature of the Trial all the Women riders made it to the finish within the allotted total time of five hours and fifty minutes, an extended allowance due to the length and severity of the course.
Very much as expected it was Bristow who made the early running, after a three in the opening section where her main rivals failed, Emma then went on an eight section feet-up run to move comfortably ahead of her nearest challengers. A five in section ten did little to dent her rhythm, as the Sherco rider then quickly recovered to round out the first lap on fifteen marks. This was enough to give her a seven mark advantage over Gomez and a healthy ten mark lead over eventual winner and compatriot Cook at this point.
On the second lap, despite not being able to quite match her earlier performance, Bristow still appeared to have things under control and to have her first ever GP win within her grasp. At the same time Cook was quietly going about her business and was now closing the gap on her fellow British rider whilst keeping an eye on Gomez who was also starting to fall into her grasp. Bristow’s day was about to unravel in a cruel fashion, as she was to realise that her watch had been set incorrectly and that she was fast running out of time. This forced Emma to hit the panic button as she both raced through hazards and skipped a section in an attempt to beat the clock. The damage was done and her second lap total of thirty-five marks plus seven time penalties was enough to demote her to the third step of the podium. Emma’s face during the prize ceremony told the true hurt of this situation. In contrast Cook held her nerve beautifully to out ride Gomez to the top prize in what was a dramatic conclusion to the opening day of the new Women’s season. Cook could not hide her delight as she stepped up to collect her deserved winner’s trophy, the first of her career at this level.
French rider Marilyne Journet – Beta recorded a much improved best ever result in fourth place, her previous highest placing being eighth spot, this once again being in Andorra, but way back in 2006. Italy’s Sara Trentini – Beta achieved a similar feat to round out today’s top five. Her best result before today was also eighth place, but her previous best finish was in Andorra just twelve months ago. The Women riders will do their best to recover overnight, with another tough day of competition and equally hot weather forecast for tomorrow.
|Women's World Championship Results
1. Becky Cook - 47
2. Sandra Gomez - 51
3. Emma Bristow - 57
4. Marilyne Journet - 64
5. Mieia Conde - 66
6. Sara Trentini - 77
7. Theresa Bauml - 82
8. Katy Sunter - 85
9. Maria Giro - 86
10. Martina Balducchi - 90