[KTM]

LETTENBICHLER MAKES IT AN ERZBERG HAT-TRICK

2 weeks ago | Photos: KTM Images

Manuel Lettenbichler of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing clinched his third consecutive victory at the 2024 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, mastering the formidable Iron Giant once again. Teammate Trystan Hart of FMF KTM Factory Racing secured his career-best second place, marking a KTM 1-2 finish in round two of the 2024 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (HEWC) in Austria.

The 28th edition of the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, a flagship event on the HEWC calendar, lived up to its reputation for thrilling and challenging competition. The race, spanning 35 kilometres over the Iron Giant, included notorious sections such as Carl’s Dinner, Machine, and Dynamite, with competitors given just four hours to complete the course. This year introduced new sections and changes to the checkpoint order, adding to the race’s difficulty as riders were prohibited from walking the track before the event.

Friday and Saturday’s two-day qualification process saw 1,300 riders vying for a spot in the main event. Josep Garcia of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing topped the time sheets, while Lettenbichler secured the fifth-fastest time and Hart qualified ninth, ensuring front-row positions for both in Sunday’s main race.

In the main race, Lettenbichler had a strong start, quickly taking the lead before the first checkpoint. Demonstrating exceptional skill and strategy, he built a 20-minute lead, navigating the course with precision and conserving energy to finish with over an hour to spare. Hart, despite a minor crash at the start, showcased his resilience and skill, moving up to second place by checkpoint nine and finishing 20 minutes behind Lettenbichler.

Manuel Lettenbichler expressed his excitement: “It’s amazing to have got my tenth win in a row and my third Erzberg win in a row. It feels amazing, it was definitely my day today and I’m super happy with this result. I’m honestly surprised at how confident I felt in the new sections, even when they were quite slippery and tough, but I just tried to use my head and choose the best lines to keep my speed up.”

Lettenbichler’s victory marks his 10th consecutive win in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship and his third Erzbergrodeo win in a row, a feat achieved by only one other rider. He now leads the HEWC standings by 13 points. The championship continues with round three in Serbia at the Xross Hard Enduro Rally from June 19-22.

Provisional Results – 2024 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 2:47:23
2. Trystan Hart (CAN), KTM, 3:07:40
3. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 3:21:47
4. Graham Jarvis (GBR), KTM, 3:23:39
5. Wade Young (RSA), GASGAS, 3:39:48

Provisional Standings – FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (after 2 of 7 rounds)

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 45 points
2. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 32 pts
3. Wade Young (RSA), GASGAS, 29 pts
4. Mitch Brightmore (GBR), Husqvarna, 24 pts
5. Teodor Kabakchiev (BUL), KTM, 20 pts

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