High altitude, even higher temperatures, and super-challenging sections made the Hertz FIM TrialGP of Andorra – round two of this year’s world championship – the toughest event so far this season.
At its highest point a lofty 1600 metres above sea level, bikes and bodies were pushed to the absolute limit at Sant Julià de Lòria as the best trial riders on the planet fought it out in the Pyrenean principality.
The first four sections were plotted on the side of a steep-sided valley with big rocks set into loose ground before the focus shifted to a partially dry riverbed where grip was in short supply.
The premier TrialGP class is proving to be incredibly competitive this year and we saw our third winner from the first three events as Adam Raga emerged on top with a dominant 10-mark winning ride ahead of defending champion Toni Bou.
Sitting third in the championship heading into Andorra, the Spaniard’s ninth win in the Pyrenees ties Bou’s record and sets up a dramatic encounter on day two as both riders push to get their win total here into double figures.
Following a high-scoring opening lap, Raga led the 15-time champ by seven marks before sealing the deal with a second-lap total of 12 that was easily the best of the trial.
“I’m very happy because I rode my best and had a very good second lap and pushed to the end to take the victory,” said Raga. “I have a good feeling now after not a perfect result at the first round.”
Bou still saw his second as positive but has declared he will attack tomorrow.
“In the final two sections I had practically lost the trial but I wanted to take a risk, I didn’t want to put my foot down, but the front end of the bike slipped a bit and I fived,” Bou explained. “The trial was lost on the first lap, we were looking more to the back than to the front because we had the rivals very close. I was trying to protect the championship. We have to be very consistent, try to stay at the front, but it’s very difficult because there’s some very tough competition. I think we were competitive in the second lap, but not in the first lap and we lacked that ‘extra bit’. Second position is a positive result towards the championship. Tomorrow will be a decisive day for us, we will have to go out and attack at our best.”
Jeroni Fajardo was a distant third after winning a tie-break with fellow Spanish rider Jorge Casales as Gabriel Marcelli claimed fifth.
Jaime Busto, who shared the championship lead with Bou at the start of the day following his victory at the series’ opener, came home a disappointing seventh.
The action kicks off tomorrow with the first rider away at 9am.