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  • Laia Sanz

    I started riding bikes from a young age, simply because my dad was crazy about motorsports! He was especially into trial, and he rode a lot, as did my older brother. So, I grew up around bikes and that’s how it all started for me. They were riding all the time and when I was old enough, I started to ride with them too.

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    FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

    As I got a little older, it felt normal to be growing up in a ‘man’s world’. At that time, all my friends were boys and I guess I just felt like one of them. I seemed to fit in well when we would go riding or if we were just hanging out. When I started competing and beating them it was a lot of fun in the beginning, but as I got older, it did start to feel a little strange as what I was achieving hadn’t really been done before.

    For anyone entering any kind of motorcycle sport, I think trial is the perfect place to start. I believe that it teaches you really important skills and helps to develop your ability, even if you’re already competing in another sport. Trial teaches you a lot of things like balance, control, and patience. It’s mentally challenging and you need to be very precise and must remain focused at all times to succeed. Even for everyday life, riding trial helps. For youngsters that will one day learn how to drive a car, they’ll already be one step ahead as they’ll know how to use the clutch and gears properly.

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    "Trial teaches you a lot of things like balance, control, and patience."

    MY INSPIRATION

    Jutta Kleinschmidt was a big inspiration for me growing up, because I loved motorsports and especially offroad. She was an amazing competitor that achieved so much. I mean, she won the Dakar Rally in a car! So that is why she’s a big icon for me and what motivated me to follow in her footsteps and take on the race myself, just on a bike instead.

    For women competing in offroad sports, everything is really improving at the moment. Not just with trial but motocross and enduro as well. When I started, I was pretty much the only woman out there and now I can see many other girls riding trial. I think the same is happening in all other sports too. I think this is really good and I see federations and brands beginning to support women in more sports. Women can take part in sports just like men and at the end of the day, it’s a big market as well. There is a big growth potential for a lot of sports if girls start participating, but I know that it’s a big step to go from hobby riding into competition.

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    "Women can take part in sports just like men !"

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    I CAN’T JUMP!

    I love all offroad disciplines and recently I’ve been riding trial and enduro a lot as these are what you could say are my main passions. Sometimes, I’ll ride motocross, but I’m really terrible at it! In my next life I really want to learn how to jump properly! Unfortunately, I don’t have time to do more things as I’m also driving cars now, so most of my time is spent riding trial and enduro.

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    I have fun with all the bikes I have at home but now it’s very special for me to be competing on a trial bike again. It’s where everything started for me and it’s a discipline that has a special place in my heart. It’s nice to be back in TrialGP and I have so many good memories from the past. I’m really enjoying myself being back in the world championship paddock and making more memories this year.

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    LIVIN’ THE AMBASSADOR LIFE

    It was great to come back to GASGAS in 2020 and I feel really lucky that GASGAS chose me as an ambassador. I was one of their first factory riders and I felt really blessed! Its super cool that GASGAS make bikes for all of the sports that I love, and they have every type of offroad bike that you could want - trial, motocross, and enduro, even bicycles!

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    "I was one of their first factory riders and I felt really blessed! Its super cool that GASGAS make bikes for all of the sports that I love, and they have every type of offroad bike that you could want"

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    I have all kinds of bikes at home and some days it’s hard to choose which one to ride! For anyone that loves riding bikes like I do, there’s no better brand than GASGAS, they have everything!

    It’s nice that GASGAS has a such a cool story and with the Spanish connection, it’s awesome! Being able to represent a Spanish brand that has such a big heritage in trial is just unbelievable, it’s an honor.

    I’ve been riding GASGAS bikes for a very long time and I won my first Trial World Championship with GASGAS. When I began in the 125cc class, everyone was on a GASGAS because it was such a great bike and way ahead of the competition at the time. I also won a Spanish Trial Championship against the boys. I beat them all!

    Nowadays, the brand has a lot of energy, which is so cool because sometimes I’m a bit crazy! I’m always looking for the next new challenge, so having a brand that supports me in everything I do is amazing. GASGAS is always behind me, which is awesome.

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    "GASGAS has such a cool story and with the Spanish connection, it’s awesome!"

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    WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT

    My riding philosophy is to enjoy riding bikes, because it’s what I love. But of course, when I put my helmet on, I’m there to race and I just want to win!

    Even after all these years of riding, I still love it! It’s my job and it’s just incredible. I’ve been doing it for many years now and I still get the same excitement and butterflies when I compete. I love to ride almost every day and to be able to do what I do for my career is amazing. Of course, it’s not possible to ride every day, but when I do, those are definitely my favorite days, whether it’s riding or racing!

    Riding bikes is what makes me happy, I love it! Some parts of my job I don’t enjoy so much, like injuries, and when travel really takes it out of you, but then when I fire a bike up to start riding there is always a massive smile on my face! It’s been many years since I started but I still feel like a kid, only now I get to ride and race all over the world. So, it’s perfect, and I feel so lucky to do this for a living!

    TAKING LIFE AS IT COMES

    My plans for the future are never 100% clear! This year I want to finish in a good position in both EnduroGP and TrialGP, and then hopefully next year we will have solid and fixed racing calendars. What is clear, though, is that I’ll continue to ride GASGAS bikes and have a whole lot of fun doing so!