September, 25 2012
Laia Sanz is on top of the world after being crowned Women’s World Trial Champion for an incredible 12th time – but it is a moment she feared would never come this year.
The Spaniard has been out of action for over 10 weeks as a result of a serious injury sustained during an enduro event in June. Prior to this, Sanz had also suffered injury just after winning her second consecutive Dakar Rally (the 2011 edition she won at her first attempt!)
But injury, wet weather and slippery conditions couldn’t hold Sanz back from sealing her 12th championship at Tramelan, Switzerland, over the weekend, in the process overcoming a robust challenge from Emma Bristow who pushed the Spaniard hard throughout.
“I have not practiced since the round in Andorra back in June,” said Sanz. “When the conditions are wet it is much more difficult as you need to be able to move freely, so that was hard for me today.
“I made a lot more mistakes than normal, but the important thing is I made it through the most difficult sections today and I won.”
Sanz’s recovery has not been easy and resulted in her missing out on the European Championships. Not wanting to miss out on the Worlds in the same way, Sanz bravely rode through the pain barrier in Switzerland to achieve yet another world crown.
“In the middle of the Trial I felt very tired and not so well,” said Sanz. “A combination of the pain from my toe and the tablets I took were the reason for this.
“It feels great to be champion again, it almost feels untrue. I could not believe when I won my first title, and now I have 12 FIM World Championships.
“With the injury and Dakar this season, I have not been able to train in the same way as usual so it has been a really tough year for me, but still a good one.”
Thanks to FIM for additional reporting.