Spanish superstar Toni Bou (Montesa) took another step towards an incredible 16th consecutive Hertz FIM Trial World Championship title when he completed a double win at Neunkirchen today.
Back on the calendar for the first time since 2016, the TrialGP of Germany – round three of the 2022 series – hasn’t disappointed with a huge turn-out of fans ensuring an incredible atmosphere across the weekend.
In the super-competitive TrialGP Women class it was Berta Abellan (Scorpa) from Spain who came out on top while her fellow countryman Arnau Farre (Sherco) won in Trial2 and the Czech Republic’s Denisa Pechackova (Beta) claimed victory in Trial2 Women.
Torrential rain yesterday evening made the opening indoor-style sections very slippery with dirt dragged onto the rocks meaning grip was at a premium but as the day progressed the sections dried up.
While Bou’s 10-mark victory looks clear-cut, the results don’t tell the full story and following the opening lap his score of 12 put him three marks behind two-time Trial2 champion Matteo Grattarola (Beta) from Italy.
However, the 35-year-old is notoriously cool under pressure and in the second half of the event he put on masterclass with a score of just three taking him to the top for the fourth time this year.
“I’m super-happy with the weekend,” said Bou. “Taking two wins is very important for the championship. The organisation in Germany has been fantastic and the public turn-out has been amazing.”
Maximums on the final two sections of the day pushed Grattarola’s total to 25 but it was still good enough for second overall to match his best-ever finish in the elite TrialGP class.
Runner-up yesterday, Spain’s Jaime Busto (Vertigo) was third after losing out on a tie-break with Grattarola which helped him strengthen his hold on second place in the standings after Adam Raga (TRRS) was disqualified when he exited the course and rode through a public viewing area in a reckless manner.
A further 15 marks behind, Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco) claimed fourth for the second time this weekend with his fellow Spaniard Miquel Gelabert (GASGAS) again fifth on 44.
After eight years in the championship, Abellan scored only her second-ever victory in TrialGP Women with a sensational ride.
Leading after the first lap on a score of just five, the 22-year-old from Barcelona – who took a career-first win on day one in Andorra last month – fully earned her place on the top step of the podium with a faultless second lap.
“It feels so good,” said Abellan. “I’m very happy with today and the second lap was amazing for me – I hope that I can ride like this for the rest of the series.”
Championship leader Emma Bristow (Sherco) from Britain had no answer to the Spaniard’s form and saw her advantage at the top of the table cut to six points as she trailed home second on a total of 12 – although she was still 20 marks ahead of third-placed Andrea Sofia Rabino (Beta) from Italy who matched her finish yesterday.
French rider Naomi Monnier (GASGAS) was another 10 behind in fourth with Britain’s Alicia Robinson (Beta) showing her potential by breaking into the top five of the elite women’s class for the first time in her career with a score of 60.
There was a comfortable win in Trial2 for Spain’s Farre. Already with three podium finishes to his name this year, the 24-year-old finally hit top form in Germany and dropped just four on each lap to come home 12 ahead of Norway’s incredibly consistent Sondre Haga (Beta).
“My last Trial2 victory was six years ago so I’m super-happy,” said Farre. “The bike was very, very good and my team helped me a lot.”
Haga hasn’t been off the podium all season and his fourth-straight runner-up position – taken on a tie-break with British rider Billy Green (Scorpa) – sees him as joint championship leader with yesterday’s winner Pablo Suarez (Montesa) who finished fourth today on 24.
A strong second on Saturday, Pechackova went one better today to clinch the win in Trial2 Women and now shares the championship lead with home hero Sophia Ter Jung (TRRS) as the pair switched positions from yesterday.
Just over a week before her 15th birthday, Pechackova led at the halfway mark on 11 which put her three ahead of closest challenger Theresa Bauml (Vertigo) and she then hammered home her advantage with a second lap total of four.
“It has been a very good day,” said Pechackova, “and now I’m looking forward to the next round.”
Ter Jung was well off the pace with her first lap total of 21 putting her sixth but urged on by the German fans she turned it around on lap two with a score of six elevating her into the runner-up position ahead of compatriot Bauml who ended the day on 29.
The world’s best trial riders now take a six-week break before round four of the Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – the TrialGP of Belgium – at Comblain au Pont on August 20-21 featuring TrialGP, Trial2 and Trial3 classes.
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