Trials

Bou returns to his winning way

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Toni Bou ‰ÛÒ Repsol Montesa HRC further extended his advantage at the top of the overall standings of the world outdoor trials championship as he returned to his winning ways with a solid victory at the Italian Grand Prix. Bou riding his factory Cota 4RT was joined on the podium by his team mate Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa HRC, as the Japanese rider took third spot after a brilliant second lap fight back. Adam Raga ‰ÛÒ Gas Gas finished as runner up on the day, but lost further ground to Bou as the series reached its halfway point. The small town of Erba, approximately seventy kilometres North of Milan was the latest stop on the 2007 tour and served up a stiff challenge even for the top riders. The course itself, at fifteen kilometres in length, the maximum distance allowed created its own problems, and forced the overall time limit to be extended by nearly an hour. The local landscape offered a good variety of sections, with the first half of the lap being based in a stream, while the later hazards were set on a steep banking in a wooded area high on the hillside, leaving just the last two man made hazards back at the start area. With temperatures reaching nearly thirty degrees Celsius, Bou showed just how hot he was during the first lap as he opened up a fourteen-mark lead over Raga after the first tour of the fifteen difficult sections. Marc Freixa ‰ÛÒ Scorpa caused the shock of the morning session as he placed third at the mid point, just ahead of Fujinami and James Dabill ‰ÛÒ Montesa, with Lampkin back in sixth spot at this stage. The heat really got to Bou at the start of lap two, with the young Spanish rider having to sit out for a few minutes after he nearly feinted as the tough conditions took their toll. Although unable to match his earlier performance and whilst nowhere near 100%, Toni managed to maintain his lead to come home seven marks clear of Raga at the finish. Fujinami mounted a fantastic fight back to post the best lap of the trial, but despite his second lap showing the Japanese rider had to settle for third position come the end. Lampkin also improved during the later part of the competition to snatch a hard earned fourth spot. "I am very happy to have won again," Bou said. "Especially after losing on the second day in Japan, and also at the Spanish championship round last weekend. It was not an easy victory for many reasons. It has been a tough trial overall and the heat also added to this. I made a good first lap, and was not feeling any pressure as I had a good lead, but I felt very ill at the beginning of the second lap and this effected my concentration and rhythm. In the end I just did enough, which considering everything was a good result, especially as I have increased my lead in the championship too.‰Û

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