Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media
Fresh off his Hixpania Hard Enduro win, Graham Jarvis will defend his Roof of Africa title at the final Red Bull Hard Enduro of 2017.
Following one of the closest fights for victory in 2016, where Jarvis edged out Alfredo Gomez for the win by 13 seconds, the stage is set again for the end of year showdown between the duo, Wade Young and many more.
As the oldest Off-Road race in Africa and one of the oldest in the world, the Motul Roof of Africa has deservedly earned the title of The Mother of Hard Enduro and this year it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Scheduled to take place from 15-18 November in Lesotho, the 2017 Motul Roof of Africa is the final round of the Red Bull Hard Enduro Series for the year and promises to be a good test of man and motorcycle.
Photo Credit: Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool
Round the Houses
The route begins in and around Maseru, Lesotho’s capital. This part of the race, known as the “Round the Houses” will give spectators a taste of the adrenaline and pace of the race.
This year, Round the Houses will consist of 5 races of 3 laps each starting at Maseru Club, going into Kingsway towards the US Embassy, into Pope John Paul II Road, passing by the Golf Club and the UN House and back to the FINISH at Maseru Club.
Gold and Silver riders will take part in the Round the Houses and Bronze riders will proceed directly to the time trial. There will also be endless stunt entertainment between races at the Maseru Club Grounds.
In to the mountains
The start of the time trial will be at a whopping 2,700 meters above sea level. The altitude of the race will vary from 1,500m to 3,000m height in the mountains.
The route of day two and three comprises of sand and rock tracks with hard surfaces and donkey paths through mountain passes which are generally very steep and rocky.
Several deep rivers may have to be crossed depending on weather conditions. Daytime temperatures can be as high as 35 degrees, which makes effective hydration a critical element for success during the event.
Photo Credit: Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool
Jarvis v Gomez rematch
The scheduled rider line up promises to be a gathering of the world’s top enduro competitors.
After winning last year, Graham Jarvis (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) is scheduled to return to defend his Roof of Africa title, while Alfred Gomez Cantero (Red Bull KTM), who came in at a very close second last year, will also be back to chase down the overall title.
But they’ll have some tough competition with Wade Young (Sherco LiquiMoly Racing) — the youngest competitor to win a Roof of Africa title at only 16 years of age in 2012 (he also won in 2014) — hungry for a home win.
Brett Swanepoel (Pepson Plastics Husqvarna), who finished second and third in previous years; as well as SuperEnduro Junior World Champion Blake Gutzeit (Bidvest bLU cRU Yamaha) and his brother Jade Gutzeit 2003 Winner (Alfie Cox KTM Motul Racing).
Kirstan Landman chases more Gold
From the ladies entries, Kirsten Landman (Brother Leadertread KTM), known as “the iron woman of Hard Enduro” who was the first ever female competitor to enter and complete the Gold class in 2016 returns for more success.
She will be joined by Sandra Gomez (Pepson Plastics Husqvarna), which should make for an interesting battle and one worth keeping an eye on during this year’s event.
Motul Roof of Africa event organiser, Peter Luck, gives a rundown of what can be expected…
“The route is as tough as always but is do-able for the various classes, certainly a great test for man, woman and machine.
Spectators can look forward to great viewing points along the route,” he says. “This year fans and riders can look forward to a podium prize-giving which will take place shortly after the finish on Saturday,” he adds.
Motul acts as title sponsor
This will be Motul South Africa’s second year as title sponsor and second opportunity for them to support this much anticipated event on the extreme enduro calendar.
Although Motul has been the lubricant partner of choice for the race before, Motul Area Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mercia Jansen, says being an official title sponsor for the second year is a great honour for the brand.
“We are proud to associate ourselves with many different types of motorsport across the globe, and being a part of one of the hardest enduro races in the world, is a unique experience,” she says.
Through the years, Motul has gained experience as an official supplier to many racing teams and manufacturers and collaborates with them to further technological development in motorsport.
This year’s registration and riders briefing will take place on Wednesday 15 November at the AVANI Lesotho Hotel, race quarters for the duration of the event.
Other useful information includes: Important Dates ; Programme of Events ; Regulations and Background Info. ZA Bikers have also recently launched a mobile App that will keep Roof of Africa enthusiasts update to date with the latest news, find out more here: http://www.zabikers.co.za/2017/10/11/zabikersapp/