Andrea Verona to race Erzbergrodeo – “I'm going to be pushing my bike up almost every hill”
EnduroGP World Champion Andrea Verona will face the world’s best at the Iron Giant this weekend on his GASGAS EC 350F – Can we count him as one of the favourites for the Erzbergrodeo prologue win?
Italian enduro star, Andrea Verona, is no stranger to the Erzbergrodeo, he was there enjoying the experience last year, but this year he’s stepping up the challenge and is ready to get a real taste of the Iron Giant.
We were in the paddock of the EnduroGP of Sweden this past week and took the opportunity to ask him about his plans for the infamous Austrian race…
Andrea Verona: “I don’t know what I'm going to do there. After the GP of Finland and Sweden Erzberg is happening and it’s a free weekend in my calendar. Last year I went there to see the race and I really enjoyed the location, the race format, the people… You can say that I liked everything about it. For sure it’s really different from what we usually do but I really enjoyed watching the top guys there.
“It's a completely different thing to our sport, we’re searching more the speed while they’re just focused purely on the technique of getting over an obstacle, an uphill or a downhill. In my head I told myself that one day I wanted to give it a go and race it once. We ended up not having a lot of time to prepare it or to have an extreme enduro bike, so you’ll see me there with my GASGAS 350 four stroke.
“For the prologue for sure I’ll be in that bike and I'm quite pumped to race it because it’s quite cool. Then for the main race I think I’ll stay on the same bike, I have a lot of experience with it and the team can’t prepare a 300 two stroke plus I haven’t been able to train with it either so it’s better to stay with what we know.
“The only real chance for me to ride a 300 is if Taddy doesn’t start the main race. We’ll probably swap my suspension to his bike and I’ll give it a go on the two stroke, but as I just said it’s a bike I’m not familiar with at the moment so we’ll have to give it a though even if that possibility arrives.
“I’m going there with no results ambitions or any pressure in myself, I just want to have fun. I’ll try to be the best possible in the prologue and then basically start the main race and see where until where I can go.
“For sure to finish Erzberg would be a goal for me. It’s a really cool and famous race in enduro so for sure it’s in my to do bucket list. This year and in the past, I haven’t had any possibilities to prepare for it properly because of our calendar, it’s difficult to match our calendar (EnduroGP) with the HEWC. For a race like Erzberg you need to be really prepared, you need to train specifically for this discipline and test the bike more than one month before. You kind of need to train only hard enduro before going there, it’s a completely different style of riding the bike.
“Here in EnduroGP, like I said before, we’re searching the limit of the chrono and there you need to make as less mistakes as possible, being fast is not so important. You need to be able to go up and down without making big mistakes or falling down so you don’t break the bike. Also, you need to avoid getting stuck and pushing as much as possible if you don’t want to drain your energy. Is a bit different so for sure is not going to be easy to go there this year and have fun because I'm going to be pushing my bike almost every uphill, but we’ll try to make our best result.”
Photo Credit: Future7Media