Kenny Belaey 7th in Copa Catalana

Kenny Belaey 7th in Copa Catalana

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The magnificent Montjuich park in Barcelona and its magical fountains provided the splendid backdrop for the first round of the Catalan trialbike cup. Kenny Belaey used this open international competition as a warmup event for the season. Ten-time 20” world champ Benito Ros won the event in front of his home crowd. Belaey surprisingly missed his spot in the final by two points, he ended up 7th overall. 

Local organizer Trialsport pulled out all the stops for this UCI C1 ranked affair. More than 100 riders from 10 countries entered the opening round of the Copa Catalana. With a line-up that included local hero Benito Ros, Belgium’s Kenny Belaey, junior 26” world champ Nicolas Vallée (FRA) and Spain’s Ion Areitio and Eloi Palacio the trial-loving Catalan crowd was in for a treat. The pleasant spring weater added the icing on the cake. For Belaey the Barcelona race marked the end of his training camp and would help to gauge his early season form.

In spite of a nagging tooth inflammation and the associated discomfort the Red Bull rider was very motivated with an excellent winter preparation under his belt. The Copa Catalana wouldn’t only test Belaey’s fitness it would also hand him the perfect opportunity to try out his 2017 Mybike trialbike -including its new handlebar configuration- in race conditions. Therefore the surprise was utterly complete when Kenny failed to reach the final. He came up short by a meagre 2 point margin without experiencing any major problems. In the end the fairly easy zones and a lack of concentration costed him dearly. Reigning British Elite champion Andrei Burton placed 18th.
Kenny Belaey: “I’m absolutely gutted about missing the final! Both my riding and my fitness were fine though. I guess I took my place in the top-6 for granted. It was my lack of focus that came back and kicked me in the tail. Before I knew it had two fives behind my name! Because the zones were not demanding enough to make a difference there was no way to recover. That was it really.
Another factor was me keeping an eye on my colleague competitors in 26”. Meanwhile the juniors were going for safe options, so in the end no less than four 20” riders made the final. Exactly to avoid mistakes like this it’s great to get in some prep races before the season kicks off. Unfortunately the zones weren’t selective enough to really get a feel for where I am. But to miss the final here was heartbreaking! Trialsport did an awesome job putting together this event and to ride in front of such a fantastic audience is always a pleasure.”
The first UCI Trials World Cup takes place on May 20 and 21 in Aalter, Belgium. Great Britain’s Jack Carthy will defend his number 1 status on the UCI 26” ranking.
Images in attachment are free for editorial use, but please mention "Trialsport" your credit.
Copa Catalana Trial, the first six riders competed in the final
1. Benito Ros (Spa), 4 pts
2. Nicolas Vallée (Fra), 8 ptns
3. Ion Aretio (Spa), 11 pts
4. Jordi Araque (Spa), 13 pts
5. Domènec Llado (Spa), 15 pts
6. Lucien Leiser (Swi), 17 pts
7. Kenny Belaey (Bel)
8. Eloi Palau (Spa)
9. Sebastian Ruiz (Spa)
10. Joacim Nymann (Swe)
11. Rafael Tibau (Spa)
12. Alejandro Montalvo (Spa)
13. Iciar Van Den Bergh  (Bel)
14. Louis Grillon (Fra)
15. Borja Conejos (Spa)
16. Jonas Boritz Kristiansen (Den)
17. Viktor Hedin (Swe)
18. Andrei Burton (GBR)
19. Julen Saenz (Spa)
20. Joan Torres (Spa)

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