Toni Bou has extended his TrialGP run to 15 consecutive titles, his fellow Spaniard Laia Sanz clinched her 14th TrialGP Women crown as the 2021 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship went down to the wire at Gouveia in Portugal.
Bou has been in command since the opening round in Italy back in June and he sealed his record-breaking sequence of championships with a four-mark win ahead of his long-time rival and compatriot Adam Raga after parting with 20 marks following a hard day on the footpegs.
On a dry and dusty day, the first seven sections in a river bed followed by the next five over huge boulders proved to be testing but Bou was in command.
“This year has been very special for me because at the beginning things were very complicated with the injury just a month before the start of the championship,” Bou said.
“In the end there will come a year when I will not be able to win – I’ve won for 15 consecutive years – but the fact that I got injured just before the start of the world championship made it special and I didn’t want to lose a championship in this way. Once again we battled 100%, I tried to get into shape as the championship progressed and the fact that I had a very good work rate before I got injured also helped me to recover faster. I am very happy to be able to win another world championship. Once again, many thanks to the whole team.
“Today was also a very special day for everyone as it was Fujinami’s last trial. It is very difficult to think of Team HRC without him. I wish him all the best for the future.”
Just three marks clear of Raga following his opening lap of 10, Bou was super-consistent and matched this total on the second lap to end the day on a total of 20. Despite his best efforts which saw him drop his score second time around to 11, Raga had to settle for second on the day and in the championship.
Jaime Busto was a further two marks behind in third to secure the FIM bronze medal as Gabriel Marcelli completed a Spanish top-four sweep ahead of Italy’s Matteo Grattarola who ended the series in fourth on his return to the premier class following his Trial2 title in 2020.
While Bou’s title was pretty much a foregone conclusion, the TrialGP Women crown was up in the air heading into Portugal with British rider and reigning champion Emma Bristow going for her eighth consecutive title but leading Laia Sanz – the 13-time champion who was returning to the series for the first time since 2013 – by just one point.
On the day Sanz rose to the occasion and topped the podium on a total of six with Berta Abellan second on 11, three ahead of Bristow. The top five was completed by Spain’s Sandra Gomez and British rider Alice Minta who rode well but were never really in contention for a podium finish.
“It’s been an incredible day, to win is amazing,” Sainz said. ” It wasn’t the hardest trial of the championship, but the hard thing for me was to stay 100% focused, so mentally it wasn’t easy at all. Coming back to TrialGP after so many years away, to return and finally be successful and win another world title, it’s amazing. Apart from section three on the first lap, I think I had one of my best days of the championship today. It’s not been an easy year for me, so I am proud that I have been able to do what I hoped I would. Also, I want to thank the team and GASGAS, they have been so, so good to me. It’s the result that we all worked really hard for.”
With the championship finished, the season concludes today with the 2021 Hertz FIM Trial des Nations.