Extreme Enduro

Wade Winged At Wildwood: Ruben Ran Away With It

Author: Mitch Ladyman

Posted:

Photo of Hard Enduro rider Ruben Chadwick at the 2023 Wildwood Hard Enduro
Ruben Chadwick on his way to winning the 2023 Wildwood Hard Enduro.

Beta Racing’s Ruben Chadwick has already taken out the Australian Hard Enduro Championship for 2023.

But, judging by the way he threw himself at the 2023 Wildwood prologue, it was pretty clear to me that he wasn’t content with his achievements for the year-to-date.

Young Victorian Hard Enduro icon Billy McCulloch called it that the Queenslanders would do well in the dry this year at Wildwood, and he wasn’t wrong. Ruben ran away with the victory after a real ding-dong battle with the pack in the early stages of the race. Powerful, precise and on point, he got across the finish well ahead of last year’s winner WRD’s Wade Ibrahim and Sherco racer Tim Coleman, who came in third.

Photo of Hard Enduro rider Ruben Chadwick at the 2023 Wildwood Hard Enduro
Did it well in the dust! AHEC 2023 and Wildwood 2023 Winner, Beta racer Ruben Chadwick

Going out on a limb, I’ll suggest that Ruben’s prologue performance was literally like a red (Beta) rag to an orange (KTM) Bull. Ibrahim charged out of the gate so fast that he overshot some dodgy track marking tape on the very first switchback corner into the prologue. But pivot turning the bike on a dime, he managed to stay in the game.

Not wanting to miss a trick, a fair chunk of the crowd did a Gold Class dash through the thistles and cow turds to secure a prime position overlooking the Peter Stevens Rock Garden. It wasn’t long before we saw Ruben come into the valley of pain first, with a clear lead on Tim Coleman and the Bull.

Tim Coleman putting the Peter Stevens Rock Garden into perspective!

Loving the spectacle, we dug in at the Rock Garden to see where the race went from there. That turned out to be a great call as things had changed significantly by the second lap around the paddock.

Wade had dug a horn into Chadwick and managed to drag him down by their second pass. In doing so, he posted the fasted lap of the event! But the Beta racer refused to have a bar of it and fought his way back to the lead, overtaking the Bull on Fender Bender Hill, when Wade found himself in a storm of dust, noise and negligible grip.

Having put the current Wildwood title holder on the ropes, Ruben started to pull away in the fourth lap (his fastest of the event). Keen to catch him, the Bull fully leaned into it. He was putting the head and shoulders down right up until the point that the most random and insignificant of rocks took his left foot clean off the peg, breaking two of his toes. After that the race slipped away from him and his chances of a second consecutive title seemed lost.

Ruben just kept on ploughing, smooth and consistent extending his lead further and further from other riders, such as Anthony Solar who finished fifth behind Tom Woodhouse. By his own admission, Solar just had a crappy day at the office.

Photo of Hard Enduro rider TiPhoto of Hard Enduro rider Anthony Solar Coleman at the 2023 Wildwood Hard Endurom Coleman at the 2023 Wildwood Hard Enduro
Ever have one of those days when everything is an uphill battle?: Anthony Solar

Putting in as many laps as the top of the podium in Gold, young Kogan Lock had a smashing (literally) ride in Silver. He knocked the radiator hose off and smashed his water pump cover. But a trackside fix and some parts from a fellow rider kept him in the race. Kogan has been all over it this year, receiving the Red Plate (Pro Class) in the Vic Off Road Championship series. The win in Silver at Wildwood was a massive achievement for the lad on a Gas Gas. Housten Walters came in second on the same number of laps, and WRD rider Jakob Petrig was only one lap down in third.

Looking so comfortable before the big race, Kogan Lock walks the prologue with his mates

Wildwood really is an iconic event and one that is absolutely brilliant for the spectators. And there is no doubt that it is the spectators that keep the riders going; keep them pushing to do the inhuman and achieve what is hard to perceive.

I can honestly say that you could not have had more fun in a day than chasing crazy-mad hard enduro riders around a 12km course. Show me another event where you can get that close to that much action in a day. And to see these riders come across the line, battered and on broken bikes, but still willing to smoke it up on the finishing pipe is something else again.

Few events allow the punters to get as close to the action and right in amongst championship-winning riders. Photo Credit Hannah Ward.

Share Article:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Tumblr
Pinterest
Reddit
Email
Print

More News: Latest Headlines

More News: Latest Headlines

AMA Supercross

Cooper Webb And Haiden Deegan Claim Wins At Foxborough Supercross

Enduro

Winning Ride For Josep Garcia On Day One At Round Two Of EnduroGP

MXGP

Romain Febvre And Andrea Adamo Qualify Fastest For The MXGP of Trentino

Enduro

Josep Garcia Wins Second Super Test At EnduroGP Round Two In Portugal

Speedway

2024 FIM Speedway of Nations Semi-Final Draw Revealed

Industry

Australian Motorcycle Sales Decline In January–March 2024 Quarter

Motocross

Kirk Gibbs Eyes More ProMX Podiums After Third Overall At Horsham

Motocross

Jobe Dunne Expected To Make Full Recovery After Nasty Horsham Crash

Motocross

Jed Beaton Takes ProMX Championship Lead With Round Two Win

Hard Enduro

Anthony Solar Wins 2024 Australian Hard Enduro Championship Opener

Motocross

Koby Hantis Maintains Control Of ProMX MX3 Championship

Motocross

Levi Rogers And Beta Continue Moving Forward At Horsham ProMX

What's On This Week

MXGP - R4
MXGP of Trentino (ITA) - Pietramurata
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
AMA GNCC - R5
The Old Gray, Monterrey, TN
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
Gippsland Region MX - R3
Bairnsdale
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
AORC - R4
Enfield, Vic
Sunday, April 21st, 2024
AORC - R3
Enfield, Vic
Saturday, April 20th, 2024
SA Motocross Championships - R1
Gillman – SA
Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Featured:

Time to Pivot with Pivot Pegz?

First Look At The All New 2024 Beta 450RX

2024 Yamaha YZ250F Review

Enhance Your Bike’s Protection With Force Accessories Custom Clutch Cover

2023 Sherco 300 SE Factory Ride Review

Michelin StarCross 6 – Inspected

What's On This Week

MXGP - R4
MXGP of Trentino (ITA) - Pietramurata
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
AMA GNCC - R5
The Old Gray, Monterrey, TN
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
Gippsland Region MX - R3
Bairnsdale
Sunday, April 14th, 2024
AORC - R4
Enfield, Vic
Sunday, April 21st, 2024
AORC - R3
Enfield, Vic
Saturday, April 20th, 2024
SA Motocross Championships - R1
Gillman – SA
Sunday, April 14th, 2024