Laia Sanz - Repsol Montesa opened the defence of her FIM Women's Trial World Championship with an emphatic win at the first round of the 2010 series held in France. In extremely hot conditions Sanz made light work of what proved to be a tough initial competition for the majority of the field and came home well clear of eighteen year old Joanne Coles - Gas Gas who took her first ever runners up spot at this level.
Emma Bristow - Gas Gas made it two British riders on the podium as she also claimed her maiden rostrum place at the FIM Women's Trial World Championship when she narrowly defeated Rebekah Cook - Sherco after a day long battle with her counterpart. Whilst a heavy rain shower broke the brilliant sunshine just as the first lap was coming to a close, this actually proved of little relevance with the ground in the steep sided valley being so dry.
Sanz looked slightly nervous on her opening tour and struggled to find her rhythm as she got caught up in the queues on the first lap as each rider used every second to fight their way through the long and technical hazards. Despite her tense appearance Laia lost marks in just three sections, seven - ten and twelve to record a first lap tally of just eight marks. Next best at this stage was Bristow on thirty, who held a one mark advantage over Coles and found herself three marks ahead of Cook at the halfway point.
Not happy with her slow morning progress Sanz made a dash for home on the second lap, finishing the trial a full one and half hours ahead of schedule. Laia's new speed seemed to be of benefit to her, as she parted with a mere three marks on her final lap including a soft dab in the last section of the day. There was no doubt, even with her closest rivals still out on the course, that Sanz was the clear winner as her total for the day was already half that of any other riders' score for just the first lap.
With Laia already back in the club house and preparing her winner's speech, the battle for the other podium places was still taking place in amongst the sheer slabs set on the dusty hillside above the town. Although unable to match Laia's form, Coles was the one everyone was now talking about as she produced an incredible closing performance to half her first lap score. Again it was clear that this was sufficient to give the British teenager her best ever World result as Bristow and Cook failed to react to this new level of riding being displayed by their younger counterpart.
Germany's Rosita Leotta - Gas Gas completed the top five on seventy one marks, confirming the severity of the course, as the much fancied Sandra Gomez - Gas Gas could only manage sixth spot this time out. The Women will now have to wait until early September for the second encounter of what promises to be an exciting series, with round two being played out in the Czech Republic.