This Friday will see the much anticipated launch of the FIM X-Trial des Nations in Nice, France where five nations - Spain, Great Britain, France, Japan and Norway - will compete for glory at the city’s Palais Nikaia.
With five of the fixed riders from the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship taking part, the bar has been set high, but Spain’s sizzling duo Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa and Albert Cabestany - Sherco are the clear favourites to take home the trophy in the event’s inception year.
Spain is undisputedly the most successful country to have ever competed in the longstanding FIM Trial des Nations, which it has won for the last eight years in a row and an incredible eighteen times since it began in 1984. The all-new FIM X-Trial des Nations will mirror this event, but the teams will consist of just two riders instead of four.
Six-times FIM Indoor/X-Trial World Champion, Toni Bou and Albert Cabestany, who finished as runner up in this year’s series, are Spain’s chosen two and with this powerful pair riding on its side, the Spanish team will be hard, if not impossible, to beat this weekend.
Toni Bou: “Trial des Nations is an important competition for me so the introduction of the FIM X-Trial des Nations is a big moment both personally and for the sport. Nice is a great place and Trial has a lot of supporters there. I am looking forward to working with Albert again, he is an incredible rider and a good friend. Our objective is to win and as the best two riders indoors we are feeling very confident, although we expect Japan and Great Britain will also be strong.”
Bou’s team mate, Albert Cabestany is equally excited and confident: “It is really nice to have a new championship and the chance to win another World title. We will fight as we have been fighting every weekend in the FIM X-Trial World Championship. There are never any guarantees, but Toni and I are top in the sport right now and are the press’ favourite to win, so will we work together to maintain this role and achieve the best result for our country.”
The FIM X-Trial des Nations will bring to a close the 2012 indoor season, in which Bou, Cabestany and fellow countrymen Adam Raga – Gas Gas who finished third in this year’s championship plus not to mention fifth placed overall Jeroni Fajado – Beta occupied four out of the top five rankings. So only a brave person would bet against Spain’s domination of the discipline continuing in Nice this Friday.
The FIM X-Trial des Nations will be broadcast live on Motors TV Friday, with the event starting at 21:00hrs local time.