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Slovakian representative Martin Behro makes his way through the zebra section of the Cascades MTB Park's Trials course en route to claiming the final qualifying place in the junior men's 20" semi-final.

Photo: Darren Goddard/Gameplan Media

The secret of the event is to try and gain as few points as you possibly can through the sections. Points are handed out for putting your feet on the ground and five is the maximum number of points that can be lost on a particular section. In the qualifying round only the top eight go through to the semi-final - so qualifying is a tough task.

It was an interesting beginning to the days riding with the juniors battling to get to grips with the course and the leaders appeared out of the pack fairly early.

It was the Austrian rider Thomas Pechhacker and Italian Alessio Povolo who emerged as the front runners as they only gained six points each over their first round. This compared to the 14 points gained by the third placed Spaniard Bernat Seuba Romeu meant that a gap emerged between the top two and the rest of the field.

A gulf between the top two emerged after the second round with the Austrian gaining five less points than the Italian which meant that he opened up a fairly large lead going into the third and final qualifying round.

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Current men's Trials 20" world number one Abel Mustieles Garcia from Spain makes one of the more tricky sections on the Cascades MTB Park's Trials course look easy as he rides his way to top position in qualifying.

Photo: Darren Goddard/Gameplan Media

The rocks and logs section proved to be the undoing of a number of the junior riders as they could not quite get to grips with the steep jumps and uneven surfaces. Many of them registered five’s on that section that set them back in their quest to qualify.

The consistency of the Austrian meant that he would gain the least amount of points throughout his round as he ended with a respectable score of 16 points – five points clear of the second placed Italian.

The Austrian was asked about his experience on the course and how he handled the unusually hot weather conditions for August.

“The sections of the course are really good and it is so different – but a good different,” the front-runner said. “The weather isn’t too much of an issue because we have some hot days back home, just not as many as here!”

In the men’s 20” Trials qualifying round it was the two Spaniards that came through and sounded a significant warning to the rest of the field with first and second.

Current world number one Abel Mustieles Garcia came out on top with only 10 points and his compatriot Benito Ross Charrel came in a close second with 14 points.

It was only a two point gap to fellow Spaniard Daniel Comas Riera in third position.

The three Spaniards are joined by five other riders in the semi-finals which includes British rider Andrei Burton – who is the only rider to have seen the Cascades Trials course before the event.

It is going to be an interesting semi-final with the two Spaniards fighting it out for the top spot in the 20” division. Ros Charrel is the defending World Champion but has been sidelined for a while with a wrist injury that has seen him miss out on a number of the World Cup events this year.

The defending world champion had the better of the days riding after he registered 15 clean runs in his three sections whereas his counterpart Garcia ended with a total of 11 clean runs but his consistency was what gave him the edge at the end of the qualifying round.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – UCI MTB AND TRIALS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

TRIALS JUNIOR MEN 20”

1. Thomas Pechhacker (AUT) 16 points

2. Alession Povolo (ITA) 21 points

3. Bernat Seuba Roeu (ESP) 23 points

4. Alex Rudeau (FRA) 24 points

5. Lucas Krell (GER) 32 points

6. Johan Buchwalder (SUI) 45 points

7. Jonas Boritz Kristiansen (DEN) 46 points

8. Martin Behro (SVK) 47 points

MEN’S 20”

1. Abel Mustieles Garcia (ESP) 10 points

2. Benito Ros Charral (ESP) 14 points

3. Daniel Comas Riera (ESP) 16 points

4. Kazuki Terai (JPN) 18 points

5. Vaclav Kolar (CZE) 26.5 points

6. Aurelien Fontenoy (FRA) 28 points

7. Andrei Burton (GBR) 28 points

8. Theau Courtes (FRA) 28 points

The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 26 August to 1 September 2013. More info can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za