Emma Bristow – Sherco will head the charge when the 2014 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship resumes in Arnedo, Spain this coming weekend. The British rider who has finished as runner-up in the series to Laia Sanz over the previous three seasons, looks odds on favourite to go one better this time around with the Sherco teamster having dominated the opening event of the 2014 campaign hosted in Belgium back in mid July, in the absence of the reigning champion.
In the wet and muddy conditions of round one Bristow was simply in a class of her own dropping just seventeen marks over the three sticky laps of competition at the single day Trial GP. Her British compatriot and long time arch rival Rebekah Talbot (Cook) – Beta proved to be her nearest challenger on the day, although some thirty-four marks back and perhaps suggesting that the now twenty-eight year old who herself has been a runner-up in the series on no less than three occasions is not the threat she once was in terms of fighting for top honours.
Behind the leading British duo, Spain’s twenty-one year old Sandra Gomez – Ossa was the final podium finisher in Belgium, the youngster being demoted to the lower step by just a single mark as Talbot got the better of her on the last lap at Comblain au Pont. Many in the paddock predicted Gomez to be a potential title fighter this season following her much improved form in 2013, however she will have to raise her game over the two days of competition at her home Grand Prix this coming weekend if she is to knock Bristow off balance.
Italy’s Sara Trentini – Ossa was perhaps the surprise of the opening encounter as she placed fourth in difficult conditions to record her best ever result in the FIM Women’s Trial World Championship and to finish just seven marks away from a rostrum placing. Previously the twenty-three year old from Riva del Garda had achieved her highest placing in Andorra the year before where she took sixth spot. The drier going at this weekend’s Spanish GP could just be more to Sara’s liking as she pushes for her first ever podium position.
Katy Sunter – Gas Gas from Great Britain rounded out the top five in Belgium. The soon to be thirty year old would have perhaps hoped for a stronger initial showing on the British like terrain in Belgium. Sunter who finished the 2013 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship in a career best fifth place overall is riding with a new found confidence and alongside Trentini is another rider who is capable of being a top three contender on her day. To date Katy’s best result came last season in Andorra when she occupied fourth position.
Germany’s Theresa Bauml – Ossa and Ina Wilde – Gas Gas finished sixth and seventh respectively at the opening round. For Bauml this represented her best performance on the World stage, it being one place better than she had achieved back in 2012 at the Swiss GP. Whilst Wilde has previously recorded a result in the top five, her seventh spot at round one still marked a solid start to her current campaign.
Mireia Conde – Beta and Elisabet Solera – Gas Gas, both from Spain and France’s Pauline Masanes – Gas Gas completed the top ten at Comblain au Pont, and are just three out of the thirty one female competitors from nine different nations who will be looking to make their mark on the series as action resumes in Spain this weekend.