With the 2017 enduro season brought to a close, we continue our salute to acknowledge those who stood out above the rest.
Stand Out Performance: Alfredo Gomez / ErzbergRodeo’s Red Bull Hare Scramble
Winning Erzberg is every hard enduro rider’s Everest. Taming the Iron Giant is something Alfredo Gomez has been knocking on the door of doing for a number of years. It’s not just the course that’s extreme but also the occasion itself. All eyes are focused on Erzberg and that alone adds untold pressure onto an athlete’s shoulders. Having cracked to the pressure in 2016, Gomez made no mistake this time around. Methodically working his way through the field of riders, he took the lead in Carls Dinner and never looked back. Gomez had finally beaten the Iron Giant.
Event Of The Year: Enduro GP of Germany
The EnduroGP of Germany marked the perfect ending to the 2017 Enduro World Championship. Held at the legendary Zschopau region in the east of the country, it offered up the best of traditional enduro terrain. Snotty, rooty, demanding and technical forestry tracks challenged each and every rider in the paddock, while fans turned out in their droves to watch some of the world’s best riders in action. From the Friday night Super Test into the early hours of Monday for the after party, Germany showed us all how enduro should be.
Most Improved Rider: Mario Roman
When you are regarded as one of the best riders in the world it is hard to get that little bit better. But Mario Roman became more and more the real deal in hard enduro during 2017 and now it’s just a matter of time until he claims that breakthrough victory. Runner-up results came for the Sherco rider at Ales Treme, Red Bull Romaniacs, Red Bull 111 Megawatt and Red Bull Sea to Sky. And they were results he fought tooth and nail for, never giving up the whole way through. If he carries that new found sense of confidence and determination into the new season, expect the Spaniard a step higher on the podium in 2018.
Bike Of The Year: Beta RR 300
Beta have become a force to be reckoned with in enduro. In 2017 they claimed not one but two world titles thanks to the efforts of Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman, both on the RR 300 two-stroke. Holcombe scorched his way to a second world crown in as many years, claiming the EnduroGP title. Freeman, against the odds, won in Juniors — his first professional world championship. In production terms the RR 300 also went down a storm at Beta’s 2018 launch back in July, ticking our boxes as the ultimate do-it-all machine.
Robert LynnEnduro21 Editorrobert@future7media.com