It’s full steam ahead as the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship heads to Spain for the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro, the seventh and penultimate round of the season. With the end of the 2021 series drawing ever nearer, the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro is poised to become a critical event in this year’s title chase.
At the top of the standings, it’s now a three-horse race to become the inaugural FIM Hard Enduro World Champion. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt holds a slender one-point lead over Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler, with Sherco Factory Racing’s Wade Young just nine points further back in third. With 40 points up for grabs in these next two races, it’s all to play for.
For 2021, the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro features a slightly restructured format over previous editions. The traditional prologue in the heart of Aguliar de Campoo remains on hold for now due to Covid regulations. Instead, a short, endurocross timed qualification lap near the paddock will determine the start order for Saturday’s Campoo X-Treme.
Campoo X-Treme is an extreme cross country that sees riders complete a monster-sized loop around the town’s gigantic reservoir. The top 50 Knights (Pro), plus 15 Archers (Expert) and five Squires (Clubman) qualify through to Sunday’s The Lost Way extreme race. A short, intense 5 km loop around the peninsula and forest before finishing inside a spectacular quarry will see the best of the best Hard Enduro riders in the world go head-to-head for three hours.
While this year’s event won’t feature the passionate and large crowds the race is well known for due to Covid restrictions, Sunday’s main event will be broadcast live on Red Bull TV. With full uninterrupted coverage, Hard Enduro fans won’t miss a thing. And with this year’s title chase red hot, the Red Bull TV coverage couldn’t have come at a better time.
Heading into the penultimate round, it’s Billy Bolt holding a slender-but-crucial one-point lead over Manuel Lettenbichler. The duo have been inseparable throughout 2021, pushing the intensity at almost every occasion. However, following his victory last time out at HERO Challenge in Poland, Wade Young has bridged the gap to them and is now a danger man they have to consider.
A clinical performance from him in Poland was rewarded with a maximum 20-point haul. Now he’s just nine points behind Lettenbichler and highly motivated to eliminate that deficit. Another win from the South Africa could turn the championship standings on its head.
However, Spain always sees its home heroes rise to the occasion. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) – a past winner of Hixpania Hard Enduro – and Mario Roman (Sherco) will be a formidable pairing in Aguilar de Campoo. Fifth in the championship standings is Vision Track Beta’s Jonny Walker. The Brit has been enjoying a quiet, but solid, season during 2021 and will be looking to make his presence felt in Spain.
GASGAS’ Michael Walker, Bulgaria’s Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) and Poland’s Dominik Olszowy (KTM) are three young riders all fighting for a place inside the top 10.
The seventh and penultimate round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship takes place at the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro in Aguilar de Campoo, Spain on October 1-3. Watch it live on Red Bull TV on Sunday, October 3.
FIM Hard Enduro World Championship standings (after 6 of 8 rounds)
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 70 points
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 69
3. Wade Young (Sherco) 60
4. Mario Roman (Sherco) 48
5. Jonny Walker (Beta) 44
6. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) 33
7. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 28
8. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 26
9. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 21
10. Dominik Olszowy (KTM) 21
2021 24MX HIXPANIA HARD ENDURO SCHEDULE:
Thursday, September 30: Hixpania Village
• 17:00-21:00 Race office opens, race number collection
Friday, October 1: Hixpania Village
• 08:00-10:00 Race office opens, race number collection
• 10:00-12:00 Sighting lap and qualification
• 12:00-15:00 Timed section
• 19:00-20:00 Park Ferme
Saturday, October 2: Campoo X-Treme
• 8:00 Entry to Park Ferme
• 9:00 Campoo X-Treme first row start, then one row every 2 minutes. Each row will be formed by 25 riders. Location: Superenduro Paddock.
• 15:00 Prize and medal giving ceremony
Sunday, October 3: The Lost Way
• 11:00 Start – The Lost Way
• 14:00 Prize giving ceremony
2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship calendar
Round 1: Extreme XL Lagares – Portugal, May 7/8/9
Round 2: Red Bull Erzbergrodeo – Austria, June 3/4/5/6
Round 3: Abestone Hard Enduro – Italy, July 10/11
Round 4: Red Bull Romaniacs – Romania, July 27/28/29/30/31
Round 5: Red Bull TKO – USA, August 13/14/15
Round 6: HERO Challenge – Poland, September 11/12
Round 7: Hixpania Hard Enduro – Spain, October 1/2/3
Round 8: GetzenRodeo – Germany, October 29/30