During the glory years of the late ’90s and early Noughties, British hero Dougie Lampkin claimed seven-straight FIM Trial World Championships – and this year his female counterpart Emma Bristow (Sherco) matched him title for title!
Emma remained unbeaten in the TrialGP Women class throughout the 2020 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship with six wins from six starts to claim her seventh title in a row. In fact, the 29-year-old British star hasn’t been beaten since the final day of the 2017 season – that’s a total of 15 consecutive round victories, a record that’s only been bettered by TrialGP Women legend Laia Sanz.
“It feels really good,” said Emma. “When I’m in the moment and just want to win, win, win it’s difficult to step back and look at what I’ve achieved so when the season’s over as well as thinking how I’m going to do it again next year I’ve got to sit back and think ‘well done, pat on the back everyone’!”
Following strong performances at the opening two rounds in France and Spain, Emma headed to Sant Julià in the Pyrenean principality of Andorra firmly in control and put in a devastating performance on the rain-soaked opening day of competition when she finished a full 45 marks clear of her nearest rival.
“I couldn’t believe the points difference but everything went well and I had some really good rides on sections that were tough. That’s how I feel I should be every round but it’s hard to perform at your best all the time and on the first day in Andorra I feel I probably was at my best.
“I love the more difficult sections because I always train on sections that are probably harder than we’ll ever get. I don’t enjoy the simpler ones as much.”
Virtually assured her of the crown, her fiercely-competitive spirit meant she refused to take her foot off the gas on day two and she signed off on a high.
“On day two in Andorra people were coming up to me and saying ‘you don’t need to win today’ but that’s not how I am. I always want to be at my best – there’s no way I would ever sit back and settle for a third. I’d be really disappointed if I finished the season off with a bad result so although I didn’t need to win I really wanted to.”
With seven titles to her name, will we see Emma attempt to surpass Sanz’s incredible total of 13 crowns?
“The thing is that you’ve got to enjoy it because if you don’t you’re fighting a losing battle as trials is mentally exhausting as well as physically so you’ve got to have your head right. I’m still enjoying bettering myself and I still feel I’ve got some improving to do. You can’t just sit back and expect it to happen – over the years I’ve put in a lot of hard work.
“I don’t know how long I’ll go on for but as long as I’m still enjoying it and still performing I can’t see myself giving up. Okay, I’m not 18 anymore but as long as I stay injury-free I’ve got a good few more years left in me.”
Don’t miss the full interview with Emma in the Winter issue of Dirt Bike Rider, on sale January 15.
Picture © Pep Segales