The FIM X-trial World Championship edges ever closer to its climax this weekend in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, with the penultimate outing of the season. Having re-found winning form last week in Barcelona, Repsol Honda Team’s Toni Bou now faces the captivating challenge of securing a first triumph in Austria.
Yep, it might come as a surprise to learn that Toni Bou has never savoured victory in Austria, but when you consider that the central European nation has not staged an X-Trial since Vienna last hosted the event back in 2003, it begins to make sense. Back then, Bou was still a virtual unknown who had yet to make his mark as the European champion he was soon to become.
Repsol Honda Team’s ace thus arrives with the duel objective of taking the honours for the first time in Austria, while further bolstering the margin over the nearest adversaries, as the championship heads towards the final event in Oviedo, Spain, the following week. The man astride the Montesa Cota 4RT sits pretty on a 13-point advantage over Adam Raga in second; 27 points over third-place Albert Cabestany and some 36 adrift of Jeroni Fajardo, in fourth spot.
The FIM X-Trial roadshow debuts in the Arena Nova in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. It will be the first time this season that the riders have to tackle a full seven sections in both the semi-final and final, as well as a speed section in the event of a tie. The race gets underway at 18:40 with the semi-final, and the final showdown looks set to commence at 21:00, where the top four from the qualifying round will shoot it out.