Ledesma 2010 Camp. España Trial bici : Ledesma Memories

Spanish Championship 2010: Ledesma Memories

Wednesday 28 April 2010
by Ben Swales
popularity : 7%

PNG - 316.7 kb This weekend the second round of the Spanish Trials Championship took place in the Salmantina area of Ledesma. I (Tribal Zine’s Spanish Correspondent Alvaro Lopez) was part of the team that organised the competitions and so was on hand to follow the events closely.

I decided to write an article in which I would recount my experiences over this fantastic weekend in the company of the riders, organisers and everyone who helped in any way to run the competition, which had one of the highest attendances that I have ever seen.

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We arrived on Friday, accompanied by the rain, which would make for a difficult competition with dangerous sections, thanks to the moss, mud and clay that had made the sections as slippery as a skating rink.

As soon as we arrived we headed down to the sections to have a closer look. We bumped into Benito, who had arrived before us and who gave us his first impressions of the sections, in which he thought that there were three of four moves that were practically impossible (or at least seemed to be), as well as telling us about his Silver Sky (by Origami), which weighs in at an incredible 7.43kg, the lightest 20” that is is possible to build. He even let us have a quick play on it and take a few photos. It’s like the bike is made from paper!

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After chatting with Benito a while longer we heading back up to join the organisers and receive instructions for the tomorrow’s comp, after which we headed to our accommodation to wait impatiently for the next day to come around.

At 06:20 on Saturday morning our alarm went off… It was still pitch black! However, we still had plenty to prepare, so we had a quick bite to eat with the rest of the organisers and headed out to get started. A light rain was still falling, meaning that the sections would be as difficult as it had seemed yesterday, but the temperature was pleasant and there was no wind.

The competitors in the first two categories (Cadet y Junior) set off and it rapidly became apparent that this was going to be a very challenging competition thanks to the wet weather. However, despite a few falls, the conditions made for an exciting spectacle in which riders had to give their all in order to get through the sections.

Rafael Tibau, who had very recently undergone an operation, put in a great performance, as did Cadet winner Bernat Seuba and Eloi Pare and Aitor Murua who battled it out for the remaining podium spots . While these riders were in the sections Elite riders such as Benito Ros, Carles Díaz, Abel Mustieles Ion Areitio and Gerardo Garcia (wearing a trials-riders.es tshirt) began to arrive to familiarise themselves with the sections.

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Once the Junior and Cadet riders had all come in we headed up to the presentation area, where I had the job of announcing the winners, and presented the trophies to the top three riders in Junior:

- 1st Rafael Tibau (31)
- 2nd Ferran Granollers (38)
- 3rd Guillem Mauri (46)

and Cadet:

- 1st Bernat Seuba (27)
- 2nd Eloi Pare (35)
- 3rd Aitor Murua (37)

Following these presentations the Senior and Elite B riders set off. Luckily, the weather was improving and the sections were drying out a bit, which meant that the spectators got a better show that improved as the day went on.

It was a shame that some riders did not realise that they had to set off from control and not from the sections as it meant that they received penalty points for their mistake.

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The level of riding in these categories was very high and people began to line the sections to spectate.

In Senior, Jorge Arroyo (28), Alex Von Arend (31) and Joaquín Chacon (32) took the top three spots. Joaquin was one of the riders that received eight penalty points for not starting from control, which meant that he missed out on what should have been his victory after an impeccable trial.

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In Elite B, on the other hand, none of the top three riders were penalised:

- 1st Joan Figueras (32)
- 2nd Andreu miro (42)
- 3rd Iván Izquierdo (43)

Joan Figueras had an excellent first lap (the best in his category) with only seven points dropped, which was undoubtedly the key to his victory as despite dropping 25 points on his second lap, his earlier performance was enough to guarantee him the top spot…

While these reulst were being finalised, the rest of the Elite riders were itching to getstarted.

I took the opportunity to have a quick chat with Elite rider Gerardo Garcia, who talked about the difficulty of the sections and how he wasn’t sure that he’d be able to get through them all as it was his first time competing in Elite in this kind of competition.

I was also able to talk to Diego Barrio, who was ‘premiering’ the prototype of the new Curve 20. The Trial-Bikes rider let us have a quick go and take a few photos – more about that later.

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Before sending the Elite riders off there was a meeting in which it was decided that they would ride three laps of the sections. Once all were in agreement they grabbed their bikes and gear and they were off!

The main square in Ledesma was filling up with the best riders that Spain has to offer and those of us who were there witnessed some pretty impressive stuff leading up to the start of the Elite trial.

As MC it was down to me to call the riders in groups of four and send them off. This was a great honour for me as all of my idols were among them. After the last group had set off I rushed down to the sections so as not to miss any of the action.

The sections had dried out by now and the day was heating up, so much so that the spectators were all in short sleeves. There was an early surprise in the Elite comp; Dani Comas had barely started the trial when he broke a tape and incurred a five. Even the smallest error can make a big difference at this level, especially when you’re competing against Benito Ros is his current form, and Dani was now on the back foot. Despite this, the current Spanish and European Champion still showed that he is perhaps the only rider capable of keeping up with Benito and challenging him in competition. It’s a shame that that early mistake put him out of reach of the top of the podium.

