The 2014 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship is set for a grandstand finish tomorrow with British riders Emma Bristow – Sherco and Rebekah Cook – Beta locked in an enthralling battle as the series comes to a close in the mountains of the small principality of Andorra. The stakes could not be higher and the pressure could not be greater as which ever rider wins, should that be the case, will become the 2014 FIM Women’s Trial World Champion and in doing so will bring to an end Laia Sanz’s six year reign since she last lost the title to Iris Kramer back in 2007. For the record Sanz has only ever been beaten in one GP in her fourteen years as part of the series, but this single loss was enough for Kramer to snatch an historic victory and championship all in one day.
Back to the 2014 title race, and although Bristow currently heads her fierce rival and compatriot Cook by ten points going into tomorrow’s deciding encounter, the best three results from the four counting days sheds a whole new dimension on just how close the title fight actually is. A win for Cook tomorrow will give her two wins and a second place as her best three results, which will be the exact same for Bristow, but the title would go to Cook by way of the better last round result. Tomorrow afternoon will see these two riders faced by two very different emotions.
They say sport can be cruel and Trial is no different at moments like these. Spain’s Sandra Gomez – Ossa currently sits in third place in the general standings just four points behind Cook despite her relatively poor showing when she finished down in fifth spot on the second day of her home Grand Prix last weekend. Adding extra intrigue to the battle between the two front runners Gomez can actually overhaul Cook for second place in the series if she makes it on to the podium in Andorra and Rebekah fails to finish in the top five.
So the young Spanish rider who was on the rostrum at the opening round in Belgium has much to fight for in what could be regarded as her second home GP in as many weeks. Theresa Bauml – Ossa from Germany produced the stand out performance at the Spanish round, with the sixteen year old taking fifth place on Saturday before claiming a sensational third spot on the second day of competition.
Bauml who ranked tenth last season currently sits fourth in the general standings and is more than worthy of her new elevated status and could potentially be a champion in waiting and may just emulate what her mentor Kramer did back in 2007 in the future.
Mireia Conde – Beta is currently tied on thirty-six points with Bauml to make it two Spanish riders in the top five as she joins Gomez in this elite group of female riders. Conde beat her previous career best result of fifth place, which she achieved at the opening round in Andorra last season, on both days of her home GP. Her 4 – 3 showing as she made her first appearance on the podium has put her in a great position to improve on the sixth place overall that she earned in 2013.
Germany’s other rising star Ina Wilde – Gas Gas is another rider enjoying their best season to date. Her fourth place on day one last weekend represented her best result since she placed fifth in Andorra back in 2008. Ina currently holds sixth in the general standings heading into the closing round, some four points behind Conde and eight clear of Britain’s Katy Sunter – Gas Gas in seventh spot. Elisabet Solera – Gas Gas, Italy’s Sara Trentini – Ossa and Maria Giro – Beta are the three riders who currently round out the top ten respectively. Encouragingly a total of forty-seven female competitors representing twelve nations will take part in the final battle of the 2014 FIM Women’s Trial World Championship tomorrow in Andorra.