Kenny Belaey Claims World Title
Belgian bike trials legend Kenny Belaey has added a fourth Elite world title (his ninth overall) to his already impressive career title yesterday in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada. After winning the semi-final the 27-year old Belaey entered the final, staged on the last day of the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championship, full of confidence. The adidas supported rider was the early leader of the event and dominated from start to finish. Kenny was joined on the podium by fellow ‘old school’ riders Benito Ros from Spain and Marc ‘le chat’ Caisso from France. Favourite Gilles Coustellier had a disappointing race in Canada. The French ace finished only fifth, Briton Ben Savage came home sixth, a mere 9 points from the podium.
Size was the keyword in Canada. The Mont-Sainte-Anne course provided the world’s best trials riders with huge obstacles. Belaey confirmed the good feeling he had in the run-up to the event with a semi-final win (12), over arch rival Coustellier (20), Spain’s Abel Garcia was third, Hermance fourth. Weather conditions were slightly worse on Sunday due to the wind and showers throughout the day. However the Canadian crowd appreciated the efforts of the riders, resulting in a truly unique and supportive atmosphere.
Kenny Belaey proves he is the best trials rider in the world
Belaey had the advantage to start the final last thus he was able to study his adversaries. With a one on the opening lap compared to Coustellier’s two, the Belgian got off on the right foot. After the first lap Belaey had build up to 9-point advantage over Gilles, the surprising veteran Caisso was second, trailing by 5 points. Former world champ Hermance was forced to pull out of the race early on. The Frenchman had sprained his ankle in a crash. The experienced Belaey kept his cool in the second lap, controlled his race skillfully and avoided unnecesary risks to claim the win. His first Elite World title since 2006 in New Zealand.
My win in the semi-final proved to be extremely important. For once this year I was not chasing Gilles from the start. He was too much concerned about my race and I was setting the pace. Tactically I had all the right moves as well. I proved that I have still got what it takes and that’s a great feeling!"
26" Elite World Championship Final
1. Kenny Belaey (BEL) 25 pts
2. Benito Ros (SPA) 39 pts
3. Marc Caisso (FRA) 39 pts
4. Abel Garcia (SPA) 42 pts
5. Gilles Coustellier (FRA) 43 pts
6. Ben Savage (GBR) 48 pts
7. John Webster (FRA) 53 pts
DNF Vincent Hermance (FRA)
Belaey is all smiles after winning his fourth World Champion title