Abel Mustieles: "No me gusta el trial actual"
Abel Mustieles : « Je n’aime pas le trial actuel »

Abel Mustieles: "I don’t like today’s trials"

Tuesday 23 April 2013
by Ben Swales
popularity : 6%

JPEG - 294.3 kb There has been much controversy following the opening round of the UCI World Cup in Germany; deep mud in the sections, obstacles that put riders’ personal safety at great risk and senseless and dangerous setups are just some of the complaints that have been flying around online in the days that have followed this weekend’s trial in Heubach. Current World Cup Champion Abel Mustieles has released a statement on his websitein which he expresses his feelings on the state of trials today, the opening round of the World Cup, which many have been caling the worst in memory, and offers his opinions on what needs to change in the future.

Statement by Abel Mustieles

PNG - 29.8 kb

World Cup #1 – Heubach (Germany) – April 21, 2013

There are two reasons why I don’t like today’s trials:

1) I’m home, feeling and knowing I did well, really well, but I didn’t get the result I deserved. I don’t mind at all I lost due to a time penalty, that’s not the thing that bothers me. What makes me feel sad is going back home with a 2nd place, knowing that I took more chances and tackled all zones with more risks than my rivals, and that didn’t have an effect on the final outcome. Why?

Because today’s trials regulations don’t reward those who risk – they don’t take penalties on those who ride carefully, either. It’s the same to make a ‘fiasco’ (5 points) in the second obstacle of a zone than making it in the sixth one, after going through the first five… Those are things we should change for trials being fair.

2) The rounds at Heubach weren’t normal trials. They were quite atypical ones, where we struggled to survive. I think the organizers weren’t at the height of circumstances nor aware of the danger some of the zones implied – some others had obstacles impossible to tackle, and all riders had to put their feet on them to get through. Incidentally, those were the zones with the biggest crowds. I imagine the people at the dangerous zones looking at each other and not to the action, not wanting to see a rider crashing out and killing himself when tackling a zone first or second. There was a zone where people weren’t able to discern whether we were trials riders or mountainners.

That’s why I’m wondering:

- Why is it so difficult to cover the trunks with chain nets so we don’t slip? Of course I understand we have to fly three meters high to get through some obstacles, but let’s ride with minimum security guarantees. It would also be appropiate to have some air beds on the ground around the obstacles so as not to injury when crashing.

- Why don’t we have a competent jury? The jury is in charge of checking all zones, and should be able to modify those who offer security challenges and adapt them to the race circumstances.

The best way to protest in the face of those two big –and unfortunately usual- issues was taken by World Champion Gilles Coustellier. That was a measure I can only show support to.

These are the things I would change:

- Bringing up a full regulation change, so trials are more just.
- Establishing a zone jury in every competition, selected by the riders, that revises the zones and improves security.
- Changing race schedules (you can’t hold a semifinal at 8am, because riders have to get up at 5.30am and most hotels don’t even offer breakfast at that time, not to talk about the significant loss of crowd attendances that implies).
- Finally, establishing a SUPERFINAL in all competitions, with a format different to the one put into practice right now – one that is more exciting for everyone.

There are several riders like us who want to change trials, but we need support from everyone, and above all... WE NEED THE UCI TO LISTEN TO US.

See you in Poland…

Abel Mustieles

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