- Hero Challenge
The sixth round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship at Poland’s HERO Challenge kicked off with a bang with home favourite Dominik Olszowy (KTM) winning the morning Prologue and Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) topping the night’s SuperEnduro.
Day one of racing at HERO Challenge was definitely one of two halves with a high-speed motocross style Prologue opening proceedings, before a night-time SuperEnduro in the city of Dąbrowa Górnicza signed things off.
Faced with a five-minute plus motocross special test, the 400 competitors enjoyed two timed runs to earn one of the 120 qualification spots on offer for Sunday’s main event. The top-27 qualifiers then proceeded to the SuperEnduro event, which would determine the front row starting order for Sunday’s three-hour feature race.
Fast out of the traps, Poland’s Dominik Olszowy (KTM) was out to prove that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in Dąbrowa Górnicza’s sandy terrain. A scorchingly hot second timed run from Olszowy saw him top the time sheets by four seconds over Billy Bolt (Husqvarna), with Sherco’s Wade Young a further 13 seconds back in third.
With all eyes turned to the evening’s action, a full crowd of spectators came out to watch some world-class SuperEnduro racing go down. Through a series of eliminator heats, the 27 competitors were whittled down into a four-rider final. Gomez, Bolt, Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) and Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) made for an intense lineup.
Timing the drop of the gate to perfection, Gomez shot his Husqvarna out into an early lead and was never headed. Blazusiak gave it his all and despite a wealth of local support cheering him on, he had to settle for second. Lettenbichler rounded out the top three, while Bolt – who looked fast all night – didn’t quite make it count and took fourth.
Sunday now sees riders get down to the business end of the weekend, with a three-hour extreme cross-country race waiting to settle the outcome of the sixth round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship.
Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna): “It was an intense final lining up against Mani, Taddy and Billy. But I knew if I could make the start then I could win on this track. It’s been a lot of fun this evening. I really enjoyed fighting through the heat races to get to the final. Also to see so many fans here watching is so nice.”
Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS): “I love this style of racing. It’s super intense and full gas from when the gate drops. It was awesome to see so many people come out to watch too. I am struggling a bit though. My shoulder is really hurting and I could feel it hurt more with each heat. But I wanted to put a race on for my home crowd. Hopefully tomorrow I can go the distance.”
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM): “It was such a cool night. The crowd was amazing and for sure it was one of the best prologues we’ve done. It like a full on SuperEnduro event tonight. And with such a large crowd here, it was great fun. It was cool to sign off with some burnouts too. With third in SuperEnduro I’ve got a good start position for tomorrow, so hopefully I can make a good result happen for the main race.”
Full results, here: https://herochallenge.pl/en/results-2021/