Red Bull minas Riders 2017 Alfredo Gomez Paul Bolton Podium

Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media

The winter wait is over as the Red Bull Hard Enduro World Series fires into life this week with the Red Bull Minas Riders in Brazil.

Six rounds and three different continents, the Hard Enduro is easily one of the toughest and most varied test of man and machines off road.

From the depths of the Brazilian jungle, to Erzberg’s Iron Giant, Romaniacs isolated mountain peaks and Africa’s scorching heat, the series is without doubt hard by name and hard by nature.

Kicking things off for the second year running, Brazil has the honour of opening the series with the Red Bull Minas Riders.

Following a format similar to that of Red Bull Romaniacs, four tough and testing days await those ready to do battle.

 

red bull minas riders Alfredo Gomez

Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media

Alfredo Gomez

Red Bull KTM Racing

With the #1 plate on his bike, KTM’s Alfredo Gomez starts as the defending champion and is eager to prove that his win in 2016 was certainly no fluke. Adapting to the new terrain better than any other rider, Gomez hit hard and fast from day one in 2016 opening up a lead that not even Graham Jarvis himself could do anything about. Riding in the best form of his life, Gomez is fresh off an incredible SuperEnduro campaign and keen to show his worth outdoors.

 

 

Red Bull minas Riders 2017 Graham Jarvis Husqvarna TE 300

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Graham Jarvis

Rockstar Husqvarna Racing

Graham Jarvis is the undisputed King of Hard Enduro — there’s no doubt about that. 2016 was yet another killer year for the Brit delivering a dominant performance at Erzberg and Romaniacs, before capping things off with a win at the Roof of Africa. But for Jarvis, Minas Riders was the one that got away from him. You can be sure he won’t settle for anything less than the top step of the podium this time around.

 

 

Red Bull minas Riders 2017 Paul Bolton Podium

Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media

Paul Bolton

Eurotek KTM

The 2016 Minas Riders was probably the highlight of Paul Bolton’s season with the privateer sticking his KTM on the podium in third. Strong throughout the week, Bolton consistently dug deep in the hard and testing conditions and heat. Recovered from a nasty ankle injury, he’s keen to set his 2017 campaign off to a strong start and will be hunting down another taste of Brazilian champagne.

 

 

Red Bull minas Riders 2017 Philipp Scholz KTM 300 EXC

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Philip Scholz

KTM Racing

For many Philipp Scholz was the standout performer at the 2016 Minas Riders. On day one his race almost ended with a smashed throttle housing. Through the wonders of duck tape and cable ties he was able to keep going and from then on began to work his way back into contention for a top three result only to lose out in the final moments of the final day.

 

 

Red Bull minas Riders 2017 Cody Webb KTM 300 EXC

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Cody Webb

Red Bull KTM Racing

One of the biggest unknowns coming into Brazil is Cody Webb. Minas Riders will mark the two-time EnduroCross champs first foray into a Hard Enduro Rallye with GPS navigation. A rider who’s clearly got the skills to mix it with Jarvis, Gomez — his runner-up result at Erzberg is testament to that — it remains to be seen how quickly and successfully he adapts to following that GPS at race speed.

 

 

pol tarres red bull minas riders

Photo Credit: Pau Beura

Pol Torres

Beta Racing

Former top trials rider Pol Torres makes his official Hard Enduro start in Brazil. Not short of riding skills it will be interesting to watch his progression through the week. A top five result is well within his grasp.

 

 

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Robert Lynn
Editor: robert@future7media.com