For the second time in the space of a week the world’s leading trial riders will lock horns for global supremacy when the TrialGP of France – the fifth and penultimate round of the 2022 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship – is staged at Cahors this coming weekend.
Located 100km north of Toulouse, it will be almost 12 months to the day since the series last visited the venue where sections are split between giant rocks in a disused quarry and a riverbed studded with huge imported slabs.
On that occasion it was Toni Bou (Montesa) who came out on top on a low-scoring day that saw him post a faultless second lap and with his lead currently a commanding 26 points a repeat performance on Sunday could potentially earn the Spanish superstar an incredible 16th-straight TrialGP crown.
This, however, is highly unlikely and will depend on second-placed Jaime Busto (Vertigo) finishing outside the top nine – something that hasn’t happened since he made his Hertz FIM Trial World Championship debut in 2015.
Holding down third in the series – a further 22 points adrift of Busto – is Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco) who, in turn, is two clear of his compatriot Adam Raga (TRRS) as Spanish riders dominate the first four places.
The top six – all on different marques – is completed by Italy’s Matteo Grattarola (Beta) and Spanish rider Miquel Gelabert (GASGAS). All six riders have been on the podium this season and all are more than capable of challenging for a top-three finish.
The second-tier riders of the Trial2 class are also competing this weekend and it is Sondre Haga (Beta) who has a clear lead after finally breaking free of the chasing pack last time out in Belgium.
The Norwegian still hasn’t claimed a win this season but his remarkable consistency – in seven scoring days he has yet to finish off the podium and has been second four times – sees him lead Spain’s Pablo Suarez (Montesa) by six points.
Suarez has won three times this year – including a clean sweep at the opening round – but the 21-year-old has been blowing hot and cold and a disastrous seventh-placed finish at Comblain au Pont could prove to be the turning point in the championship.
There is no shortage of podium contenders in this incredibly well-supported class with British rider Billy Green (Scorpa), Arnau Farre (Sherco) from Spain and Italy’s Lorenzo Gandola – who complete the top five – all having a win this season.
Sixth-placed Jack Peace (Sherco) from Britain has also been on the podium this year and then there’s Italy’s Gianluca Tournour who took victory in Belgium.
The Trial3 class title will be decided in Cahors and with an 18-point lead the odds are stacked heavily in favour of 16-year-old British rider Harry Hemingway (Beta) who has been the stand-out star of the series with three wins and two second places from the five points-scoring days held so far.
While the winner is virtually a done deal, second place is still very much up for grabs with the Czech Republic’s David Fabian (Beta) and Britain’s Jamie Galloway (TRRS) tied for second on 76 points and both boasting a win apiece.
Harry’s younger brother George Hemingway (Beta) is just seven points further back thanks to two consecutive runner-up finishes so it will be a battle of nerves on Sunday.
The action at Cahors kicks off at 12pm on Saturday with official practice before the points-paying event gets under way at 10am on Sunday.
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