An interview with the world’s number 1 20" and number 2 26" rider, Benito Ros, in which he talks us through his 2011 season.
In collaboration with trials-riders.es, Tribal Zine brings you the most exclusive interview with the world’s best riders. Following the perfect season, Benito Ros (20” World Champion and 26” World Vice-Champion) has accorded is an interview in which we talked about his impressions of the season at first hand. Enjoy!
OK Benito, I’d like to start by congratulating you on your season and thanking you for the time that you’ve given us for interviews all year and for this one.
Thanks for all your support! The coverage and information you provide is great and I’ll always contribute what I can. I’ve started a blog now, where I’ll try to put all of the interesting things that I do : www.benitoros.es/blog/.
Let’s start with the nationals; a perfect championship for you, with victories in every round! Tell us a bit about how it was for you.
You already know about the first two rounds, which are always important if you want to win the championship and carry on with confidence in the rest of the season. The third round, which was unusual in that it was so late, meant that I could put the lid on a perfect year, I was really happy to finish the season by winning it.
Moving on, let’s talk about your international season. The World Cup was basically your own private competition and you won every round except for Ripoll, where you had a bad day and Dani had a good day, which ended up with him snatching victory from your grasp. Let’s talk about your feelings in the Cup rounds and in the final.
As you say, in Ripoll various things meant that I didn’t have the best day which, coupled with the fact that Dani gave his best meant that it didn’t go my way. I guess Ripoll just isn’t my place to win. Last year the same thing happened, I lost the Spanish round and went on to win the Cup. I’m still going to keep trying to win there though. In the other rounds I gave my best and everything went perfectly, I prefer the more difficult sections, that’s when I best know how to fight off the competition. And another goal reached in 2010.
It’s a championship that, for one reason or another, I’ve never won before. This was the year that I put an end to that, putting in a great performance as I’d been doing elsewhere in the other championships and ended up winning my first blue jersey. The competition itself was quite hard and Abel also did well, he was one step behind me all the way. I set off as the favourite in the final, riding last and therefore controlling what happened; it was hard, but everything came out as I’d planned.
So now we arrive at the competition where you were crowned World Champion for the seventh time in your career, establishing yourself as the No. 1 20” rider and surprising everyone with a second place in 26” Talk us through the competition and its conclusion..
The World Championship is always something special, different from all of the rest – it’s such an important competition, which is why I compete in both categories. It’s a tough competition! The 20” semi-finals went well for me and I had a good result. It was a nice, semi-natural competition. It was much the same in 26”, but as I got tired I lost concentration, which on a 26” means a lot of mistakes, it doesn’t come as naturally to me as 20” does, but I still managed to qualify in 6th place.
For the 20” final, surprise surprise, the weather got worse, starting to rain just as it was my turn to set off. The first section was all narrow tree trunks, so I didn’t have a great start. I didn’t feel quite right on the bike either, I was finding it hard to get my head in the game so I wasn’t riding to the best of my abilities until after my first lap. Then, with Abel snapping at my heels and the weather improving, it was like my engine finally started and I managed to set things straight with a much better second lap. The positive point that I took from that day is that even on the worst day I’d had all year I was able to get back into the game so that I didn’t lose hold of what had cost me so much throughout the year.
The 26” final was plagued by bad weather again, which always seemed to fall at just the wrong moment. Having said that, I still managed some good passages on my first lap, although I couldn’t close the competition off. Points-wise I had a pretty bad start, but the second lap went much better than the first and I managed to get through the sections without dropping any unnecessary points. That, combined with the fact that the trial wasn’t what the favourites were used to, meant that I was able to achieve that second place finish. The end result: the best world result of my life and the best result that anyone has ever managed. 1st in 20” and 2nd in 26”.
At the start of the season you mentioned to me that you at least wanted the same results as 2009 and you ended up winning everything that there was to win. What’s left for you? Maybe a win in the 26” World Championship?
I’m a bit nervous about saying what I want to achieve next year. After everything I did this year there’s only one position I can improve on. I even won all the unofficial competitions like K-124 Days or the Cahors Trial , which had both 20” and 26” international riders competing in them. I can’t ask for more! Yes, the 26” World Championship, but I don’t want to be too ambitious, although I will keep training on the 26”, just in case.
Did your training change much in comparison to 2009
The truth is that it didn’t, although I can’t really remember my training in 2009. I trained as well as I could this year with excellent results. I hope to be able to maintain that level of training for 2011.
Do you think you might move over to 26”?
I don’t think I’ll ever change over fully, somthing big would have ot happen for me to take that decision. Although honestly, it wouldn’t take THAT much for me to do it, the curiosity’s always there. I’ll still train on the 26” from time to time, I like it. So we’ll see I guess.
Perserverance, although I persevere every year, always wanting to be at the top of the sport and to improve every year.
Sum up your season?
P E R F E C T
Which competition or moment will stay with you and which would you rather forget and why?
No single competition or moment particularly stands out, they were all hard and I did well in them all. It’s the moments when it all comes together and the pride that comes with them that I’ll remember, like in the Italian and Belgian World Cups or the European Championshiop. And it’s when you don’t manage to achieve what you expect or want to that you feel the most helpless and disappointed. Luckily it was only in Ripoll that I had a moment like that, but I was able to overcome it.
What will you take from this season and what would you change?
After all the years I’ve been competing and the number of titles I’ve won, I’m always surprised when I improve each year, although I feel like this year might have been my peak. All I can ask is that I carry on like this. I wouldn’t change anything, just develop things: every year my level of riding improves and I hope that continues.
Were there any surprises ?
As we all know, the second place in 26" was the biggest surprise of all.
Thanks for your time, as always, enjoy your well-earned holiday!
My pleasure. And thanks to everyone that follows the sport. I will be having a holiday, but the bike will be coming with me!