Sensational Spaniard Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) is gearing up for the start of the 2019 FIM Trial World Championship on May 25-26 when he will launch into his 13th consecutive title defence at TrialGP Italy at Metzler Offroad Park at Pietramurata di Dro, just above Lake Garda in the mountainous north of the country.
Despite breaking two ribs in December when he crashed at an exhibition event in Japan, the 32-year-old Catalan superstar still went on to secure his 13th consecutive FIM X-Trial World Championship in 2019 and it is an achievement he fully intends to emulate outdoors this season.
The Bou story just repeats itself over and over again – win, win, win – and while from the outside looking in it may seem easy for him, in each and every event a thousand battles are waged and the fight for perfect balance can be won and lost on countless occasions.
This most common question he is asked is how does he remain motivated? The answer is that he still enjoys every aspect of Trial – be it gym work, practising or competition – and this enjoyment, combined with his sublime skills, has kept him at the top for well over a decade. But let’s not ignore the fierce will to win that has enabled him to overcome great adversity, especially last season when he kicked off his campaign with victory in Spain after breaking his back just three months earlier at an indoor event in France.
Another injury – this time his knee – at Trial GP in Belgium in July threatened to derail his 2018 title campaign yet still he emerged on top. However, despite his passion for the sport, natural talent and desire to win you don’t get 12 outdoor titles in a row by being complacent and Bou is leaving nothing to chance – so he’s hitting the reset button.
“We are on the verge of a new season of TrialGP and everything starts from scratch,” he said. “We have to forget that behind there are 12 titles and we will start in Italy as if it were the first time. “Maybe this year we have to prepare more and better than ever because we have seen that the rivals are very strong. The calendar leaves no room for errors and that means that we must be very focused on each round, avoid making mistakes and injuries.”
As a young boy growing up in Barcelona, Bou’s ambition was always to be the best rider in the world but he freely admits that he never thought he would dominate the sport in the manner he has since winning his first TrialGP title in 2007.
“My dream was to be World Champion but, of course, after that I could not imagine everything that would follow. It's a dream and I'm living a great dream. I have had the opportunity to win many World Championships and I am very happy to have won so many titles.” The number 13 may be unlucky for some but for Toni Bou it is very much the ultimate goal for 2019!