It is only one month before the start of what promises to be one of the most exciting seasons in the forty-three-year history of the FIM Trial World Championship due to the many changes coming into effect in a campaign that will take in eight countries starting with the TrialGP Spain in mid-May and that will come to a close with the FIM Trial des Nations in late September. With so many great events in prospect here is a round by round guide of what is in store.
Rnd 1 - Spain, Camprodon - 13 / 14 May - TrialGP / Trial2 / Trial125
With Spain being the current dominant force in the sport of Trial, the mountains in the heartland north of Barcelona will provide the perfect setting to get the new era of TrialGP underway. The Noassar training area just outside the town of Camprodon is widely recognised as one of the best venues in Europe and is frequented by many of the World's leading riders such is the variety and scope of the terrain that is hidden on the vast covered hillsides.
Rnd 2 - Japan, Motegi - 26 / 27 / 28 May - TrialGP / Trial2 / Trial125
Now one of the most established and certainly iconic venues on the TrialGP tour the TwinRing Motegi facility is a must visit destination for all motorsport fans. The sprawling grounds that extend around the two interlinked tarmac circuits not only incorporate some excellent Trial terrain, but also include what can only be described as 'Disneyland for petrol-heads'. One of two flyway events in 2017, a trip to Japan is certainly worth the long journey from Europe especially with its two days of competition after Friday's Qualification. The onsite hotel adds an extra level of convenience and a tour of the incredible Honda museum cannot be missed.
Rnd 3 - Andorra, Sant Julia - 17 / 18 June - TrialGP / Trial2 / Trial125
Another regular stop for the TrialGP series this year's excursion to the mountainous principality of Andorra comes just a week before the TrialGP France and is therefore ideally suited for those fans who want to take in two events over back-to-back weekends. Fly into Barcelona or Toulouse airport before making the scenic transfer to this stunning location. The steep sided, huge rocky valley that defines the southern part of Andorra is the backdrop for one of the most unforgiving venues in the calendar.
Rnd 4 - France, Lourdes - 24 / 25 June - TrialGP / Trial2 / Trial125 / TrialE
For the second year in a row the spiritual city of Lourdes will host the TrialGP France, this says much about this venue in a country that has had nearly as many venues as it has had Grand Prix events over the last forty years or so. You do not have to be a believer to enjoy and appreciate the cultural side of the location, as the sheer scale and intricate architecture of the riverside place of worship will leave you speechless. The MotoGP style tarmac paddock is situated close to the city centre and with the main group of sections just a short walk up the hill, spectators are well catered for.
Rnd 5 - Great Britain, Bradford - 8 / 9 July - TrialGP / Trial2 / Trial125
Another venue that made its debut in 2016, Tong just outside the city of Bradford sits in the famous county of Yorkshire that holds a rich history with the sport of Trial. Not far over the hill from Tong, the Lampkin family put this region on the map when Martin Lampkin became the first ever FIM Trial World Champion in 1975, before his eldest son Dougie then went on to dominate the discipline in the late nineties and through into the new millennium. Although Tong is not a more classic Trial venue it more than proved its potential last season and delivered a solid opening event.
Rnd 6 - USA, Kingman - 28 / 29 / 30 July - TrialGP / TrialGP Women / Trial2 / Trial2 Women
Continuing its every two-year schedule, the TrialGP USA returns to the calendar having been absent from the series in 2016. The state of Arizona last hosted an event of this status back in 1990, whilst the venue at Hualapai Mountain Park, Kingman has been home to national competitions in more recent years ahead of welcoming its maiden TrialGP event this July. Situated just a short distance from the bright lights and lure of Las Vegas, this stop of the 2017 tour is sure to be popular with all.
Rnd 7 - Czech Republic, Sokolov - 9 / 10 September - TrialGP / TrialGP Women / Trial2 / Trial2 Women
2015 saw the Lake Michal venue at Sokolov host a much-applauded debut TrialGP event, with the waterside paddock and slippery hazards in the nearby wooded areas combining well to deliver a memorable weekend. Building on this solid foundation, this year's TrialGP Czech Republic will follow a similar format, with man-made sections being added to the start / finish area to add further atmosphere to the event. Most of the hazards will again use the natural terrain, although Saturday's Qualification will take place over one of the newly created sections.
Rnd 8 - Italy, Arco di Trento - 16 / 17 September - TrialGP / TrialGP Women / Trial2 / Trial2 Women
Last year's closing TrialGP event in Italy proved to be huge and was a fitting climax to the series. Whilst this will be the first time that the purpose-built facility at Arco di Trento has held a TrialGP event, all the ingredients are in place for this season's closing event to rival the occasion that took place twelve months earlier. Although new to hosting TrialGP, the Metzeler Offroad Park has already gained a strong international
Trisl dex Nations - Spain, Baiona - 22 / 23 / 24 September - Men / Women
Whilst the individual championship will have been decided one week earlier in Italy, the real end of season celebrations will take place in the seaside town of Baiona as it hosts this year's TDN - Trial des Nations. Contested by more than thirty teams over three classes the TDN is often regarded as the Olympic of Trial.