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Benito was on top form and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen him riding so well or so strongly. There was simply no comparison, he floated over the sections and landed ‘impossible’ moves and all with such style and ease!

When he finished his three laps I met up with him at the control desk to ask him about the trial:

A.L.: Great trial Beni, you were riding really well. How do you think it went? B.R.: Yeah, it went really well, I only made one small mistake in one section.

And when someone like Benito Ros only makes “one” mistake, it’s very difficult to keep up with him! That’s what he hopes anyway, and he is training hard both physically and mentally, for the competitions to come.

I also managed to follow Abel Mustieles around for a bit. I was astonished by the power and technique of his riding. He got through some incredibly difficult sections with just a couple of faults keeping him from the second step of the podium. It won’t be long before Mustieles is challenging the top two riders for their places on the podium.

Javi Alonso finished in fourth. The Asturiano started well and rode better throughout the day, finishing with an excellent final lap. I’m a big fan of Javi’s riding but I was pleasantly surprised to see him so far up the rankings, I didn’t expect him to fare so well, but he deserves it. His level of riding has improved greatly of late and we hope to see him riding this well for a long time to come.

Ion Areitio finished up the top five. It seems that the youngest of the "Rookie" riders has g=grown to like being in the top five – it’s the second time this season that he has finished there and he’s showing no signs of getting off that bus any time soon! I didn’t manage to watch him ride during the competition, but I’m a big fan of his powerful and smooth style. He’s an intelligent rider who knows when he can take a risk and when to make sure of a move, which is a good quality in a rider of this calibre. He’s definitely one to watch over the next few years.

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As for the rest, Carles Diaz, who’s performance was a little disappointing, finished in sixth place, Linares had dropped down in comparison to the competition in Lorca and Pablo Bravo and Giego Barrio had moved up the table. Gerard Aguilar finished in eighth place, just like in the first round, but a bit closer to seventh in terms of points and very happy with his results given the difficulty of the sections. Gerardo Garcia and Carlos Vazquez finished up the rankings in Elite.

After the competition I was able to talk to the riders about how they thought it had gone. Benito was happy, and with good reason! He’d almost managed a perfect trial and had added another national victory to his list of achievements. Dani was a bit disappointed by his early mistake in the first section, but will doubtless return with renewed strength and motivation to challenge Benito.

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Once again we headed up to the square, where I presented the trophies to my idols – another moment to remember! However, almost without time to rest, it was on to the high-jump contest that had been organised to entertain the crowds. Spectators had the chance to try out a couple of bikes, including Javi Alonso’s – it’s not every day you get to ride the bike of the BIU’s No. 2 rider!

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As expected, Benito won the high-jump contest, although Dani Comas was not there, having left early after the trial to attend to other commitments. Despite Dani’s absence there was a tough battle and Benito had to clear 1.28m to see off any competition. Abel Mustieles and Javi Alonso were joint second after both clearing 1.24m. While I was there I managed to have a play on some of the pro’s bikes and get some photos, but I’m saving that for another article. Here’s a taster of what’s to come:

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So ended my first day in Ledesma. It had been very interesting, with a lot of chatting and hanging out, a great atmosphere and some great riding and entertainment.

After dinner and a few drinks it was off to bed after a long but unforgettable day. Once again the alarm clock woke me up early and it was off to control to send off the younger categories. It was a horrible day for a trial; it didn’t stop raining until well after the trial had finished.

Certainly, an although it was a miserable day for the riders, I had a lot of fun watching the competition – there were some young riders who had a lot of skill for their age!

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I have to say that I spent most of the day following the only girl who competed over the whole weekend. Lúa Vizcaino, whose style and technique took her to a well-deserved seventh place, competed against the boys in novice category. Lúa looks set to become one of the women to watch in the sport of trials. We’ll be following her progress with interest.

Podiums:

Novice:

- 1st Borja Conejo
- 2nd Domenec Llado
- 3rd Jordi Araque

Infant:
- 1st Sergio Garcia
- 2nd Eduard Aran
- 3rd Joan Torres

Primary:

- 1st Marti Aran
- 2nd Gerard Trueba
- 3rd Alejandro Montalvo

Full results:

Click on the poster…

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And so ended an unforgettable weekend of trials, fun and chat. I had plenty of experiences that I will remember for a long time!

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Big thanks to the event organisers, with who I shared these experiences, to Riki, who took most of the photos in this article and above all to all of the riders and friends who were at the competition. Thanks also to all of the riders and friends who have supported www.trials-riders.es. I leave you with a few photos of them, including Javi’s girlfriend, who posed with an official T-R tshirt to show her support!

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Words: Álvaro López

Photos: Ricardo Wattenberg, Willi, Álvaro López y Airam Peña.

Translation: Ben Swales

THANKS TO:

- Club Zonas Charras
- Trialsport
- Burn
- Grasshopper
- Trials-riders.es
- Excmo Ayto de Ledesma
- Junta de Castilla y León
- Diputación de Salamanca


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