Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) continued to rewrite the record books by taking victory – and with it his 13th consecutive World crown – at today’s TrialGP France, round six of the FIM Trial World Championship, at the Alpine resort of Auron.
In the TrialGP Women class Emma Bristow (Sherco) kept her amazing win-streak going with yet another victory. The British rider, who’s firmly on course for her sixth title in a row, hasn’t been beaten since the final round of 2017 and will go into the season finale at La Nucia in Spain in September with a 16-point advantage at the top of the table.
The Trial125 competition concluded in France with home hero Kieran Touly (Scorpa) claiming his fifth win from five rounds and six days of competition to comfortably take the title.
The Trial opened with five sections in a dry riverbed before moving to a perilously steep, heavily-wooded hillside and then signed off at the arena-style section used for yesterday’s Qualification.
Bou was a clear leader following the opening lap of 15 sections and the sublime Spaniard kept the pressure on throughout lap two despite a strong challenge from his compatriot Jaime Busto (Vertigo) who’s finally found his form after what’s been up to now a below-par season for him.
Bou’s opening lap of seven plus one time penalty gave him a comfortable advantage of five from Busto who also picked up a single mark on time. He then finished in style with a second-lap total of just one mark lost to rewrite his place in the history books.
“I made some mistakes on the opening lap,” said Bou, “but my second lap was almost perfect. This year has been a great year for me.”
Busto resisted fierce pressure from Adam Raga (TRRS) – who recorded a second-lap total of just eight – to hang onto second by two marks on a total of 23. Jeroni Fajardo (Gas Gas) from Spain was five behind Raga with Japan’s Takahisa Fujinami (Repsol Honda) recovering from his big Qualification crash to take fifth on 36.
After a couple of early maximums on her opening lap, Bristow led by just two marks at the halfway point on a score of 15 from of Berta Abellan (Vertigo) from Spain with Neus Murcia (Gas Gas) in third a further seven marks off the pace.
Bristow then turned up the heat and added just a further five to her score with a sensational second lap to come home eight clear of Abellan. After an expensive opening lap of 27, Spain’s Sandra Gomez (TRRS) regrouped and her lap-two total of 10 lifted her into third, six marks clear of Maria Giro (Montesa) with Murcia dropping to fifth on 46.
“I didn’t make it easy for myself today,” said Bristow. “I had two really bad fives on the first lap which put me under pressure so I decided to go out on the second lap and ride a bit more relaxed. I had a bad three but I was happy with my performance and I’m looking forward to Spain. We’ve got a short break now but I’ll be working hard as always.”
In Trial2 Alexandre Ferrer (Sherco) ran out a hugely-popular home winner with a comfortable victory from Spain’s Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) who’s now closed to within one point of series leader Matteo Grattarola (Honda) from Italy who ended the day in third.
Ferrer – who won on day two in Japan and missed the win last time out in Portugal on a tie-break – was on top from the get-go with 13 consecutive cleans before incurring a single maximum on his opening lap. Adding a further seven marks to his total on lap two, his final score of 12 was seven clear of Marcelli with Grattarola’s total of 20 two ahead of Toby Martyn (Beta) and Spain’s Aniol Gelabert (Scorpa) with the British rider getting fourth on a most-cleans tie-break.
“I’m very, very happy to win at home,” said Ferrer. “I had a lot of fun and today has been a great victory. I have a very good feeling with my bike and I’d like to thank all of my team. I’ve been pushing hard and I want to finish on the podium for the championship.”
Winner of the opening Trial2 Women round at TrialGP Portugal, Germany’s Vivian Wachs (TRRS) produced a repeat performance. Tying with Alice Minta (Scorpa) on 10 after the opening lap, she then reeled off a sensational second lap of just one mark lost to end the day four clear of the British rider.
Giving the French fans plenty to cheer about, Lenna Volpe (Sherco) was third on 20 with Caroline Moreon (Sherco) and Naomi Monnier (Beta) completing the top five on 23 and 24.
Touly has dominated the Trial125 class since the series opener at TrialGP Italy at the end of May and, despite stuttering in the Netherlands where he slipped to fifth, has been the rider to beat so it was fitting that he signed off on top.
A clear leader following the opening lap with a score of four, three maximums on his second lap pushed his total up to 20 but he still came home 11 clear of fellow French rider Arthur Rovery (Sherco) with Spain’s Alex Canales (Gas Gas) filling the third step on the podium with a total of 35. Carlo Alberto Rabino (Beta) from Italy was fourth on 36, eight marks ahead of Spain’s Pol Medinya (TRRS).
"What a crazy day," said Touly. "I'm really happy with this victory that was very important to me at home in France. I am really moved, very happy and above all very motivated for the future."
The series now takes a well-earned break before reconvening at La Nucia for TrialGP Spain, the seventh and final round of the series, on September 21-22.