Bou On Top On Second Day In Spain

When the going gets tough, the tough get going – and Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) once again proved himself to be the toughest rider in the field on the second day of the Spanish TrialGP, round two of the 2020 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship, at Pobladura de las Regueras. The defending champion, fresh from his win yesterday, continued to stake his claim to a 14th title in a row with another dominant performance despite an arm injury while Emma Bristow (Sherco) from Britain repeated her Saturday victory in TrialGP Women and Aniol Gelabert (TRRS) took a popular home win in Trial2. The victory in Trial2 Women went to Britain’s Alicia Robinson (Beta) to back up her runner-up position yesterday and Pau Martinez (Vertigo) from Spain extended his win-streak in the Trial125 class to make it an unbeaten four-from-four for the talented teenager.

Hazards were very similar to day one with three indoor-style sections along with five in a river and another two plotted on a super-steep, loose banking that was littered with big rocks. They had, however, been tightened up for the premier TrialGP class and this – combined with energy-sapping heat – resulted in higher scores.

Bou led after the opening lap but his score of 21 – only seven less than his entire Saturday total – gave him just a single-mark advantage over Adam Raga (TRRS) but, as we’ve seen time and time again from the Spanish superstar, he clicked a bigger gear to his rivals and eased clear. After the second lap he had stretched his advantage over Raga to four before he doubled his lead to eight on the third and final lap. “It’s been a strange day and the feeling is not so good,” said Bou, “but finally on the third lap I was riding my best and I was able to fight for the victory which I think is very important for the championship.”

In only his fourth points-paying day competing at the highest level, Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) – last year’s Trial2 champion – scored a sensational debut podium finish in third, six marks behind Raga. The Spanish 20-year-old has now carded 12-10-4-3 finishes this season to underline his undoubted potential. France’s Benoit Bincaz (Beta) broke up the Spanish domination in fourth ahead of Miquel Gelabert (Gas Gas) who repeated his Saturday finish, narrowly in front of Jaime Busto (Vertigo) – who was runner-up yesterday – but there was a disaster for front-runner Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco) who timed-out after a mechanical issue.

Bristow hasn’t been beaten since the final round of the 2017 championship and is now firmly in the driving seat as she lines up a seventh consecutive TrialGP Women crown but it was close today. A clear seven marks ahead of Sandra Gomez (TRRS) after the first lap, she allowed her Spanish rival to reel her in and by close of play was only four in front as the leading pair comfortably out-performed Berta Abellan (Vertigo) who finished a distant third. “I didn’t ride my best today but I managed to pull the result out,” said Bristow. “When you can win on a bad day that’s pretty good. It was just one bad five that made it tight and more stressful than it should have been. I’m happy – I’m disappointed with my riding today but it’s good for the championship.”

Gelabert’s Trial2 win came on a most-cleans tie-break from former champion and Saturday’s winner Matteo Grattarola (Beta) from Italy after the pair went toe-to-toe all day. “The feeling is incredible,” said Gelabert. “I have been pushing hard for a lot of years and this year in the beginning I knew I had to improve a lot so I’m really motivated for the next one.”

Italy’s Lorenzo Gandola (Vertigo), Trial125 champion in 2017, led after the opening lap but slipped down the order as the leading pair upped their game to end the day on 17 marks each with Norway’s Sondre Haga (TRRS) snatching third on 29 but French title contender Alexandre Ferrer (TRRS) had a day to forget and came home all the way back in 11th.

Britain’s Robinson won the final round of the Trial2 Women championship in 2019 and started her 2020 campaign with a pair of fourth-placed finishes in France, improved to second yesterday and then stamped her authority on the class today. Her total of nine marks lost saw her run out a clear winner from the French pairing of Naomi Monnier (Beta) on 14 and Lenna Volpe (TRRS) on 18 as yesterday’s winner Andrea Rabino (Beta) from Italy slipped to fourth on 21. “I’m very happy to be back on the top step of the podium,” said Robinson. “I’d just like to say a massive thank you to all my amazing sponsors, especially Top Trial Team and all my local sponsors at home along with my family and my amazing dad.”

In the Trial125 class for the stars of tomorrow, Martinez again proved to be untouchable and emerged ahead by two marks after a battle of nerves with France’s Leo Guiraud (Beta) who took the second step of the podium on a tie-break from British teenager Ben Dignan (Vertigo). “I’m really happy again with the win but it was close,” said Martinez. “I pushed hard in the second and third lap for the win and I’m looking forward to Andorra and the same result.”