Raga returns to defend his King of Steel City crown

Adam Raga – TRRS will return to the Utilita Arena Sheffield on Saturday 13 January next year for the second DL12 Indoor Trial with his focus set solely on retaining the King of Steel City crown that he won in such dramatic fashion in January this year.

Raga’s sensational victory this year completed his hat-trick of Sheffield wins and was made all the more remarkable by the fact it came less than seven weeks after he underwent back surgery.

At the age of forty-one the veteran Spaniard is very much the elder statesman of top-flight Trial, but make no mistake – just like the strong, full-bodied red wines his Catalan homeland is famous for, he is still a powerhouse who demands to be treated with respect.

“Winning in Sheffield was incredible, especially after my back operation,” he said. “It was a boost of motivation to start the season on a high and I am looking forward to coming back next year and defending my title in front of the wonderful English crowd.”

It is crazy to think that Raga’s debut Sheffield win came all the way back in 2005 and that his 2016 victory and this year’s triumph remain the only times that the great Toni Bou has been beaten in the Steel City.

Raga made his Sheffield debut in 2002 when he finished a fighting third behind DL12 Indoor Trial co-promoter Dougie Lampkin and Marc Freixa. In the intervening years he has claimed four consecutive X-Trial crowns – from 2003 to 2006 – and taken back-to-back TrialGP titles in 2005 and 2006.

His Sheffield record is incredibly impressive. Since that maiden appearance in 2002 he has competed every year the event has been held and has only failed to make the podium on four occasions so it is hardly a surprise that he holds the event in such high esteem.

“In terms of indoor events, it is perhaps the most special one mainly because it is the only event that still has really technical sections. Also because it is the first one of the season where everyone arrives with new bikes, new settings and lots of motivation.

“I think from my history at Sheffield you know that I have a lot of good things to remember. To come here and win such a difficult event is fantastic. It has always been a difficult arena for me and at the opening indoor event of the season always you are very nervous and it is one of the most difficult.”

So will Raga add a famous fourth victory to his Sheffield CV? That remains to be seen, though you can be certain no-one wants it more and that on Saturday 13 January he will be laying it all on the line to keep that coveted crown for at least another year.

Tickets for the 2024 DL12 Indoor Trial on 13 January are on sale now. To see Raga, Bou, Busto, Marcelli, Martyn and other World class riders soon to be revealed – click here.