When the inaugural FIM X-Trial des Nations rolls into Nice tomorrow evening, it will be the first time since 2003 that the southern French city has hosted a World status Trial. Back on the 7th March, nine years ago, Nice was the tenth stop on the then FIM Indoor Trial World Championship and delivered an event that was won by Spain's Marc Freixa - Montesa, on that particular evening.
Riders who were present on that night and who will also take part in tomorrow evening's competition at the Palais Nikai are limited to just two. Both now in their fourth decade of life Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa aged thirty two and Albert Cabestany - Sherco being just a year younger than his Japanese rival, have ridden many sections since they were in Nice in 2003.
Fujinami's memory of that night may now be feint, but should be the fonder of the two returning veterans. Takahisa just missed out on a podium place to Adam Raga - Gas Gas on that occasion, whilst Cabestany failed to qualify for the final and finished in a lowly sixth spot behind the now extreme enduro specialist Graham Jarvis - Sherco. Representing Spain and Japan respectively, Cabestany and Fujinami will both be hoping that it's a happy return to the French holiday city.