Have you ever seen a motorbike hop over a boulder, balance on its back wheel or leap between log piles? No? Well, prepare to be amazed by the spectacle that is the Arinsal 2 Day Trial. A combination of challenging obstacles, technical maneuvering and unbelievable balance, the competition sees riders from around the globe descend on Arinsal for two days of competitive trials riding.
Still can’t imagine a motorbike hopping about? Then check out this video, capturing all the stages of the eighteenth Arinsal 2 Day Trial, held this year.
Organised by Moto Club Arinsal, the Arinsal 2 Day Trial is a highlight on the trials calendar and attracts the elite of the sport.
But before we dive into the event details, let’s take a look at the sport of trials and its popularity here in Andorra.
What Is Trials Riding?
Capturing the very best of off-road motorbike riding, trials sees riders navigate their way through challenging and technical terrain, complete with both natural and man-made features to pass. With everything from rocks and boulders, logs, slopes and river beds to contend, riders aim to clear each section of a course without touching their feet on the ground.
On highly-specialized, lightweight motorcycles, riders tackle course features by maneuvering and jumping their bikes. Trials motorbikes are tailored specifically for the sport, and feature a high ground clearance, no seat and limited capacity for fuel. These features make the bikes thin, lightweight, well-balanced and highly maneuverable.
While competitive in nature, trials is not a race in the traditional sense. Instead of racing around a track, competitors face numerous sections within a course that consist of different challenging features. The event is not won by the quickest rider, but by the one who touches their foot to the ground the least amount of times throughout the event. Riders have a set time to reach the end gate of each section, without crashing.
Trials in Andorra
A mecca for outdoor sports, including cycling, downhill mountain biking, hiking and skiing, Andorra is also home to many trials enthusiasts – and some professional athletes. Spend any time in the country and the popularity of trials within the principality is clear. You can often see riders on the roads making their way to the trails (their kit and lack of seat on the bike is a big giveaway) and you may come across tyre tracks leading to popular features in the forests and mountains.
Moto Club Arinsal
Trials is so popular in Andorra that the Moto Club Arinsal was formed some two decades ago. Hosting world-class events, such as the Arinsal 2 Day Trial, as well as organising social rides and encouraging up and coming riders, Moto Club Arinsal share their passion for trials riding while promoting Andorra as a must-visit destination for enthusiasts of the sport.
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Parc de Trial Font de la Tosca d’Arinsal
Opened in August of 2009, the Arinsal Trial Park – Font de la Tosca – is situated in the centre of the Arinsal village. It is suitable for all levels, with three areas of difficulty for beginner, moderate and experienced riders. Operating from May to November each year, riders can practise their trials skills on the course as well as take part in organised guided trials excursions, free courses and various competitions held throughout the summer.
Further sealing Andorra as a must-visit trials destination, #TerritoriToniBou was built at the Naturlandia adventure park in 2017. Designed to the highest specifications of the 26-time world champion and resident of Andorra, Toni Bou, the area consists of numerous trials features and obstacles, a small cabin for motorbike tuning and 800 hectares of surrounding forest to explore.
The Arinsal 2 Day Trial
For the past 18 years, Moto Club Arinsal has held a two day trial event in Andorra. Attracting some of the biggest names within the sport, as well as intermediate and novice riders, the event has four entry levels to cater for the differing abilities of the competitors.
A true spectator and family friendly-event, riders of all ages and abilities put their skills to the test on the various obstacles of the course. Spectators can catch all the action track side and, since several of the sections are right in the centre of Arinsal, it’s easy to nab a great viewpoint.
Getting bigger and better with each year, the Arinsal 2 Day Trial attracts more entrants with each event, as well as hundreds of supporters (those who follow riders along the track offering direction), family, friends and moto trials enthusiasts. In addition to the two day competition, the event hosts parallel activities, such as trial demonstrations and poster signings with top athletes.
The 2019 Event
This year, the event took place on the weekend of August 3rd and 4th. Beating all previous records of entry and attendance, 380 riders, their 150 supporters, official track observers and spectators descended on Arinsal for a fun-fueled weekend of trials at its finest.
Taking in the beautiful scenery, the course looped through Arinsal and the parish of La Massana and hosted a number of challenging and exciting obstacles for the riders to tackle. A two-day event, the format was slightly different each day.
- Day 1, Saturday August 3: Across a course of approximately 35 kilometres, riders faced between 18 to 24 sections (depending on their level).
- Day 2, Sunday August 4: Riders tackled between 16 to 18 sections over 25 kilometres.
With three world-cup riders – Albert Cabestany, Jeroni Fajardo and Jaime Busto – in this year’s event, as well as almost 400 other highly talented entrants, competition was fierce. Miquel Gelabert walked away with the trophy for the top (red) category, finishing with just four penalty points for the event.
Highlights of the event included the many water-based zones, which provided technically challenging obstacles for riders and thrilling viewing for the spectators.
The president of Moto Arinsal Club, Eduard García, explained that everyone has been happy and the evaluation of the event was good.
Arinsal Is the Home of Trials in Andorra
With a passionate moto club, leading competitive event and dedicated trials park, Arinsal truly is the home of trials in Andorra. Whether you are a long-time enthusiast of the sport, or have only recently discovered the thrilling world of trials and want to find out more, you should definitely add Arinsal, Andorra, to your list of places to visit.
If you come for the summer, not only will you be able to catch the action of the Arinsal 2 Day Trial, but there’s a whole host of other world-renowned and local events to capture your interest; including the Maxiavalanche Vallnord, La Pujada and the SkyRace Comapedrosa. With something going on every weekend within the town, the parish of La Massana, or the rest of the country, there’s plenty happening to keep you and your family entertained – trials enthusiasts or not.
So contact us today at Sant Moritz today. Whether you want the ultimate trials-inspired getaway or a relaxing mountain retreat, we can help arrange the holiday you’ve been dreaming of.
Feature Image: Moto Club Arinsal via Facebook