Germany bicycle company UNIVEGA strengthened its relationship with the FIM and also the sport of Women's Trial during the opening ceremony of the 2011 FIM Trial des Nations. Prior to the presentation of the teams CTR member responsible for Women's Trial Anders Minken who has been a long time supporter of the female series, took to the stage to announce the three prize winners, with two new categories being added to the Women’s Trial Rookie of the Year award that was first introduced last season.
Fourteen year old Nikita Smith - Gas Gas from Great Britain became the second only recipient of Women’s Trial Rookie of the Year award, after she recorded her best result at the second round of the 2011 FIM Women's Trial World Championship in the Czech Republic. The British teenager looks to be a potential star of the future and has made a real impression on the series during her first season, and thus was totally worthy of her UNIVEGA prize.
At the other end of the spectrum France's Blandine-Fuggi Guillaud - Gas Gas was delighted to be acknowledged as the most experienced campaigner of the championship. Having finished just outside the top twenty during yesterday's competition, the French veteran rider warned her younger rivals that she would be back stronger next season now that she has a UNIVEGA bicycle to train with this winter.
The final UNIVEGA prize went to another British female rider, this time Donna Fox - Beta who was recognised for her return to the Women's series this year after having been absent during more recent seasons. Fox really came back with a bang as she placed fifth at the opening round of the 2011 FIM Women's Trial World Championship in Germany. Consistent performances by Donna put her in a deserved seventh spot in the final standings.
The relationship between the FIM and UNIVEGA was initially developed by 2007 FIM Women’s Trial World Champion Iris Kramer. Kramer now works for the FIM as an advisor for the Women’s Championship. However UNIVEGA is no stranger to the Trial community and already has association with the likes of Kramer, Laia Sanz, Adam Raga and Jeroni Fajardo as part of their sponsorship programme. Alongside their direct athlete support of established riders, UNIVEGA also wanted to offer some different types of opportunity to the other riders in the FIM Women's Trial World Championship.
Earlier in the day Kramer's father was on hand to represent UNIVEGA and to present FIM Marketing and Communications Director - Olivier Godallier and CTR Director - David Willoughby with two electric bicycles that will be used by FIM staff at events.
Speaking about the collaboration Mr Uwe Reinkemeier-Lay, Director of Univega commented. "I am really pleased to continue and extend our relationship with the FIM. There is a real connection between Trial and MTB, as a lot of Trial riders are practicing their sport on a bicycle."
Olivier Godallier said “On behalf of the FIM I would like to thank UNIVEGA for their increased support and to congratulate the various prize winners on their achievements. We are also pleased to received the two electric bicycles as they very much fit with the FIM's environmental and social responsibility."
More information on UNIVEGA at www.univega.com.