This coming weekend marks the third round of the 2011 SPEA FIM Trial World Championship as the series arrives in Pobladura de las Regueras, Northern Spain. Situated seventy-five kilometres away from the city of Leon, the picturesque rural dwelling consists of only a few hundred inhabitants and yet houses some spectacular terrain, which is set to test even the most talented riders.
The competition is set to be as strong as ever with a number of riders in each class claiming this as their home GP, including two times FIM Trial World champion Adam Raga – Gas Gas who will be looking to strengthen his current title challenge. Raga holds second place in the general standings after the opening two rounds.
During 2005 and 2006 Raga was on top of the World, claiming the SPEA FIM Trial World Championship both years as well as four consecutive indoor titles from 2003 through until 2006. However it was when Toni Bou signed for Repsol Montesa in 2007 that the now twenty-nine year old Raga was somewhat cast into the shadows. Having played bridesmaid to Bou for the past four seasons, Raga is determined to step back into the limelight during 2011 and reclaim his World champion status.
After a disappointing initial appearance at the opening round of the series in Germany where he could only manage fourth, Raga arrived in France a different person. Guided by an injured Dougie Lampkin – Gas Gas the Spaniard romped to a commanding victory during the first day of the two-day event. Carrying his new found confidence into the second day of competition Raga was up against a scorn Bou who would not be beaten for a second time, leaving Raga to claim the last podium place on this occasion.
“For sure the start of the season was not good for me. I arrived in Germany hopeful that I could fight with Toni, though at the end of the day I came away with fourth – certainly not the result I wanted. I made too many mistakes in Germany and for some reason my head was not in the right place,” said Raga. Knowing he would have to up his game if he was to rival Bou for the championship, Raga arrived in France at the second round of the series a week later, a new man.
“When I came to France I knew I had to get a good result if I wanted to keep close to Toni in the championship. Dougie had an injury to his ankle so could not compete and instead helped me. It was great having him by my side, Dougie has so much experience and my confidence was boosted, there is no doubt that he effected my result.”
Going into round three, Raga is only seven points behind Bou with everything still to play for as they head towards their home GP. A confident Raga commented, “I am really looking forward to the Spanish round of the series. I know Toni will want to win in front of a home crowd, however I have ridden here many times before and won many Spanish championship trials here so I cannot wait to compete. The terrain is very mixed with lots of river crossings and plenty of rocks – there is a little bit of everything - it is not an easy place to ride.”