Dakar, superenduro and extreme enduro, there was a lot of racing packed into the month of January. Here’s the best of it…
Rider of the Month: Sam Sunderland
As the first British man to ever win the Dakar Rally, Sam Sunderland was an easy pick for January's Rider of the Month”. Offering KTM their 16th consecutive victory, he made his own history too. An incredible landmark win that shows that hard work truly does pay off.
Riesa always pushes the envelope with track design and this year was no exception with a raised start ramp. Something different, which certainly shook things up, it was cool to see.
It was cold in Alestrem, cold enough to keep a bit of snow on the ground. South African Blake Gutzeit battles through the elements, which are a far cry from home. He’s had a good January too, leaving Germany in charge of the SuperEnduro Junior category.
Colton Haaker pretty much laid down the law at round two of the SuperEnduro in Germany. A clean sweep with three wins from three starts - plus SuperPole - sees him leading the way.
The Dakar Rally filled our screens for the first two weeks of the month delivering some incredible stories with triumph and heartache in equal measure.
Billy Bolt made his international debut for Husqvarna at Alestrem and acquitted himself well. Sharp and stylish during the Saturday prologue he joined both Alfredo Gomez and Jonny Walker on the podium. He then ran with the top guys during the majority of Sunday, even taking his fair share of the race lead early on. Already comfortable in his first role as a factory rider, his year is looking bright.
The Junior SuperEnduro ranks are as tight as ever with just two points separating second to fifth in Riesa. Welshman Gethin Humphreys was sandwiched somewhere in the middle with fourth and one point off the podium.
The spectators came out in force for Alestrem and so too did Mario Roman. Just three weeks into 2017 and he’s looking dialled on his new Sherco. To come within a whisker of taking down King Jarvis was a pretty big statement to make.
Pol Tarres is a fresh face on the extreme scene this year. And as a top flight trials guy he’s got bags of potential. He hung with the leaders during the opening stages of the race and looks comfortable on the tech stuff.
Two-for-two, SuperEnduro has been sold out for the 2017 series.
Graham Jarvis’ spent his January weekends like this: celebrate New Year’s Eve, win Valleys Extreme, win British Extreme, win Alestrem and Chill. Absolute legend!
Images: Robert Lynn/Future7Media, Bauer E./RallyZone, Marcin Kin