X-Trial stars ready for big Barca bash

X-Trial stars ready for big Barca bash

No-one is going to stop the formidable Toni Bou – are they?

Following the recent X-Trial Budapest, which featured the closest-ever X-Trial finish – with several tie-breaks necessary to separate the victorious Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) from arch-rival Adam Raga (TRRS) – this Sunday, February 2, sees the big one, the annual X-Trial Barcelona.

The Barcelona event is the oldest consecutive indoor trial in history and 2020 will see the 43rd edition take place at the huge Palau St Jordi stadium, built for the 1992 Olympics and situated on top of Montjuic.

The impressive St Jordi is roughly twice the size of a standard UK stadium.

All five contracted series riders are fit and well and comprise Bou and Raga, Jaime Busto (Vertigo) and teenager Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) from Spain plus French youngster Benoit Bincaz (Beta).

Barcelona is obviously a massive event for the home riders and it is no surprise that the three invited riders are all Spanish. In fact, they are the exact trio invited to Budapest comprising Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco), Jorge Casales (GasGas) and Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo).

Fajardo was the final rider to book his place in the Catalan capital, earning automatic qualification as best event rider from a successful visit to Hungary.

Despite missing out on a podium place after a tie-break defeat at the hands of Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa), Fajardo nonetheless made a second consecutive appearance in the Consolation Final and moved up to fourth in the overall standings as a result.

While veteran Fajardo was a podium finisher in Rennes, France, fellow event riders for X-Trial Barcelona Jorge Casales and Miquel Gelabert are both in pursuit of their first podium finishes in this 2020 campaign.

Casales has finished fifth in each of his two outings, in La Reunion and more recently in Budapest, while Miquel Gelabert will be keen to get over a disastrous visit to the Hungarian capital.

Having been a solid fourth in each of the opening two rounds, the Catalan could only manage seventh last time out, and he will be hoping that a home crowd can urge him back to form.

So, no room for a Brit, or any other nation, in Barcelona – a favourite destination for British trials fans – as Spain maintains its iron grip on X-Trial with just rounds in Bilbao (Spain) and Wiener Neustradt (Austria) to follow the big Barca bash.

2020 World X-Trial Standings after three rounds: 1 Toni Bou (Repsol Honda) 60 pts, 2 Adam Raga (TRS) 45, 3 Jaime Busto (Vertigo) 22, 4 Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco) 21, 5 Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo) 20, 6 Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa) 18, Jorge Casales (GasGas) 12, Benoit Bincaz (Beta) 7, Toby Martyn (Beta) 1, Kieran Touly (Scorpa) 1.

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