|Posted on November 21, 2017 at 2:50 AM|
Having previously won the Mother of Hard Enduro in 2012 at the tender age of 16, and again in 2014, Wade Young (Sherco Liqui Moly Racing) came back with purpose and conquered the mountains of Lesotho by winning the 50th edition of the Motul Roof of Africa on Saturday 18 November.
Having lead from the start, the South African put on a solid charge in the final climb to pull away from fellow South African Travis Teasdale (Brother Leadertread KTM) who came in just over 10 minutes behind the leader.
“We’ve had a good few days and I’m happy with the strategy we chose for this race which was to set a strong pace early on and manage the gaps from the front,” Young said.
Second place went to Travis Teasdale who watched a chance for victory disappear within sight of the finish, “I pushed hard and enjoyed riding with Wade, but in the end he got a time advantage when I battled up Soldiers Way. The bike dropped off a ledge and I had to pick it up letting him get away.”
The first rider home from the large International contingent who had entered this year’s event, was Graham Jarvis (Rockstar Husqvarna) who said the fast, flowing pace of the race didn't work in his favour this year. He made up good time on the technical passes to catch up to the leaders but had to settle for third place. On Soldiers Pass Jarvis managed to pull away from Blake Gutzeit (Bidvest bLU cRU Yamaha) who was hot on his heels for most of the day.
After just missing the podium in fourth place Blake Gutzeit said, “I am happy with my result. Today I got to ride with the Silent Assassin (Jarvis) and I learned a lot.”
In fifth place was Alfredo Gomez (Red Bull KTM) who mentioned a sore wrist making it difficult for him to hold onto the handle bars and was also caught out by the fast pace of this year’s event.
His sister, Sandra Gomez (Pepson Plastics Husqvarna), placed 30th overall and tasted victory in the unofficial ladies battle between her and Kirsten Landman, placing 39th. Landman (Brother Leadertread KTM) was satisfied with the final day of riding as she battled with mechanical issues on the first two days.
The route, according to Darryl Curtis, offered great riding for the Silver and Bronze riders who had less riding time in the saddle but were still challenged. “For the Gold riders the pace was possibly a little fast for some of the International riders as they prefer the tight and technical routes which could have favoured the South African riders this year.” He promised that next year the route, especially for the Gold riders, will be a lot harder and more technical.”
Final Overall Top 10 Results for the Gold Class — 2017 Motul Roof of Africa
1. Wade Young (Sherco) 10:41:28
2. Travis Teasdale (KTM) 10:52:34
3. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 11:04:06
4. Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha) 11:06:36
5. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) 11:13:15
6. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 11:19:25
7. Scott Bouverie (KTM) 11:19:35
8. Mario Roman (Sherco) 11:23:05
9. Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM) 11:30:58
10. David Cyprian (KTM) 11:57:10
Mercia Jansen, Area Manager of Eastern and Southern Africa for Motul said, “Despite some challenges with the unexpected snow on day one, this year’s Motul Roof was a successful event! We worked with a committed and passionate team and we’re very proud of what we delivered. We brought out some International guests and received really positive feedback. They loved the scenery and the hospitality offered by the local Losotho community.” Next year she’d like to see more riders and spectators showing their support adding that, “Motul has plans in place for an even bigger and better Motul Roof of Africa 2018.”
Published by: Amoryn Golden
Categories: FMN News South Africa