Blansko, a town in Blansko District in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic, hosted the World BikeTrial Championship (WBC) from 8th to 13th of August 2016.
Blansko is a historic place for BikeTrial, regularly hosting national as well as international competitions including European events and the WBC. This year Blansko hosted the WBC for the fourth time already (1996, 2007, 2013 and 2016).
The race itself took place in the Palava area which many of you know from previous races. This location provides not just beautiful natural sections, but also well maintained amenities such as restaurant, bar, playground for children, etc. Camping for riders was constructed next to these amenities and nothing was missing. Many riders appreciated the Palava lake on the hot days.
For the second time the BIU WBC was held in a single location with two races (it’s also possible to hold three races) taking place within one week. This newly adapted approach enables riders and their families to cut down travel costs resulting in an increased number of participants in the past two years. This year 118 riders participated in the first race and 113 riders in the second race. The number of participants brings us back to the average we used to have at the WBCs from 2006 to 2013. This is a very good news for our sport, even if the increase has only occurred in the Group B. The statistics show us that young riders and their families have realized that the BIU Championship is organized at high level and it’ s worth participating. Unfortunately, it seems that rides over 18 years old are still less interested in BIU. This should make us think of where to focus our energies in order to increase the participation even more in the upcoming years.
But let’s review the WBC 2016 first. As for the technical aspect, the races were held on the very classic earthy-and-stones ground in the woods surrounding the creek Palava. There were also two artificial sections next to the lake. The zones were equally distributed on both sides of the stream and this has allowed the riders to ride on both sides of the bike. The first race (8th and 9th of August) was doable as the ground was dry, and thus, allowed the athletes to concentrate better on their passages. In the second race (12th and 13th of August) the sections were more difficult. Moreover, the rocks were slippery because of the rainy weather in previous days. These conditions made stand out those riders who are more technically skilled and more familiar with this type of conditions.
As for the results, in the Poussin category big battle between Vojtech Veprek (CZ) and Joan Vusalba Valderrey (CAT). The two riders were fighting it really close in both races and in the end the Czech rider got the title because he won the last race (just for one penalty!). Third place for another Czech rider: Vojtech Hribek.
In the Benjamin category Eduardo Richart Martin (ES) won both races and the title after another great duel with Catalan rider Nil Benitez Garcia. Only a few penalties of difference between the two riders in both races. Third place for Martin Esquerda Amezcua (CAT).
In the Minime category Charlie Rolls (UK) showed his incredible skills winning the first race with 0 penalties (zero!) and the second one with 3 penalties. It was impossible to beat Charlie for the other British rider Adam Morewood who finished the races with 2 and 16 penalties. Third place for Pablo Suarez Jambrina (ES).
There were 9 participants in the female categories in total. The podium in Femine: Alzbeta Pecinkova (CZ) who won both races with a big difference in penalties from Vera Baron Rodriguez (ES). Eliska Hribkova (CZ) got the third place. The podium in Elite Femine: Gemma Abant (CAT) who dominated both races and Claire Laffourge (FR) second. It is the 12th world title for Gemma. What an incredible BikeTrial career!
In the Junior category another rider showing great superiority won - Luis Grillon (FR). He won the first race with 7 penalties and the second one with 4 penalties. Big gap from other opponents Martin Stepanek (CZ) and Arturo Richart Martin (ES) who got the second and the third place in the final results.
Great uncertainty in the Senior 20 category. In the first race Luca Tombini (IT) won with just 3 penalties riding perfectly all sections. Second and third positions for Czech riders Matej Popelka (13 penalties) and Michal Kubenka (14 penalties). In the second race the sections were more difficult and slippery changing the results for many riders including Tombini who closed his race in 7th position. Tomas Kalus (SK) won the race and Popelka arrived second. In the end Popelka won the title with two second places while Kalus and Tombini, coincidently, switched their position in both races and they arrived respectively second and third in the final classification.
In the Senior 26, Sergio Fernandez Resines (ES) won the title with one second and one first place. Raul Martinez Carrasco (ES) closed second with the first and the third place. Daniele Castellaro (IT) arrived third in the final results.
In the Elite 26 beautiful battle between Ben Savage (UK) and Rafa Tibau (CAT) and ended with the victory for the British rider. In the first race Rafa did an unexpected “5” in the last artificial section in the first lap. This mistake decided the race. In the second race, Ben managed better the sections with the most slippery rocks. Third place in the Championship went to David Herka (CZ).
In the Elite 20 won the great favourite Vaclav Kolar (CZ). This is the eighth title for Vashek. His smooth and technical riding was perfectly suitable for these sections. Vashek won the first race with just 2 penalties and the second one with 15 penalties. Big gap from the second place which belongs to Raul Gutierrez Garcia (ES) who has celebrated his incredible 20th consecutive year of participating in WBC this year. Arvis Dermaks (LV) got a third place in both races and he is just 18 years old.
Last entry is for the Major category. From this year this category is reserved to all riders "over 35 years old". It runs in the blue sections (such as the Minime). The riders are not awarded “World Champion title” but they get a "World Cup." Participating riders were 6. Good number for the debut. The category has a great potential. There are many "older riders" who still want to ride and continue to be part of the game. Now, it’ s time to get them back and... Begin! The podium in this category: Kristaps Skudra (LV), David Budsky (CZ) and Federico Tarchi (IT).
Impossible not to mention the participation in this category of BIU president Hiroshi Hirano, 60 (sixty!) years old. RESPECT!
In conclusion it was a beautiful WBC. The participation was good. The observers judged very well. The sections were excellent and build with knowledge. Only in a few cases riders did “all 5” or “all 0”. The location was perfect and it worked well. The opening ceremony took place in the main square of Blansko. All the authorities as well as public were present and the overall impression was really good. As mentioned before, also having camping, restaurants and race direction all in one location was very well thought. It enabled that riders and families of various nations could get to know each other, share experience and make new friends. Once again BIU has shown that BikeTrial is a sport to compete but, more importantly, it is a sport to unite and grow as people even before as athletes.
A BIG THANK goes to the organizer, all volunteers and all observers who were working full time for a week. We must never forget how important these people are. Without them there is no WBC.
Thanks goes also to the authorities: Town of Blansko, Moravian Region, Ceská Motocyklová Federace.
Main sponsors: Prefa Brno, Svijany and Liko-s.
Technical sponsors: Denik, Sp5rt, Olberg, Apleg, AVE, Statek Samsara, Icynene, Tatsuno Europe, Cergomont, Auto Pokorny Motors, FPO, Technotest, Lesy CR, Koli, Krby Kucera, Top Autosalon Blansko, Fialanet.cz, Elektrodekor, HEPA, Araplast, Mendelova univerzita v Brne, Restaurace Myslivna Blansko.
Without their support it would be impossible to organize such event.
We’d also like to say thanks to Laurent Grillon for his nice article on Tribalzine.com.
We hope to open a new era of dialogue and potential collaboration with UCI Trials in order to provide riders from all around the world with the best possible offer of competitions. More traditional competitions in natural settings for BIU, more urban/artificial environment for UCI, without any obstacles for riders who want to participate.
Last, but not least a big thanks goes to families. It’s thanks to them that the riders continue riding and enhancing their experience.
We had fun!
Upcoming BIU international events:
- Final of the European Cup in Retz, Austria, Saturday - 3rd of September.
- Indoor World Cup, Barcelona (ES), Saturday - 17th of September.
See you soon!