Top 15 riders to watch in World Enduro Super Series 2019

The top 15 riders to watch in the eight-round 2019 World Enduro Super Series beginning this weekend with Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal.

 

Billy Bolt began the 2018 World Enduro Super Series season with a winning statement that would prove definite in propelling him towards the inaugural WESS title. The British rider faces a tough task if he wants to retain his crown in 2019 with eight brutal stops on the calendar and 14 (at least!) riders standing in his way.

Ahead of this weekend’s opening round in Porto, here’s a look at the top 15 runners and riders heading for one epic season of Hard, Extreme and Classic Enduro…

 
billy.bolt WESS 2018 Rnd3 560
 

Billy Bolt

Nationality: British

Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Britain’s Billy Bolt became the inaugural World Enduro Super Series Champion in 2018 and his season could not have got off to a better start than it did by winning the opening round at Extreme Lagares. 

Podium results at Red Bull 111 Megawatt and Hawkstone Park Cross-Country saw him come on song as the series neared its conclusion, before enjoying the spoils of championship glory at the final round. Not every race went according to plan for Bolt and his results in Erzbergrodeo and Romaniacs will surely be pointers to improve on this season.

Although beginning the defence of his crown not fully recovered from a knee injury sustained during the winter, Bolt remains the rider to beat.

 

Manuel Lettenbichler

Nationality: German

Team: KTM

Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler came of age in 2018, taking the battle down to the wire with Billy Bolt. Proving raw talent matters most in Enduro, the privateer spectacularly brought the fight to the sport’s top factory riders, which included a near-win at Red Bull Romaniacs. Claiming a pre-season victory in the Dominican Republic’s Machete Enduro indicates Lettenbichler is firing on all cylinders heading into round one.

 
Machete 2019 podium IrinaGorodnyakova 1200
 

Nathan Watson

Nationality: British

Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Considered more of a Classic Enduro and Beach Racing specialist, Nathan Watson jumped into the deep end of the championship’s Hard Enduro events in 2019 and the point scoring systems at Romaniacs and Erzberg working in his favour as he picked up points. 

Watson certainly hit the high points with a strong fifth at Megawatt before his runner-up result at Hawkstone Park Cross-Country and a victory at Red Bull Knock Out – a late season charge elevated Nathan to third overall by the end. 

There’s no beach race ending the season this year but the additional Classic Enduro – BR2 Enduro Solsona – will work in Watson’s favour.

 

Josep Garcia

Nationality: Spanish

Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Despite a lack of Hard Enduro riding experience, Spain’s Josep Garcia proved himself as a contender for 2018 championship honours thanks to his third at Trèfle Lozérien AMV and win at Hawkstone Park Cross-Country. 

Garcia’s speed and raw talent between the timing beams are never in question but reaching the finishers flag at his first attempt at Erzbergrodeo, one of the very few to do so, proved his adaptation to the different disciplines in WESS.

 
KTM Factory Enduro Team 2019 WESS 560
 

Taddy Blazusiak

Nationality: Polish

Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Five-time Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble winner Taddy Blazusiak’s 2018 WESS campaign did not turn into the winning year he hoped for. Although in contention for the majority of the series – a podium at Poland’s Red Bull 111 Megawatt – a thumb injury sustained during the penultimate round cut short the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider’s fighting chance of a top-three finish in the overall standings. 

Fresh from another strong SuperEnduro campaign, Blazusiak will and with the undoubted skills across the different events, Taddy will aim for the top in 2019.

 

Wade Young

Nationality: South African

Team: Sherco Factory Racing

Becoming the youngest winner of Red Bull Romaniacs before going on to win the Red Bull 111 Megawatt, South Africa’s Wade Young triumphantly tasted success in WESS during 2018. 

Although he is focused on the Hard Enduro races, the talented Sherco Factory Racing rider will be a strong contender wherever he lines up.

 
Wade Young Megawatt 2018 WESS 560
 

Graham Jarvis

Nationality: British

Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

At 43 years of age, Graham Jarvis is Enduro’s elder statesman – one of the best of the best Enduro riders on Hard and Extreme Enduro planet. 

Age is just a number they say and Jarvis continued to defy the odds with victory at the Erzbergrodeo in 2018. An Illness at Romaniacs meant he pulled out the event but he has made it clear he wants to add to his tally. 

Jarvis’ plan for 2019 is to contest the Hard Enduro events and will miss the Classic Enduros but his form in 2019 has been strong and the veteran enters the series every bit the contender for race wins.

