The penultimate day of racing at round four of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship at Red Bull Romaniacs saw Wade Young (Sherco) take the win, while Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) moved one step closer to clinching the overall victory.
After a night under the stars, the second half of the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye commenced with Offroad Day 3. With competitors feeling the effects of a punishing two days, a slightly shorter and less demanding day was welcomed by all.
Fourth to start this morning, Sherco Factory Racing’s Wade Young was on a mission to reel in those ahead of him. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt was first on his list of riders to tick off and once he reached Bolt’s rear wheel, the duo pushed on together before turning into a trio when Young’s teammate Mario Roman was caught.
Riding back and forth throughout most of the day, both Young and Bolt managed to break away from Roman in the closing stages but didn’t have the legs to bridge the gap to Lettenbichler, who started out first. However, Young’s efforts were duly rewarded, with the South African claiming the penultimate stage win of the rallye, and Bolt 34 seconds adrift as runner-up.
Another standout ride of the day came once again from young Bulgarian hotshot Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna). Regrouping after a tough outing yesterday, third on Offroad Day 3 ensured a career-best result for him.
Eleven seconds back, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Lettenbichler took fourth, to confirm a race lead of 21 minutes and 11 seconds over Young heading into tomorrow’s final day of racing. Losing time today for seventh, Roman slips just over eight minutes behind Young, but with Bolt only four minutes adrift in fourth, he’s not out of the woods just yet.
In truth, the battle for the final step of the podium is very much alive heading into the final day between Roman, Bolt, and Vision Track Beta’s Jonny Walker in fifth. With less than nine minutes separating the trio, it’s set to go down to the wire.
Offroad Day 4 concludes this year’s Red Bull Romaniacs, with the traditional Gusterita hillclimb marking the final challenge of the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye. All eyes will be on Lettenbichler to see if he can make it three wins in a row.
Wade Young (Sherco): “Starting out fourth I pushed hard in the beginning to try and make some ground on those ahead of me. I managed to catch up to Billy and then Mario and we were back and forth all day then. I got a little bit of a gap at the end and was able to ride it out for the win. To be honest, today was a welcomed day, the trail was good with no major bottlenecks and had a nice flow to it. I liked the marathon stage. It was well organised and a nice twist to the race for sure.”
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna): “It’s been a good day, I actually enjoyed it a lot. There was a good mix of fast sections and Gold loops. Conditions were also dry out there today, which helped a lot. Wade caught me on the first few hills, I think I was still asleep! But then we got going together and pushed on. Second today, I’ll take that and give one last big effort for tomorrow because a podium is possible.”
Mario Roman (Sherco): “Last night was a good experience, eating together and sleeping in the tent. I enjoyed it and it is a good addition to the event for sure. I started out second today, but Wade and Billy caught me early. When we grouped together, we rode out the rest of the day like that. The overall is still tight, and there’s a fight for the podium. I’m hoping for a tough day tomorrow to finish things off.”
Results: Red Bull Romaniacs, Offroad Day 3
1. Wade Young (Sherco) 4:20:52
2. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 4:21:26
3. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 4:23:01
4. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 4:23:14
5. Jonny Walker (Beta) 4:25:27
6. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 4:26:01
7. Mario Roman (Sherco) 4:26:17
8. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 4:30:16
9. Dominik Olszowy (KTM) 4:31:19
10. Trystan Hart (KTM) 4:32:11
Overall Standings (After Offroad Day 3)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 15:02:01
2. Wade Young (Sherco) 15:23:12
3. Mario Roman (Sherco) 15:31:28
4. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 15:35:16
5. Jonny Walker (Beta) 15:40:11
6. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 15:56:02
7. Trystan Hart (KTM) 16:06:22
8. Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) 16:19:49
9. Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 16:24:07
10. Sonny Goggia (GASGAS) 17:10:18