Spain defends the title they won last season in Nice
The Vendéspace takes over as the X-Trial of Nations venue for the first time on 13th April as Spain defend their crown and bid for a thirteenth title. Having already been a sold-out venue as part of the X-Trial World Championship last season, the French arena is sure to receive a passionate and partisan crowd once again with national pride on the line.
Newly crowned 13-times X-Trial World Champion Toni Bou will once again lead the Spanish selection, aiming to add to the seven titles he has amassed thus far with his national side. Meanwhile, after being overlooked in favour of Miquel Gelabert last season, Jaime Busto (Gas Gas) returns to the competition as Spain´s under-25 rider. Busto has already twice taken the X-Trial of Nations gold, alongside Adam Raga in 2016 and Bou in the event´s sole visit to Pau a year later.
The 2018 edition of the X-Trial of Nations, meanwhile, was particularly memorable for France, who were inspired to lead in Nice after Round Two. But having come up short in the Final last time around, an unchanged home duo hopes to go one step further this season and become the first team to de-throne Spain.
Great Britain took third position by a comfortable margin over Italy in the Palais Nikaia, but the fight for that ranking could be even closer in Vendée as they pair two young guns: retaining Jack Price (Gas Gas) from the 2018 bronze medal team and adding Toby Martyn (Beta) for his debut.
Italy hope that a consistent line-up with Matteo Grattarola (Montesa) and Luca Petrella (Beta) will finally bear fruit, having come to within five points of the podium with the same duo in 2017 and fourth place once again last season.
Completing the line-up this season are Norway, replacing Germany who have locked out the basement position in each of the last two campaigns, and returning for the first time since 2012. Håkon Pedersen (Gas Gas) was part of the team that year, and although his X-Trial appearances have been limited since then he will be joined by youngster Sondre Haga (TRRS) who has already ridden in two X-Trial World Championship events in 2019.
This one-off X-Trial event is scheduled for an 8pm start local time. Tickets are still available at www.x-trial.com , and the action as always can be followed live anywhere via www.x-trial.tv