Enduro

Birch heads to Italy for Hells Gate

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Chris Birch. Photo credit Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com
Making a name for himself on the international enduro scene, New Zealand off-road racer Chris Birch is taking on yet another of the most difficult enduro events in the world, with a confirmed entry into the 2008 Hells Gate Enduro set to take place in il Ciocco (Tuscany), Italy on February 9. Following his entry into both Romaniacs and Last Man Standing, two of the world‰Ûªs most extreme enduro events, Birch earned a name for himself gaining recognition from all associated with the event. Receiving a call less than two weeks ago from Full Throttle Productions, who produced the DVD for Last Man Standing and Romaniacs, Birch was invited over to compete in Hells Gate, where he will take on the likes of well renowned enduro stars David Knight, and Taddy Blazusiak, who like Birch will also enter racing a KTM motorcycle. Commenting on his entry Birch said, ‰ÛÏTwo weeks ago I had no intention of entering Hells Gate but when Full Throttle Productions helped me put together a deal with support also from Acerbis, KTM, Venture Travel and Victor it all became possible. ‰ÛÏTraining is my main focus right now because I have been off the bike during Christmas and New Year working. ‰ÛÏI have a friend who his helping me with cardio work and he is really pushing me, because he just returned from Chile where he has been training at high altitude, so he is super fit and it takes a big effort to keep up with him. I‰Ûªm still working full time so I train after hours with a lot of running and gym work, plus bike time on the KTM. ‰ÛÏHells Gate is going to be really tough. The Italian riders are fast and combining their entry with the likes of David Knight and Taddy Blazusiak I‰Ûªm going to earn my position. Knighter has won Hells Gate three times and Taddy recently won the Last Man Standing. ‰ÛÏThis isn‰Ûªt as extreme as Last Man Standing or Romaniacs but its challenging in the fact that at times you can be on the bike for up to 12 hours straight, on pretty intense terrain. I‰Ûªm a bit nervous about that, but I‰Ûªm up for any challenge that presents itself and I‰Ûªm just stoked to be invited.‰Û

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