Last weekend in Portugal Toni Bou notched up yet another milestone in trial competition history by setting a new record for the highest number of victories. The feat was achieved in a way that only the extraordinary Bou could pull off: by winning one out of every two trials that he had ever competed in.
In his 2003 debut in the Trial World Championship in Ireland, Toni Bou picked up his first point in the contest. Three years and forty-five races later, he won his first trial, in Nigrán, Spain, thus launching a winning spell that would continue up until last weekend where he finally passed the long-standing record of 99 wins. Bou reached the milestone on the very day of his 200th top flight trial appearance.
– Congratulations, Toni. You have once again made history in this technical and exciting sport: 100 victories out of 200 world championship participations. Extraordinary!
– Yes, thank you very much. I am very happy and excited about last Sunday’s trial, about how it went and to have achieved that magic figure. Winning 100 trials is something sensational, but doing it in 200 events is an incredible efficiency rate. I was very excited to clinch it and I think it is the result of all the great work we have done over ten years working as a team. One thing is certain: I will go on fighting for more successes.
– Was the weekend a repetition of the feeling of the first victory, in 2006? Were you aware that you were making history?
– I don’t know if I can describe the emotions. A mixture of joy, satisfaction, but also relief, because sometimes, wanting to beat a record can work against you… But yeah, from the moment I have won trial number one hundred, I am really so happy. However we have to be aware that we are only halfway through the championship: there is still a long way to go…
– In Japan you had some back injury discomfort. In Andorra you were feeling better. What about in Portugal? How is the three vertebrae fracture that you picked up in the indoor season?
– After spending a couple of very bad months, it seems that I’m getting back into better shape. Now I can say that I am getting better, although in some moments I still notice discomfort. I think that in order for everything to go well, it’s crucial to do a good warm-up, something we’ve figured out. I hope that in the future I won’t have to worry about the injury anymore.
– You also said that this year the world title would be very difficult. Did you say it because of the limited preseason training, due to the injury and the rush to get back on form? Or was it because the rivals were so strong?
– Yes, I think we have seen that our rivals are very high level. In the first three trials there were three different winners. What’s more, there is a lot of equality and our adversaries are hungry to win. If we want to continue achieving successes like last weekend’s one, we will have to keep improving day by day, in training and preparation. It will be a tricky year, that’s for sure.
– Even more than in recent seasons?
– Unlike other seasons, this year there are several riders who are in with a chance of winning. I don’t have one single rival, but there are Busto, Fajardo, Raga, Cabestany… All of them have been on the podium this year and will make it very difficult for the rest of the year.