Trial European Championship: the season starts in Pietramurata
The 28th edition of the Trial European Championship is on the go in the next week-end. The venue chosen is Pietramurata, near Trento in North-East of Italy: two days of competitions – nevertheless it is Easter and in Italy this date does not seem so opportune – with almost 130 riders coming all over the Europe. All the categories will be present. On Saturday the best Women and Youths will be on the scene, followed the day after by the most quoted riders belonging to the Championship, Junior and Over 40 classes. Not running for a title, but just for their fun, other riders will fight in the International classes: twos in both days.
This is the championship that has always represented a sort of rank from which all the great champions of recent years have passed. Just to mention a few: Dougie Lampkin won it in 1993 when he ran for Beta, Adam Raga in 2000 on Gas Gas, Jeroni Fajardo in 2003 again with the Spanish factory and Toni Bou in 2004 riding Beta. To remain among the top 10 of the world ranking , we must mention James Dabill, champion in 2006 with Beta.
To start in their home soil will be more stimulating for Italian riders, always in good positions in the past. Former champion, Matteo Grattarola (Sembenini Nils Redmoto Montesa) gathered the title also in 2004 in the Junior category on Sherco 125cc and in the top class mounting Gas Gas in 2012. With the same brand in 2015, Gianluca Tournour – back in this edition – was champion, too.
Reason of interest will be how Grattarola will be able to defend his title from the attacks of a generation of young riders in continuing grow as Toby Martyn (Beta) or Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa). Impossible to predict the winners in Junior and Youth class, because each year the very young boys and girls has different levels of their progresses.
For sure we see a lot of blazoned names in the Over 40 class: all able to challenge Markus Kipp (TRRS) second last year and champion in 2017 and 2016. Marco Andreoli (Vertigo) and Andrea Soulier (Beta) are among them.
World Trial2 Women champion, Alex Brancati (Beta) is the one with the odds on in the Women class, but Theresa Baulm and Ingveig Hakonsen – both riding TRRS – will sell their skin dearly.