Trials Celebrates 30 years of UCI World Championships
The UCI Trials World Championships will celebrate their 30th anniversary when competition gets underway on August 29th, in Val di Sole, Italy.
Trials is one of the oldest UCI World Championships in the off-road disciplines: the first edition took place in 1986, whereas for the mountain bike disciplines of cross-country Olympic (XCO) and downhill (DHI) they did not begin until 1990, and for BMX the first edition under the aegis of the UCI was in 1996.
Daniel Crosset of Belgium was the first Elite Trials UCI World Champion.
A women's category was not introduced until 2001, and prior to 1995, the men’s competitions consisted of different categories than the current Elite and Junior, 20" and 26". Prior to 1992, the championship was decided by a series rather than a single event. Cadet 20" also ran until 1998, when the current categories took over.
Spain is the most dominant country in Trials, with a total of 25 world titles among the Men's 20" and 26", and Women's categories. France is a distant second (16 titles) followed by Switzerland at ten - although nine of the ten Swiss gold medals came from one rider!
The leading rider for world titles is the remarkable Swiss athlete Karin Moor, who took nine titles in Elite Women. Moor dominated the first decade of the 2000s, winning every year from 2001 to 2009, with the exception of 2008. She completed her string of victories in 2011.
In Elite Men, it is Benito Ros of Spain who leads with eight titles in the 20" category, beginning in 2003. His last title was 2014, and he has an opportunity to tie Moor this year. Ros currently leads the UCI World Cup standings.
Gilles Coustellier of France is third on the winners list with five titles, and is the top rider for the 26" category. He is currently one of the top riders on the World Cup circuit, so could be looking at a sixth title.
The most exclusive club contains one rider - Dani Comas of Spain who is the only rider to have won Elite Men's titles in both the 20" and 26" categories. Comas won the 20" title in 2000 and the 26" title in 2004.