Enduro

Manuel Lettenbichler crowned 2019 WESS Champion at GetzenRodeo

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Manuel Lettenbichler became the 2019 WESS Champion with a winning ride at the final round of the World Enduro Super Series, GetzenRodeo in Germany over the weekend.

In what became a fairy tale outing for the home favourite, Lettenbichler delivered a riding masterclass in front of thousands of passionate Enduro fans to win both the morning GetzenRace qualifier and afternoon GetzenChamp race, clinching the title in emphatic style.

Putting in an incredible final charge in the closing moments of the GetzenChamp race, Alfredo Gomez secured second to jump from fourth to runner-up in the final series standings. A sixth-place finish on the day saw Brit Jonny Walker slip to third in the championship.

Entering the eighth and final round as champion elect, Lettenbichler didn‰Ûªt put a foot wrong all day. Taking control of the two-hour morning qualifier on lap one, he controlled his pace at the head of the 60-strong field of world-class Enduro riders.
Riders blast off the start line for the final time in 2019. Photo: Future7Media
Going on to win the GetzenRace over Taddy Blazusiak and Walker set the tone for what was to follow in the all-important 80-minute plus one-lap GetzenChamp finale. With Gomez, Graham Jarvis , Billy Bolt and Mario Roman close behind, the outcome of the afternoon battle seemed too close to call.

Live on Red Bull TV, the 20 qualified riders blasted off the start line at 2.00pm sharp for what would become a gruelling battle. Lettenbichler wasted no time in establishing himself at the front and took the lead early on lap one. Behind him Gomez, Blazusiak, Walker and Jarvis all fought for position.

As the laps continued Lettenbichler appeared to pull clear of the field, but not from Blazusiak, with the Polish star picking up his pace during the final 30 minutes. Riding right up to Lettenbichler‰Ûªs rear wheel entering the final lap, it set up a showstopper of an ending.
Thousands of spectators lined the course to watch the riders do battle. Photo: Future7Media
Going for Gold, Blazusiak briefly took the lead but then crashed, giving Lettenbichler the breathing room he needed entering the final Red Bull X-Loop. With Lettenbichler riding clear to claim victory and become world champion.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm over the moon, I can‰Ûªt describe it. To be honest I nearly cried on the podium," Lettenbichler said. "It was such a long, tough race today and it‰Ûªs been such a long season. To finish the year with a first place in front of my home fans would have been amazing, but to win the championship as well is unbelievable.

"I‰Ûªm on top of the world right now. My plan for today in both races was to get away well and try to control the race from the front. I was a little nervous in this morning‰Ûªs race but thankfully it all went to plan. I was honestly exhausted in this afternoon‰Ûªs race ‰ÛÒ I couldn‰Ûªt have given any more. When Taddy passed me, I knew I had to dig deep and carry on and thankfully I managed to get past him again and make it to the finish. The fans have been amazing too ‰ÛÒ I hope they enjoyed the race as much as I did.‰Û
Gomez digs deep to take the series‰Ûª runner-up with second. Photo: Future7Media
Behind Lettenbichler drama then struck Blazusiak when his bike stopped. Capitalising on Blazusiak‰Ûªs misfortune, Gomez incredibly worked his way past and into second - a move which ultimately sees him jump to second in the championship. With the top three decided, it was Bolt who ended his day in fourth, with Pol Tarres claiming his best result of the 2019 series with fifth.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm very happy for myself and the team. I feel a little sorry for Taddy, but I actually damaged my bike on lap two and that meant I had a disadvantage for the rest of the race," Gomez explained. "I had a few crashes, but I think the race was tough on everyone ‰ÛÒ it‰Ûªs so physical and the terrain is so technical, there is no time to rest at all. That and the fact that everyone else is pushing as hard as they can makes it really, really tough. I‰Ûªm really pleased with my result and so happy with second in the championship ‰ÛÒ it‰Ûªs what we were aiming for and it makes all the hard work worth it.‰Û
Lettenbichler becomes the 2019 WESS Champion. Photo: Future7Media
Results ‰ÛÒ World Enduro Super Series, Round 8
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM ‰ÛÒ GER) 10 laps 1:52:29.720
2. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna ‰ÛÒ ESP) 10 laps 2:01:32.662
3. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM ‰ÛÒ POL) 9 laps 1:35:24.393
4. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna ‰ÛÒ GB) 8 laps 1:40:49.789
5. Pol Tarres (Husqvarna ‰ÛÒ ESP) 7 laps 1:36:36.490
6. Jonny Walker (KTM ‰ÛÒ GB) 7 laps 1:38:07.331
7. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna ‰ÛÒ GB) 7 laps 1:46:21.162
8. Mario Roman (Sherco ‰ÛÒ ESP) 6 laps 1:45:55.845
9. Eddie Karlsson (Sherco ‰ÛÒ SWE) 5 laps 1:36:54.766
10. Ib Anderson (Gas Gas ‰ÛÒ NOR) 4 laps 1:46:32.079

Final Championship Standings (After Round 8 of 8)
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM ‰ÛÒ GER) 6110 points
2. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna ‰ÛÒ ESP) 4884 points
3. Jonny Walker (KTM ‰ÛÒ GB) 4810 points
4. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM ‰ÛÒ POL) 4620 points
5. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna ‰ÛÒ GB) 4450 points
6. Josep Garcia (KTM ‰ÛÒ ESP) 4165 points
7. Nathan Watson (KTM ‰ÛÒ GB) 4136 points
8. Mario Roman (Sherco ‰ÛÒ ESP) 3560 points
9. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna ‰ÛÒ GB) 3415 points
10. Pol Tarres (Husqvarna ‰ÛÒ ESP) 3130 points

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