2022 Xross Hard Enduro results: Lettenbichler back in business on day 2
Day two results from the Hard Enduro World Championship round in Serbia, the Xross Hard Enduro Rally where Mani Lettenbichler shrugged off six months of rehab to win a tough day, tough for everyone except Graham Jarvis who called it “fantastic”...
HEWC Xross Hard Enduro, day two in a nutshell and rider quotes (results below):
- If it was impressive how Manuel Lettenbichler could match the pace of Billy Bolt on day one of three in the Serbian mountains, then it is take your hat off time on day two after a blistering ride.
- On day two of his first race back from six months off the bike, Mani looked in the kind of form which has seen him win three Red Bull Romaniacs. Basically he cleared off out front, navigating on his own and setting a pace no-one else could match.
- No-one was more surprised with his speed than Mani: “I expected to take it easy but in a race you always get carried on and you can push more than you expected. I’m really, really stoked. To lead the whole day and to put on a fight with the guys was great, especially after such a long time off the bike. After the service point we had a super-gnarly downhill and almost lost it once, I had to throw my bike down once because it was super-steep. After we had a riverbed and from there the race was quite fast. I knew the guys behind were fast, so I pushed a bit more and I’m so happy to make it first to the finish. I’m good now but if you ask me in an hour I’ll probably be dead!
- Lettenbichler finished almost eight minutes clear of Teodore Kabakchiev who had another storming day, finishing P2 and sits second overall: “It was pretty extreme today, near the end I was going all out and hoping there weren’t any other hard bits left. Congrats to Mani, he did a masterclass of riding today. Immediately after the service point I took it easy on the super steep downhill but I crashed and my bike was going down, and I was sliding further down, I had to climb up to get it and keep going. At that point Graham and Wade went passed me. After that I pushed again to make a little gap and I made some good line choices in the forest and towards the end to pass them back.”
- Wade Young finished the day in third (he was initially paced second but one stretch of the course was neutralised due to timing issues) despite having “to make some adjustments” to his riding style due to a back injury: “I spent a lot more time sitting down basically to deal with pain in my lower back. I fitted a harder spring in the back to try to use more of the rebound but it was definitely a lot better today. Just one more day so I’ll try my best to keep pushing. I had some fun out there after the service point but in the end it was a long, tough day.”
- Never a man of many words, Graham Jarvis bucked the trend of rivals declaring it a hard day by saying he was loving it and it wasn’t that bad after all: “It was a pretty fast day, just a couple of technical places. I saved some energy until the service point, but I wish I had pushed a bit more. But I got to the finish with my body and knee feeling good which is great. I’m really happy with how I’m riding, I made progress today and it’s great to be getting back in to racing after the time off. The track is incredible, loads of variety, slippery rivers… it’s fantastic.” Graham finished fourth on the day and now sits third scratch with one day to go.
- What happened to Billy? The overnight leader had a broken clutch master cylinder to deal with early in teh first timed stage, meaning he was using four fingers on the clutch for a while. The master cylinder had to be changed at the service point but his own energy levels were the big issue says Bolt who finished the day P7, 26 mins behind Mani: “It was tough there, my reserve tank was empty. I probably underestimated how much I used yesterday. The pace at the front is fast and I tried to hang up there like yesterday but I broke my clutch master cylinder in the first uphill so I ran into service using all my four fingers on the clutch which it adds into the difficulty.
- “Anyway, the main problem was the energy, it was completely gone. I kept with the front guys until kind of the last hard section but I had nothing left there. I’m struggling a lot on the fast, loose downhills. My wrist is hurting so I was forced to stop sometimes and, as I said, I underestimated how much energy it took out of me yesterday to stay at the front and got a reality check today. Hopefully I can regroup tonight and go hard again tomorrow to try to salvage some points for the championship.”
- It was not such good day for Mario Roman whose foot injury from yesterday hampered his progress to finish 13th and over one hour off the pace. Taking some points are Mario’s aim at this round.
- It was a particularly tough day for Alfredo Gomez’s left arm too. The Spaniard was riding well but, like many, suffered on the “crazy” downhill after the service point and tore his grip. A hasty repair gave him something to hold onto but still, his left arm is gonna need a big sleep tonight…
Xross Hard Enduro, day 2 results:
Overall results after day 2 (we think):
Photo Credit: Future7Media | Andrea Belluschi