2024 Spanish Hard Enduro: Marc Riba takes victory in Cantoria – Blazusiak makes electric Stark Varg debut
Results from round two of the 2024 Spanish Hard Enduro Championship in Cantoria, where Marc Riba claimed his second victory of the season ahead of Suff Sella and Francesc Moret, and the much-anticipated debut of Taddy Blazusiak on the Varg helps Stark gather information in real racing conditions.
It is fair to say the focus of attention was divided into two this weekend in Cantoria at the second race of the Spanish Hard Enduro season. On the one hand, Marc Riba smartly managed the three hours of racing to take his second consecutive victory in the championship ahead of the Israeli Suff Sella and Francesc Moret.
And on the other hand, the long-awaited debut in real enduro conditions of the Stark Varg in hard enduro at the hands of Taddy Blazusiak. A debut that, beyond the result – seventh after a lengthy pitstop – means the Spanish-based factory collected valuable data and information in real enduro racing conditions for the development of its future enduro model.
Román wins Saturday’s ‘straight rhythm’
The Cantoria race had all the ingredients of a great race: a morning training session that gave way to the intense eliminatory duel in pairs, ‘straight rhythm’ style of obstacles in the streets of the town of Almeria, where Mario Román beat Marc Fernández in a final from which Blazusiak was left out after making a small mistake in the semi-final.
Saturday’s practice and prologue gave to Sunday’s races, where the Cup rider were the first on the track at 9am for a two-hour race in which Jaime Quilis achieved victory with a margin of 21 seconds over Fernando Soler after three laps, with Roberto Montoya third position further away, 14 minutes away in a first race that had more than 60 participants.
Riba two from two
From noon it was the Championship riders’ turn in a final where the new addition to the KTM-Zona Paddock team, Marc Riba, managed his race throughout the three hours to take his second victory of the year in the Spanish Hard Enduro Championship.
The Catalan rider led the five laps of an intense and long route through the mountains on the outskirts of Cantoria. It was a technical route planned by Alfredo Gomez full of ups and downs in arid terrain, which gave the participants no rest.
The main race day was lacking former winner and Saturday’s prologue victor, Mario Roman who did not start due to collecting a stomach bug.
Gomez’s pupil in the AG Team, Suff Sella, who this weekend was changing the stadiums of the SuperEnduro World Championship for the countryside, finished two-minutes behind Riba in second with Francesc Moret on a Sherco completed the podium ahead of Xavi León (GASGAS Sixlyon) and Marc Fernández (AG Team).
By the way, if you want to have a good time, we recommend reading the 5-minute interview with Xavi León – “Everyone called me yayo!”, says the 2024 European SuperEnduro Champion, laughing.”
Taddy Blazusiak, who finished an eventual seventh place following a lengthy pitstop, was inside the top five. The Stark Varg is not designed to change batteries but they did on this test as a precaution, and as part of the learning process.
14th overall was best placed female rider Sandra Gomez.
Enduro21 caught up with Taddy after the race to understand more: 5 minutes: Taddy Blazusiak talks Stark in Hard Enduro – “We finished and we learned a lot”
Round three is on March 23-24 and big Spanish enduro season grand opening event, Bassella Race, is this coming weekend, February 16-18.
Cantoria Spanish Hard Enduro round two results:
Photo Credit: ArtRacing | RFME