The 2021 TrialGP World Championship is settled, with Toni Bou taking the men’s title, and Laia Sanz taking the women’s title.
Both Sanz and Bou had significant challenges on their way to victory this year, although both riders are legendary in the trials world. Bou has won 29 observed trials championships, taking every title since 2007, a most impressive record—but he started the 2021 season injured. He powered through his physical woes, though, and going into the Portuguese round on the September 18 weekend, he only needed a single point to clinch his 2021 title. He won the event, taking 20 points—way to seal the deal! It was his seventh win of the 2021 series.
Of course, Toni Bou was riding for Honda, as always, aboard a Montesa Cota 4RT .
As for Laia Sanz: It was Sanz’s first year back in TrialGP after a few years’ absence. Sanz has been focusing on rally raid the past while, where she’s been cleaning up aboard KTM. Now that KTM owns GasGas, it’s keen to put Sanz back into high-level trials competition, and she certainly proved she’s a fantastic talent. Maybe the Greatest Of All Time in female motorcycle competition? It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that.
Her win broke Emma Bristow’s seven-year championship run—Bristow started winning the title as soon as Sanz left the series, and promptly lost it back to Sanz upon her return. Bristow went into the last event of the series with a slim single-point lead, and Sanz snatched the title away from her in the final showdown. Both riders ended the season with three wins, but Sanz had 111 points to Bristow’s 107 points.
Sanz’s comeback victory was even more impressive when you consider her physical struggles through 2020-2021, recovering from Lyme Disease.