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Lettenbichler Wins Erzbergrodeo,

Lettenbichler Wins Erzbergrodeo,

Jun 3

  • Race Report

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Manuel Lettenbichler has won the 2024 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, conquering the epic Iron Giant for the third year in a row. Teammate FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Trystan Hart secured a career-best runner-up result in the race to make it a KTM 1-2 at round two of the 2024 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (HEWC) in Austria.

The Red Bull Erzbergrodeo is the most iconic race on the HEWC calendar, and the 28th edition of the Austrian hard enduro provided no shortage of excitement and entertainment. A prologue held over two days set the starting order for Sunday’s main event: a grueling 35-kilometer race around the Iron Giant featuring legendary sections such as Carl’s Dinner, Machine and Dynamite, which riders have just four hours to complete. The 2024 edition saw many curveballs thrown at competitors, from new sections and significant changes to the order of the checkpoints. Riders were also not allowed to walk the track prior to racing.

A two-day qualification process on Friday and Saturday faced the 1300 riders brave enough to take on the Iron Giant. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Josep Garcia topped the time sheets by over 30 seconds to win comfortably. Mani Lettenbichler set the fifth-fastest overall time on his KTM 300 EXC. The Iron Road Prologue also saw Trystan Hart ensure his spot on the front row for Sunday’s Main Race, qualifying ninth overall.

The 500 fastest riders lined up for Sunday’s Main Race, with both Lettenbichler and Hart comfortably positioned on the front row. Mani had a strong start, emerging from the quarry near the front of the pack. He immediately put his head down and got his elbows out, storming into the lead just meters before the first checkpoint. Unfazed by the tough course, the German put on an Erzbergrodeo masterclass to build up an impressive 20-minute lead as he took on some of the most difficult sections in hard enduro. Choosing his lines tactically, Mani preserved his energy and maintained his speed until the very end of the race, where he crossed the finish line with over an hour to spare.

Teammate Trystan Hart also had an incredible day at the Iron Giant, finishing 20 minutes behind Mani as the runner-up. Despite getting caught in a small crash in the first corner at the start of the race, Trystan demonstrated his skill and experience to work his way through the pack to move up to second place by the time he reached checkpoint nine.

Mani’s victory increases his win streak to 10 in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, as well as marking his third victory in a row at the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, making him one of only two people to ever achieve the incredible feat. The German extends his lead in the HEWC standings to 13 points after two rounds. The 2024 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues with round three in Serbia for the Xross Hard Enduro Rally on June 19-22.

Manuel Lettenbichler: “That was such a crazy race and I’m so stoked to have been able to ride those incredibly gnarly sections. It’s amazing to have got my tenth win in a row and my third Erzberg win in a row. It feels amazing, it was definitely my day today and I’m super happy with this result. I’m honestly surprised at how confident I felt in the new sections, even when they were quite slippery and tough, but I just tried to use my head and choose the best lines to keep my speed up. Of course, I’m super excited for the rest of the season and I want to continue my winning streak.”

Trystan Hart: “I’m so happy to have finished second and on the podium again! The first corner threw me off initially and, because of that, it felt like I was in a warzone for the first 30 minutes of the race. It was a lot of fun though and when I got to Carl’s Dinner, I felt really good and managed to get up into second place. There were some really tough sections, but I put my all in and held on to that position. This is my third podium in a row at Erzberg and this place really does feel like home to me now. I’ll definitely be fighting for the win next year!”

Josep Garcia: “Day one of the prologue was really flat and fast and I took the win there which was great. Day two the track was really wet after the rain overnight so it was tough, and really rocky. I still managed to take the win which I’m super happy with, I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s nice to do something different to EnduroGP!”

Provisional Results – 2024 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 2:47:23

2. Trystan Hart (CAN), KTM, 3:07:40

3. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 3:21:47

4. Graham Jarvis (GBR), KTM, 3:23:39

5. Wade Young (RSA), GASGAS, 3:39:48

Provisional Standings - FIM Hard Enduro World Championship

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 45 points

2. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 32 pts

3. Wade Young (RSA), GASGAS, 29 pts

4. Mitch Brightmore (GBR), Husqvarna, 24 pts

5. Teodor Kabakchiev (BUL), KTM, 20 pts

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