Red Bull Outliers: Lettenbichler and Hart take a KTM one-two in Canada
Titanic battle at round seven of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, Red Bull Outliers in Canada sees the KTM duo Manuel Lettenbichler and Trystan Hart take it right to the wire for a one-two finish with Mario Roman third.
Making its first ever stop on Canadian soil, the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship witnessed a bar-to-bar battle at Red Bull Outliers at the penultimate round of the season.
Staged across two days, racing got underway in downtown Calgary with an urban Endurocross prologue which was sadly knocked on the head after extremely heavy rain meant the action had to be called off.
With the weather back on side for Sunday, riders faced a two-and-a-half-hour multi-lap Hard Enduro battle through the “Badlands” region, famed for its dinosaur fossils, steep climbs, off cambers and drop offs.
Chasing a home win, Trystan Hart was eager to add to the victory he secured last time out at Red Bull TKO. With round seven also serving as the penultimate stop of the season, it is crunch time for both Roman and Lettenbichler who were separated by only one point going into this event.
Battle of the Badlands
In the main race Hart was quick off the line and tried to make a break but Lettenbichler and Roman were each in the fight. Each rider pushed to open a lead, but every time they were pulled back in. Back and forth, the lead changed hands multiple times. With the laps closing down Lettenbichler and Hart broke clear as Mario made a costly mistake to lose the tow.
The lead duo were neck and neck right to the final climbs which ultimately decided the outcome. Despite a mistake in the final 20 metres, Mani was quick to remount and took the win by just six seconds.
Although missing out on the home win he came to get, Hart was happy with his efforts for second. Completing the podium, Roman finished just three minutes behind in third. With the top three breaking away, Jarvis Racing Team’s Graham Jarvis took fourth, while GASGAS Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak rounded out the top five.
2022 Red Bull Outliers results:
With one round remaining, advantage is now on Lettenbichler’s side. The German holds a four-point lead over Roman, with just the eighth and final round of the 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship remaining, the 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro on October 7-9.
Provisional championship standings (after round 7):
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM): “I’m pretty tired but so stoked to take the win. It was such an epic battle all the way. The race was so intense, we were back and forward all the time. Trystan really wanted it and wasn’t giving up, but I wasn’t giving up either. And I just made it for the win. For the championship it’s a pretty good result too. I’m leading now with one round to go and with Trystan finishing second today it’s added a few extra points between Mario and myself too.”
Trystan Hart (KTM): “Man that was a crazy race. Mani, Mario and myself were just going at it. It was a battle the whole race. I was swapping places with Mani and then it came right down to the wire between us two. Every time I thought I would break away I made a mistake and vice versa. It was a heck of a race for two and a half hours.”
Photo Credit: Steve Shannon