Laia Sanz

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This is a Catalan name. The first family name and Father's surname is Sanz and the second family name and Mother's surname is Pla-Giribert.

Laia Sanz Pla-Giribert
Personal Data
Gender: Female
Nationality: Spain Spain
Birth Place: Corbera de Llobregat ; Barcelona; Spain
Birth Date: 11 December 1985
Weight: 73 Kg /160 lb
Height: 178 cm / 5ft10in
Web page: www.laiasanz.com
Sport Life
Teams:

Beta 2000-2003

Montesa-HRT 2004-Present

Arcarons KH-7 2011

Gas Gas 2012
First Race: 1992
First Victory: 1997
International Trial Titles
World Championships: 13 Times
European Championships: 10 Times
Trial des Nations: 6 Times
National Trial Titles
Spanish Championship: 8 Times
Spanish Cadet Championship ( Males ) 1 Time
International Enduro Titles
World Championship:

Third (2010)

Second (2011)

First (2012)
Dakar Rally
Female Category: First. (2011,2012)
Overall: 39th. (2011,2012)

Laia Sanz Pla-Giribert (11 December 1985. Corbera de Llobregat, Catalonia, Spain), also known as Laia Sanz. Is a Catalan sportswoman thirteen times Women's Trial World Champion and ten times Women's Trial European Champion in Outdoor Motorcycle Trials.[1]

She has also formed part of the Spanish Female Team in the Trial des Nations, winning it five times (2000, 2002, 2008, 2010, 2011).

In 2010 competed in the Women's Enduro World Championship for the first time. And also in 2011 participated, for the first time, in the Dakar Rally winning the Female motorcycle category and finishing 39th overall, position that she manages to repeat a year later.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Laia learned how to ride a bicycle when she was two years old. The first contact with a motorbike came the same year, when her father used to seat her in the petrol tank of his bike and ride her around. By the time she was four, the passion had grown and, without telling anybody, she began to ride her brother's motorbike. Laia's older brother, Joan, also a motorbike aficionado, had a Montesa Cota 25 cc.

In 1992, aged seven and encouraged by her mother, she participated in a race at the Catalan Junior Championship that was taking place in her village. She finished eighth and last, but she wanted to come back for more. The next year she joined the Championship from race one. With that step she joined a male-dominated sport without any female championships at the time.[2]

In 1997 she won her first race in a male championship, riding an 80 cc bike. She also took part in an international female Trial competition for the first time. In 1998 took part in the First Edition of the Women's Trial European Championship, unofficial at the time, and won it. She was only twelve years old and competing against more mature raiders, attracting attention from fans and professional teams.[3] Thanks to such a great result she started to consider a professional career as a rider. Also that year she took part in the Spanish Trial Championship, where she was the only female rider.

International début.[edit]

In 2000 she wins the Spanish Cadet Championship, again the only female rider. This is the most satisfying of her titles[4] according to her. This year sees the First edition of the official Women's Trial European Championship and Women's Trial World Championship. She takes part in both and achieves her first World title and finishes second in the European Championship. She also takes part as a member of the Spanish team in the first edition of the Female Trial Des Nations. And she wins it.

From then on she has collected many titles in international Female competitions, winning the Women's Trial World Championship seven consecutive times (2000–2006). She has also competed in Male Championships with good achievements.

She has raced for Beta, but in 2004 she moved to the official Montesa team Montesa-HRT. She has won World, European and Spanish titles with both makers. She shared team at Montesa-HRT with Toni Bou and Takahisa Fujinami until 2011. For the 2012 season she raced for Gas Gas.

The Dakar and Enduro.[edit]

In 2010 Laia finally get the much awaited chance to train for the Dakar Rally, a childhood dream, and joins the Dakar Legend Jordi Arcarons as a trainer, another childhood dream.[5] She also participates in the Women’s Enduro World Championship as part of her training for the Dakar, and she achieves a very respectable third place after only participating in two of the three events.[6] She also keeps racing in trial where she wins World, Europe and Spanish championship and Trial des Nations.

She participated in the 2011 edition of the Dakar Rally, on a Honda CRF450X as part of the Team Arcarons RST KH-7, with Arcarons as a backup she wins the Female class, and manages a very consistent performance with a 39th position overall. At the Women’s Enduro World Championship she takes part in all the events and finishes 2nd.[7]

For the 2012 edition of the Dakar Rally she moves to the Gas Gas team, making their official début at the rally, and has Marc Guasch as her backup. Laia suffered and accident during the 4th stage and injured her hand and damaged the petrol tank in her Gas Gas 450 cc but she kept going and managed to finish the stage. Marc had a serious fall at the 8th stage, which left him with four broken ribs, a perforated lung and damage to his spleen. Despite having to ride “solo” for the rest of the rally, Laia repeats her 39th position and, being the only woman to finish the rally raid on a motorbike, Female class.

Titles[edit]

Year Motorbike Women's World Trial Championship Women's Trial European Championship Women's Trial des NationsA Women's Trial Spanish Championship Women's Enduro World Championship Dakar Rally
2000 Beta 1st 2nd 1st - - -
2001 Beta 1st 2nd 2nd - - -
2002 Beta 1st 1st 1st - - -
2003 Beta 1st 1st 3rd 1st - -
2004 Montesa 1st 1st 3rd 1st - -
2005 Montesa 1st 1st 3rd 1st - -
2006 Montesa 1st 1st 2nd 1st - -
2007 Montesa 2nd 1st 4th 1st - -
2008 Montesa 1st 1st 1st 1st - -
2009 Montesa 1st 1st 2nd 1st - -
2010 Montesa 1st 1st 1st 1st 3rd Honda -
2011 Montesa 1st 1st 1st - 2nd Honda 1st Female class Honda
2012 Gas Gas 1st - 1st - 1st 1st Female class
2013 Montesa 1st - - - 1st 1st Female class
^A Refers to position achieved with Spanish National Team.

References[edit]

External links[edit]