 
Jarvis Erzberg winner 2018 enduro21 1200
 

Jonny Walker

Nationality: British

Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Jonny Walker’s hopes of becoming the WESS Champion in 2018 ended spectacularly at Megawatt when he crashed out of the lead, badly breaking his wrist. 

It was cruel luck for the super-smooth and supremely talented rider after a consistent run of podiums through the series up to that point plus an impressive top 10 at the heavily contested French Classic Le Trefle which stepped out side of Jonny's usual Extreme Enduro comfort zone. 

Fit and healthy, Walker returns in 2019 seeking revenge and the opportunity to prove his all-round talent.

 

Lars Enöckl

Nationality: Austrian

Team: X-Grip

As Austria’s leading Enduro rider and top privateer, Lars Enöckl switches colours for 2019 moving from Gas Gas to X-Grip Husqvarna. Enöckl ended 2018 10th overall thanks to super-consistent riding and a wealth of experience.

 
gomez alfredo TE 300i WESS 2019 560
 

Alfredo Gomez

Nationality: Spanish

Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Injured prior to 2018, Spain’s Alfredo Gomez missed the opening three rounds of the season and used the remainder of the championship to regain both his confidence and speed. 

Back to his best, despite an elbow injury sustained in SuperEnduro over winter, the former winner of Lagares and Erzberg is very much a contender for the overall title.

 

Travis Teasdale

Nationality: South African

Team: Eurotek KTM

Part of the new-look Eurotek KTM team for 2019, South Africa’s Travis Teasdale is a rising talent on the world stage of Extreme and Hard Enduro. 

In 2019 he is committed to the full series this year with Eurotek and could well be a challenger if he achieves consistent top-five result.

 
Travis Teasdale WESS 2019 560
 

Pol Tarres

Nationality: Spanish

Team: TTR Officine Rigamonti

A relative newcomer to Enduro, Pol Tarres has been rising through the ranks as he’s gained experience. 

The former FIM Trials Junior World Champion is a rider with lots of potential and the pair of top-10 results in 2018 highlighted his ability to compete on Enduro’s world stage. 

Now signed to the new Italian outfit of TTR Officine Rigamonti he’s got the tools to and commitment to succeed in WESS.

 

Will Hoare

Nationality: British

Team: Eurotek KTM

Will Hoare was one of the standout privateer riders during the 2018 season. He’s since gone on to win the FIM SuperEnduro Junior World Championship proving his growing ability.

Hoare’s indoor win secured a place on Eurotek KTM for 2019 alongside Teasedale who the 20-year-old will learn from as he takes on the major events like Erzberg.

 
Mario Roman Machete 2019 by IrinaGorodnyakova 52
 

Mario Roman

Nationality: Spanish

Team: Sherco Factory Racing

Spanish ace Mario Roman is another rider aiming to excel at the Hard Enduro races and likely not the whole WESS season – like his team-mate Young and Jarvis. 

The Sherco Factory Racing rider is a regular front runner at the major Hard Enduro races and has had a busy winter competing around the world. A former winner of the Hixpania Hard Enduro, he will sight round four as his best opportunity for a podium result.

 

David Cyprian

Nationality: Czech

Team: JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team

David Cyprian is the Czech Republic’s leading Enduro rider for very good reason and works hard on his riding skills competing (and winning) the less well-known Extreme events in Eastern Europe. Top-10 performances in events like Red Bull Romaniacs demonstrate his ability. 

Fresh off a top-three finish in the 2019 FIM SuperEnduro Junior World Championship and now signed with JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team, the 20-year-old will be a strong contender.

 

World Enduro Super Series 2019 schedule: 

May 10-12: Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, Portugal

May 17-19: Trèfle Lozérien AMV, France

May 30-June 2: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, Austria

June 21-23: Hixpania Hard Enduro, Spain

July 30-August 4: Red Bull Romaniacs, Romania

September 21-22: Hawkstone Park Cross-Country, Great Britain

October 5-6: BR2 Enduro Solsona, Spain

November 2-3: GetzenRodeo, Germany

 

More information on the WESS Championship: iRideWESS.com

 

 
Photo Credit: Future7Media + Irina Gorodnyakova + Marcin Kin + Ashleigh Blunt
 
 
 
 
Byline jp ISDE 2018 Enduro21
Jon Pearson
Enduro21 Editor and Bike Tester
jon.pearson@enduro21.com