The Palau Sant Jordi, nicknamed the Cathedral of X-Trial, hosts the sport's 46th visit to Barcelona
The 2023 FIM X-Trial World Championship opens on the 5th February from 5pm at the Palau Sant Jordi, as Toni Bou (Repsol Honda Trial Team) bids to defend his world crown and five riders make their first outings with new manufacturers.
Toni Bou, who has won X-Trial Barcelona on no less than 15 occasions, will chase yet another victory to start the pursuit of his seventeenth world title. But in his own words, “more than half of the competitors can realistically hope to win, the competition is increasingly close, and we have to keep working hard every day to maintain consistency and become Champion”. Six-times winner in the Catalan capital, Adam Raga (TRRS) is expected to remain Toni Bou’s closest rival, as he hopes to step back up from the silver medal ranking and finally add to his four world titles.
Of the remaining competitors, five have switched manufacturers during a busy winter for rider signings, meaning each will be out in new colours at the Palau Sant Jordi. For GasGas, Jaime Busto returns and Norwegian Sondre Haga is added to the roster as a factory rider. Italy’s Matteo Grattarola, fourth in the world last year, moves from Beta to Vertigo, while Toby Martyn will ride Montesa machinery in 2023. Frenchman Benoit Bincaz moves to Sherco, where he will join Jeroni Fajardo, who is the Wild Card for his home X-Trial in Barcelona.
The opening event of this 2023 season will also see a new set of regulations defined by Esdeux, the Championship promoter. The biggest change will see elimination dropped from the preliminary phase of competition, with all nine riders now set to move on to the second phase of competition: a high-speed and more dynamic run.
Barcelona will also be the stage for the third edition of the Women’s Trophy, in which Emma Bristow will chase a third win against Berta Abellán, Andrea Sofia Rabino, Naomi Monnier and Huldeborg Barkved.
Be sure not to miss X-Trial Barcelona. If you can’t make it to the Palau Sant Jordi, watch live or on demand at www.x-trial.tv