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New World Champion Abel Mustieles side hops up one of the letters of the 'South Africa' section of the Trials course during the finals of the men's 20" at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg.
Photo: Darren Goddard/Gameplan Media
In the junior men’s 20” final Spaniard Bernat Seuba set himself apart from the rest of the field in trying conditions. He was tactical in his approach and took a number of dabs in order not to put himself under too much pressure of gaining too many points on his way through.

He was in a class of his own in his final round where he only picked up eight points which put him clear of the rest of the riders and throughout his ride he did not pick up a single five pointer – the only rider in the final eight to achieve the feat.

Austrian Thomas Pechhacker was the top qualifier in the division and tried to make a late charge for the title but in his attempt he gained a number of points which lead to him missing out on taking the gold medal. His charge resulted in him picking up 20 points in his final run that put him out of the reckoning on 31 points.

The challenge for second became interesting with the poor last round by the Austrian handing Frenchman Alex Rudeau an outside shot at the silver medal but he could only manage a two in his last section when he needed to get through unblemished. He had enough of a buffer over the fourth placed rider to claim the bronze medal with Dane, Jonas Boritz Kristiansen ending fourth.

The junior men’s final was marred by a fall by German rider Lucas Krell when he misjudged a jump on the Talisman section and fell, picking up - what appeared to be - a nasty injury. It was only on his second section of his first round and he was unable to continue in the event.

In the elite men’s 20” final Mustieles blew away the rest of the field in tricky conditions and showed why he has been the form rider this season as he gained a total of just 12 points – an impressive 16 points less than second placed Frenchman Aurelien Fontenoy.

Fontenoy tried his utmost to catch the Spanish rider but he was out of sight when the second round started having gained a seven point lead at the beginning of round two. The rain eased up a bit in the second round but it did not make the course any easier as very few clear rounds were registered.

The Spaniard showed his class by registering four clear sections in his last round which confirmed his status as the best 20” Trials rider in the world for 2013.

The showdown was between former World Champion Benito Ros Charral and the Japanese rider Kazuki Terai for the bronze medal. Charral Ros scrambled during his last round to score an eight after a 22 in the first round. The Japanese rider could only manage an 11 in his final round which meant they ended tied but the Spaniard took the bronze because he had three clear runs as opposed to Terai’s one.

Britain’s Andrei Burton produced a spectacular run on the final ‘South African’ section of the course but he had accumulated too many points throughout his run to challenge for a podium position.

“It was pretty challenging even without the rain,” Burton mentioned. “When the rain came it really got tough and everything started slipping and the brakes didn’t work and the landing areas became a lot tougher to hit and stay on.”

As the conditions got more difficult it seemed that the riders, especially Mustieles, got better and started negotiating the sections more carefully but had to sacrifice time in order to gain the least amount of points.

“There was a lot of pressure and I wasn’t too happy with my run but it was still a lot of fun out there,” the British rider said.

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Defending World Champion Benito Ros Charral balances cleverly on the head of the giraffe on his way to a bronze medal in the men's 20" Trials final at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg
Photo: Darren Goddard/Gameplan Media

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – UCI MTB AND TRIALS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
JUNIOR MENS TRIALS 20” FINAL

1. Bernat Seuba (ESP) 18 points
2. Thomas Pechhacker (AUT) 31 points
3. Alex Rudeau (FRA) 32 points
4. Jonas Boritz Kristiansen (DEN) 38 points
5. Alessio Povolo (ITA) 42 points
6. Martin Behro (SVK) 45 points
7. Johan Buchwalder (SUI) 50 points
8. Lucas Krell (GER) DNF

MEN’S TRIALS 20” FINAL

1. Abel Mustieles (ESP) 12 points
2. Aurelien Fontenoy (FRA) 28 points
3. Benito Ros Charral (ESP) 30 points
4. Kazuki Terai (JPN) 30 points
5. Vaclav Kolar (CZE) 33 points
6. Daniel Comas (ESP) 35 points
7. Theau Courtes (FRA) 39 points
8. Andrei Burton (GBR) 47 points