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Trials

2015 UCI Trials World Championships – rainbow dreams in Vallnord

Tatiana Janickova (SVK), big favourite to be her own successor
Tatiana Janickova (SVK), big favourite to be her own successor

It is the unmissable trials event of the season and represents the culmination of a whole year's work for the athletes.The 2015 UCI Trials World Championships start on Tuesday in Vallnord-La Massana, Andorra, and have long been the focal point of the season for the world's leading trials riders.

A year after Lillehammer in Norway, these World Championships represent a new chapter in the discipline.There's a new event for national teams and a new generation of talent is blossoming and making their mark.Six world titles will be awarded at the urban setting of La Massana combining river and handmade sections in the town centre.

The national team competition on Tuesday will be one of the major attractions of these 2015 UCI World Championships. Although a national classification has previously existed, this was determined by accumulating points in individual events. In the new format, countries present teams made up of a rider from each category. Each rider then attempts to complete a section trying to get the maximum points possible. In 2014, Germany won the team classification ahead of France and Spain. These three nations will again be among the favourites for the new team title this year.

A tantalising duel is in prospect in the Men Elite 26" category between Jack Carthy and Gilles Coustellier. After winning the Junior 26" world title in 2014, Carthy has shot to the top of the elite category. The British rider has made the world title in Andorra his priority for the year: "The World Championships are the most important event for me," he said. The competition promises much, as after starting the season with flawless displays in the UCI Trials World Cup, Carthy was beaten by the reigning World Champion Gilles Coustellier from France in the last round in Albertville. "This victory has given me confidence for the Worlds," explained Coustellier after his win.

In the Men Elite 20" category, the Spanish armada will fight to maintain its dominance. World Champion Benito Ros is very keen to defend his title against compatriot Abel Mustieles, runner-up in the 2014 UCI World Championships and winner of the World Cup round in Albertville after the surprise elimination of Ros in the semi-finals.

In the Elite Women category, Slovakia's Tatiana Janickova is the hot favourite for the world title. As reigning World Champion, she made a perfect start to the season with victories in the World Cup rounds in Albertville and Vöcklabruck. But there is no shortage of rivals who will be seeking to take advantage of any weaknesses. Among these is the young German Nina Reichenbach, runner-up in the 2014 World Championships and currently second in the UCI Trials World Cup ranking, as well as Australia's Janine Jungfels, who presented a serious threat at the Vöcklabruck round of the World Cup.

Finally, the Men Junior 26" and 20" categories will surely showcase the champions of the future. It should not be forgotten that last year's winners were none other than Jack Carthy and Dominik Oswald. A year after their Junior titles, Carthy currently tops the Men Elite 26" World Cup ranking while Oswald lies fifth in the Men Elite 20" World Cup.

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