Trials

Toni Bou Extends Unbeaten Streak At TrialGP of Italy

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Toni Bou at the At 2024 TrialGP of Italy
Toni Bou earned his fifth consecutive victory and is now up to 100 points in the overall standings.

Extending his win streak to five wins from five starts, reigning champion Toni Bou produced another polished performance to dominate a wet opening day at the TrialGP of Italy – round three of the 2024 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship.

With the series making its first-ever visit to Valsassina in the north of the country, competitors faced a challenging mixture of man-made and natural hazards plotted on super-steep bankings and in a riverbed studded with huge rocks. Heavy overnight rain meant many sections had to be reworked before the action got underway, but despite this early-morning maintenance there was a shortage of grip all around the course and opening lap scores were the highest we have seen so far this season.

Starting the day unbeaten following the opening two rounds in Japan and Andorra, Spanish superstar Toni Bou needed just two sections to seize an early lead, but even the seventeen-time world champion incurred an early five on section three that claimed maximums from all the elite TrialGP riders on the first lap.

The steep, slippery bankings and tree roots of section five also took maximums from the entire TrialGP field on lap one and Bou then picked up back-to-back fives on sections seven and eight that wound their way up an imposing boulder-strewn riverbed. Despite this, his score of twenty-two at the halfway mark put him nine clear of local hero Matteo Grattarola who held second, one ahead of Gabriel Marcelli and three in front of two-time world champion Adam Raga.

With rain falling all day, Bou defied the tough conditions with an incredible second lap total comprising single dabs on sections one and five as he added a miserly two to his score as his main rivals all posted improved second lap totals, although no one came close to challenging him.

“I’m very happy with today,” Bou said. “It is always a pleasure to race here in Italy, with so many people and such beautiful scenery. It was a rainy race that made the areas a little more difficult for us, but it is something that I really like. I had a lot of fun on the first lap especially on the second, where I was able to be at my best with only two penalty points. I want to thank the team and tomorrow I hope we can maintain the same level and fight for victory.”

Cheered on by his home fans, Grattarola – whose hometown is less than twenty kilometres from Valsassina – rose to the occasion. The two-time Trial2 world champion always seems to ride well on his native soil with at least one podium finish at every TrialGP of Italy since 2021 – including a day win two years ago – and the thirty-six-year-old maintained this impressive record with a solid second lap total of nineteen seeing him end the day in second position on fifty.

The fight for third raged until the last section, a man-made jumble of large logs, with Marcelli, Raga and Jaime Busto – who had recovered well following an expensive opening lap score of forty – all in contention for the final step of the podium.

With grip in short supply where the bark had been ground away over the course of the day, twenty-four-year-old Marcelli held his nerve and went clean to make sure of third on a total of fifty-six, just two clear of Raga and five ahead of Busto with Jorge Casales a further mark adrift in sixth.

Focus now shifts to day two in Italy with the action scheduled to get underway at 09:00 local time.

Toni Bou at the At 2024 TrialGP of Italy. PODIUM

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