Extreme XL Lagares day two prologue race results sees Alfredo Gomez put on a masterclass on the cobbles and Jonny Walker fail to walk on water.
On the tight streets of Porto, Alfredo Gomez set a blistering pace to take the prologue race win on day two of Extreme XL Lagares 2019. Gomez lead home a field of over 50 Pro riders, with Taddy Blazusiak and Billy Bolt joining him on the podium in second and third respectively.
In the heart of the world heritage city’s bustling tourist district, riders competing the opening round of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series were treated to a tough and technical course which blended an Endurocross arena on the waterside and linked into the city’s narrow streets. Thousands of spectators lined the sides of the course adding to the incredible atmosphere.
With the Hobby, Veteran and Expert riders tackling a shortened version of the track, it was the Pro class riders who turned up the heat as the day progressed with timed runs on the full course. Already a multi-time winner of the prologue, Gomez once again showed his rivals who’s the boss by topping the qualification with a blistering time 11 seconds faster than the next best, Blazusiak with Lettenbichler third.
It’s all about the start in the final
With pole position secured for the final, Gomez didn’t disappoint and immediately put his Husqvarna out front. Commanding the cobbled climbs, he eased away from the chasing pack to take the win.
“The start was key to winning the prologue final.” Said Gomez. “I managed to get into the lead and was able to control the pace. I’m not sure why but I always enjoy riding it - I think it’s because you are so close to the spectators on the track.
“Tomorrow will be the real test. I’d really like to come away with the win - I feel like I can do it, we’ll just see how things go.”
Behind Gomez the battle for the podium played out between Blazusiak, Bolt, Walker and Lettenbichler. Holding firm despite a few mistakes, Blazusiak grabbed second with Bolt holding off attack from Walker to complete the top three.
“I was having a good run in my prologue qualification but on the final decent through the streets I clipped a spectator who got too close to the race track and that really unnerved me.” Explained Bolt.
“I was pleased with third after that. Looking forward to tomorrow, I guess we’ll just have to see how the opening lap goes. I’m riding good but I just don’t know where my fitness is in a race situation coming off the injury bench. To be honest, a podium result would be like a win.”
Former Lagares prologue winner, Jonny Walker had been pushing for a podium but the unique course brought out a unique ending to his race. It turns out he can’t walk on water after all. The infamous floating pontoons on the riverside have claimed many riders, this year it finally took the scalp of a Pro rider too. He’s fine, however, and ready to start tomorrow’s main race from ninth place.