Spain’s Toni Bou - Repsol Honda confirmed himself as the undisputed King of Sheffield by winning the 25th anniversary edition of the Sheffield Indoor Trial held at the FlyDSA arena. After having had to settle for second spot in the earlier part of the competition, Bou made amends for the mistakes he suffered in the qualifying heat to run out a comfortable victor in the final.
This marked Bou’s fourteenth win in total at the Steel City, and his fourth on the bounce having last been beaten at the famous Yorkshire venue by Adam Raga - TRRS back in 2016. It was Raga again, himself already a two-time winner of this event, who was Bou’s closest challenger on the night, finishing as the eventual runner up after having topped the qualifying heat.
Vertigo’s Jaime Busto rounded out the podium in third place, after having only just made it into the four-rider final by beating local hero James Dabill - Beta in a nail-biting tie-decider that brought a premature end to the night for one of the home crowd’s favourites. Dabill finished in fifth spot, just one mark ahead of Jeroni Fajardo - Sherco in sixth place, who failed to show his best form in his new colours.
Whilst the typically noisy British fans were obviously disappointed by the early exit of Dabill, Jack Price - Gas Gas and Jack Peace - Sherco, the latter having been one of the two riders to successfully progress from the Young Guns Shoot-Out, they still had plenty to cheer about as nineteen year-old Toby Martyn - TRRS produced one of the best performances of his young career on this big stage.
Despite their best efforts, Dan Peace - Sherco and Pau Martinez - Vertigo were out shone by Martyn and Jack Peace in the evening’s opening shoot-out. Having won this initial four-way head to head race format encounter Toby then followed this up with a hugely impressive ride in the qualifying heat to secure third spot and a place in the final alongside Raga, Bou, and Busto - the latter who he had just demoted into fourth position.
As has so often been the case in more recent years, Bou proved too strong for his challengers as the six sections were ridden in the reverse direction in the final, with him taking win number fourteen by a seven-mark margin. Raga was a worthy runner up on the night, and Martyn can count himself slightly unfortunate not to have secured a podium place, as Busto just edged the British teenager off the box in what was a fitting finale to the 25th anniversary of this great event. Results:
1: Toby Martyn -TRRS 0, 2: Jack Peace - Sherco 2
3: Pau Martinez - Vertigo 6, 4: Dan Peace - Sherco 11
1: Adam Raga - TRRS 14, 2: Toni Bou - Repsol Honda 16, 3: Toby Martyn - TRRS 25, 4: Jaime Busto - Vertigo 26 (won tie-break)
5: James Dabill - Beta 26 (lost tie-break) 6: Jeroni Fajardo - Sherco 27, 7: Jack Peace - Sherco / Jack Price - Gas Gas 30
1: Bou 10, 2: Raga 17, 3: Busto 25, 4: Martyn 28