The greatest rider in the history of the sport, Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) sewed-up his 13th consecutive FIM Trial World Championship title at TrialGP France just over one week ago.
Still only 32 years of age, the Spaniard is now unbeaten in the premier TrialGP class since round three of the 2018 championship in Andorra in mid-June – that’s over 13 months without tasting defeat – and the bad news for his rivals is that he is every bit as motivated now as he was all the way back in 2007 when he claimed his first World crown.
We caught up with him for a quick Q&A while he enjoyed some rare down-time before the championship resumes in September.
TrialGP.com: Toni, congratulations on world title #13. How hard is it for you to stay on top?
Toni Bou: “Thank you. It is never easy to win a championship, let alone with such tough and persistent rivals – round after round they are always there. For me, it is not an easy job either. We train a lot [on the bike] to prepare for the rounds – perhaps even harder than what a world championship event demands – and also work on our physical conditioning. It's hard but very rewarding...”
TrialGP.com: You have dominated this season – was it easier than you expected?
Toni Bou: “As I said, it has not been easy. Adam [Raga] is a great rival. So are Jeroni [Fajardo] and Jaime [Busto] but Adam is always there, year after year. The preparation to face this season has been better than other years and I have arrived more fit at the beginning of the championship. In this way, I have been able to perform better than in other years.”
TrialGP.com: After last season's injuries it must have been good to come into this year's championship feeling healthy?
Toni Bou: “Precisely, this year I was able to start the outdoor season without physical complications. Unlike other years, I have not had injuries that have prevented me from being 100 per cent ready at the first round. I think this has been a fundamental issue this season.”
TrialGP.com: Finally, do you ever get bored with Trial and winning?
Toni Bou: “I do not! Never! Winning is always comforting after the effort you make at the events.”
The 2019 FIM Trial World Championship has now moved into its traditional summer break and will resume with the seventh and final round – TrialGP Spain – at La Nucia just north of Benidorm on September 21-22.