With the 2017 enduro season brought to a close, here is our salute to acknowledge those who stood out above the rest.
Best Preforming Newcomer: Christophe Charlier
Christophe Charlier’s transition into enduro has been both short and impressive. Directed into woods riding when no ride came his way in MXGP, the Corsican got down to work. The GP of Finland was a baptism of fire but he kept grafting to podium at the GP of Great Britain and win the Italian Enduro Championship. But it was as a member of Team France where his greatest highlights came. Claiming a French ISDE World Trophy team victory in Brive, Charlier then got a last minute call to race the Motocross of Nations and helped France to a winning performance there too — albeit without a headlight on his bike.
One To Remember: Eero Remes, Enduro GP of Finland
Winding the clock back to March, Eero Reme’s double victory at the opening round of the FIM Enduro World Championship was impressive. Granted, many expected the two-time Enduro 1 World Champion to be fast, but not to also unofficially win the event outright too. But truth is Remes, despite being Finnish, had never previously competed in the Lake Paijanne race and isn’t a lover of riding in snow and ice. But the manner in which Remes handled the 25-plus special tests was impressive and one to be applauded.
Most Promising Youngster: Billy Bolt
In his first full season of hard enduro, Billy Bolt had a lot to learn and adapt too — races he’d never been to before and being a professional rider for the first time. Showing flashes of brilliance from the off — third in the Ales Treme prologue — he regularly challenged the world’s best hard enduro riders. At home he squared up against teammate Graham Jarvis and David Knight in the British Extreme Enduro Championship and won. With top tens results at Erzberg and Red Bull Romaniacs (despite still recovering from a near severed toe), big improvements came with fifth at Red Bull Sea to Sky and then second in Hixpania’s Sunday main event. With skills to pay the bills, the only way is up for Bolt.
Personality Of The Year: Laia Sanz
Sport needs personalities and non more so than enduro where the ability to break away from mainstream sport’s shadows is tough. Professional, hard working, adored by her fans, role model to the youth and known the world over — heck, she even got her face on Spanish taxis — Laia Sanz’ work ethic and love of riding bikes is something to be admired. She’s a rider who gives it her all on track, makes time for the media and is also humble in both victory and defeat. One of the first to congratulate Maria Franke winning the Women’s Enduro World Championship, Sanz offers something we can all learn a lot from.
Privateer Of The Year: David Cyprian
Against riders like Graham Jarvis, Jonny Walker or Wade Young, it’s easy to get overshadowed in hard enduro. But young Czech rider David Cyprian is one rider not to be overlooked. Boasting great talent, Cyprian is always a top contender no matter where he lines up. Top ten rides at Red Bull Romaniacs and Roof of Africa, plus 11th at Red Bull Sea to Sky mark just some of Cyprian’s season best results.
Robert LynnEnduro21 Editorrobert@future7media.com