Although Spaniard Laia Sanz – Repsol Montesa has already been crowned the 2011 FIM Women's Trial World Champion, this Friday will see the final two positions of the championship podium decided. Celebrating the final round of the three round series, thirty-eight riders from eleven different countries will look to settle their individual battles as the competition comes to a head in Tolmezzo, Italy on Friday.
After claiming back-to-back victories at the first two chapters of the competition, twenty-five year old Sanz has lifted her eleventh FIM Women's title. Whilst she may feel a weight has been lifted from her shoulders, history would suggest that Laia's drive and determination will not be satisfied with anything other than another commanding win this time out.
As has been the case since the opening event in Germany, British riders Emma Bristow – Ossa and Rebekah Cook – Sherco look set to continue their close rivalry into the final stage of the series. Having finished as Vice World champion to Laia during the last three years, Cook is perhaps favourite to do the same again this time around. However, it has been twenty-year old Bristow who has somewhat set the pace behind Sanz.
The youngster from Boston produced two accomplished performances at the opening rounds of the series and currently finds herself second in the general standings. Training hard over the winter months and moving to Spanish manufacturer Ossa at the start of the current season, Bristow has shown a marked improvement in her riding and possibly will pose the greatest threat to Sanz in the future. After recently claiming a deserved runners-up position in the UEM Women's European Trial Championship, Bristow will now look to replicate her incredible achievement on the World stage.
Meanwhile Cook will arrive in Italy this weekend focused on improving on her previous results. After placing third at the previous two rounds of the series, the twenty-five year old seasoned campaigner currently finds herself third in the general standings. Presently just four points behind Bristow, Cook is aware that she must produce a strong performance this Friday if she is to move up the championship rankings. Sitting just outside of the top three Sandra Gomez – Gas Gas finds herself in fourth position and only six points less than Cook.
Having finished fifth at the end of 2010, Gomez will look to show that her ability has progressed since last season. Although Sandra will be focused on the riders in front of her, she must also refrain from making any costly mistakes as German rider Rosita Leotta – Gas Gas sits only one point behind her in fifth spot, so there is little room for error.
Further down the general standings competition is as close as ever with only four points separating the next three riders. Currently positioned sixth in the table, Donna Fox – Beta will aim to record a strong result in Italy in order to advance inside the top five. Similarly seventh and eighth placed Sandrine Juffet – Gas Gas and Ina Wilde – Sherco respectively will look to end their season campaigns on a high. Ultimately Tolmezzo looks set to bring to a close another exciting chapter of this ever emerging female championship.