world round stuff first event of 2011 title in 2010!!
BOU BEGINS HIS TITLE DEFENCE IN ITALY
A new season will kick into life in Italy this weekend as the highly anticipated and newly titled 2011 SPEA FIM X-Trial World Championship begins in Genoa on 27th November. Round one of the revamped series will share its billing with the FIM Indoor Enduro World Championship in what promises to be an exciting and anxious double-header played out beneath the dazzling lights of the Palasport Fiera di Genoa arena. However while the spectacle of indoor enduro is a welcome addition, all eyes will be on the World’s best trial riders as they attempt to wrestle the title away from a diligent Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa.
Having taken top honours for four consecutive seasons Bou is unlikely to give up his crown without a fight. He won all but one round in 2010 and therefore the seemingly untouchable Spaniard starts the season as a firm series favourite. That said, Bou will not be without serious competition, perhaps most notably from last year’s runner-up and trial veteran Albert Cabestany - Sherco.
An invigorated Cabestany kept Bou honest in 2009 and 2010, and he will begin his campaign this year fresh and extremely motivated. The only rider to beat Bou indoors in recent times Cabestany, a fellow Spaniard, is likely to be a real thorn in his countryman’s side. Slightly less consistent last year, but still one to watch is Adam Raga - Gas Gas. His planned 2010 ambush started poorly, however the evergreen former World champion regrouped to finish the series in third place overall.
Raga’s status in the top three was challenged throughout last season by the fast-improving Brit James Dabill - Gas Gas and the auspicious young Spaniard Jeroni Fajardo - Beta. The plucky pair are back in 2011 and both will be looking to cement their credentials and make a name for themselves among the World’s elite. Consistency is key if either is to make a firm impression while keeping the likes of Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa at bay.
One fresh face making his debut as a fixed rider this season is 2010 FIM World Junior Champion Jack Challoner - Beta. Strong, talented if inexperienced, Challoner is a welcome addition to a permanent line-up that also includes Michael Brown - Sherco. Brown is making a return to the series after a twelve-month hiatus, having last competed indoors full-time in 2009.
Whatever happens this season fans of the championship are in for a real treat as Cabestany and friends vie to knock Bou off his pedestal and prevent the dogged Catalan from claiming his fifth straight indoor crown. Were Bou to overcome all comers, victory in 2011 would mark his ninth World title.
this courtesy of jackie miller