|Posted on June 27, 2018 at 3:10 AM|
After a well-deserved break, riders are bracing themselves for the mammoth return of one of South Africa’s favourite events this weekend – the IMPI Hard Enduro. This will be the third stop on the National Enduro calendar, and presents some of the toughest trails that the Tugela Ferry wilderness has to offer.
Anticipation levels are running high as race organisers prepare to deliver on their promise to make the already rugged event that much rougher. With 95% of the route rumoured to be virgin trails, IMPI competitors will blaze through sections of Zululand that have never seen motorcycles before.
A highly competitive group of riders will be separated by the technical 20km time trial on Thursday, before being put to the test by a fierce 30km Gold loop.
For Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Dwayne Kleynhans, a good starting position will be crucial as he enters a head-to-head battle for the E1 Championship.
After storming to a hard-fought victory at the second round of the series, Kleynhans is now tied for the championship lead with Husqvarna’s William Oosthuizen.
The KTM star has had his fair share of technical training recently, and is fresh off an attempt to conquer Erzbergrodeo. While he narrowly fell short of finishing the iconic event, he mentions taking away some valuable experience:
“Erzberg is just an absolutely crazy race from start to finish! It sets a new bar for South African riders in general, but also for me on a personal level. The whole experience highlighted very specific areas I need to work on, and hoping to build on that for the upcoming national.”
It has been a testing season for Kleynhans who suffered from an injury after round two. With long hours training on a stationary bike and multiple visits to the hyperbaric chamber, the rider has worked hard to return to racing form before IMPI.
“It wasn’t ideal to have an injured arm when I really needed to prepare for Erzberg, but at least I didn’t have to get surgery - that saved a whole lot of recovery time! Injuries often come with this sport, you just have to rise above it,” said Kleynhans.
After a disappointing second round, lady rider Kirsten Landman is determined to make a comeback.
With a strong desire to take her riding career to new heights, Landman entered the highly demanding E2 Class this season. There seems to be no challenge too great for South Africa’s enduro queen, who recently returned from a trip to Romania to refine her technical skills.
“The last enduro really didn’t go according to plan. Sometimes it’s good to get a wakeup call, and I learnt a lot from that experience. I’ve been working on my technical skills and spent a lot more time on my bike since then. IMPI is really my type of race – I love that kind of hard enduro challenge so really forward to that,” said Landman.
Missing from action since the first National Enduro has been Brother Leader Tread KTM’s Scott Bouverie. The rider had to undergo surgery at the start of the season to repair a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder.
Published by: KTM Media
Picture Caption: Dwayne Kleynhans refining his technical skills at the Inner City Enduro
Photography by: www.zcmc.co.za