With less than a week to regroup, the stars of the 2024 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship head straight back into battle this coming weekend (13-14 July) when the TrialGP of Belgium is staged at Comblain-au-Pont.

  • Hertz FIM Trial World Championship heads to Belgium for round five
  • Toni Bou and Emma Bristow defend TrialGP and TrialGP Women leads at Comblain-au-Pont
  •  Jack Peace, George Hemingway and Martina Brandani set the pace in Trial2, Trial3 and FIM Women’s Trial2 World Cup

Last visited in 2022, the picturesque Comblain-au-Pont lies in the east of the country – just a thirty-minute drive south of the historic city of Liege – and competitors can expect super-steep loose climbs, nerve-jangling descents and plenty of imposing rock steps with sections based around a quarry and wooded hillside overlooking the town.

Featuring a single day of points-paying action, competitors across all five classes know they have just one more chance to make an impact before the series takes its six-week summer break so a good result is vital to maintain momentum.

Winner here two years ago, reigning TrialGP champion Toni Bou (Montesa) is certainly not struggling with momentum and his seven victories from eight starts this season see the Spanish superstar lead the field by an impressive thirty-nine points, but while his quest for an eighteenth consecutive crown is firmly on track there is a battle raging just behind him.

Aged twenty-four and twenty-six, Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) and Jaime Busto (GASGAS) are the leading representatives of a different generation to the legendary Bou and the Spanish pair are currently locked together in a battle for second in the series. At the moment Marcelli – who has only finished off the podium twice this season – holds the upper hand, but following his poor start to the campaign when technical issues proved costly, Busto is fighting back and his run of one victory and two second-placed finishes over the last three days of competition means he now trails his younger compatriot by just five points.

However, the leading three riders in the points table are by no means the only podium contenders who will be in action on Sunday.

Spanish two-time world champion Adam Raga (Sherco), his fellow countryman Jorge Casales (TRRS) and Italy’s Matteo Grattarola (Beta) have all finished in the top three this season while Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo) and his younger brother Aniol Gelabert (TRRS) have both narrowly missed the podium and all will have their sights set on solid scores.

TrialGP Women is headed by Britain’s defending champion Emma Bristow (Sherco), although her hopes for an unbeaten season in her retirement year were ended when she was beaten into third – her worst finish since the opening day of action in 2022 – on day two of last weekend’s TrialGP of Germany.

Last time out it was Spain’s Berta Abellan (Scorpa) who won from her Italian rival Andrea Sofia Rabino (Beta) and the pair should once again be Bristow’s biggest threat as she defends her ten-point lead following the opening four days of competition in the class.

French rider Naomi Monnier (Montesa) has been incredibly consistent so far this year with three fourth-placed finishes and a second putting her in contention and twenty-year-old British rider Alice Minta (Scorpa) along with the Czech Republic’s Denisa Pecháčková are both emerging as podium threats.

After sweeping the last three scoring days, British rider Jack Peace (Sherco) has established a clear lead in Trial2 with a seventeen-point advantage from Spain’s Alex Canales (Sherco) and a twenty-point buffer over defending champion Billy Green (Scorpa).

In a class where consistency is key, Peace knows how important a good finish is on Sunday, but he will have to bring his A game as France’s Arnau Farre (Sherco) and former champion Sondre Haga (GASGAS) on the electric motorcycle have all tasted victory this year and will be hungry for another win.

Trial3 is currently controlled by defending champion George Hemingway (Beta). Unbeaten over the opening six days of competition in the class, the sixteen-year-old British rider posted a faultless performance on day two in Germany and on that sort of form will be very tough to beat.

Sitting second in his debut year in the championship, Euan Sim (Sherco) has impressed so far and while he would love to beat his compatriot he will also be very aware that rising French star Romeo Piquet (Beta) is close behind in a very competitive class where the smallest of mistakes could have a major impact on the results.

Getting her FIM Women’s Trial2 World Cup campaign under way in Germany, Italy’s Martina Brandani (Sherco) took a double win to establish an early lead from Spain’s Laia Pi (Beta) and Seline Meling (Beta) from Norway.

With just three scoring days remaining in the class, both Pi and Meling – along with the rest of the field – know that it will be vitally important to prevent Brandani from extending her winning run.

The points-scoring action at Comblain-au-Pont gets under way at 09:00 local time on 14 July and will be streamed LIVE on FIM-MOTO-TV from 12:30 local time with a season pass – covering all seven rounds and the FIM Trial des Nations – priced at €34.90.

For regular updates check out our social media platforms on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.