Hard Enduro

Wade Young Wins Round Three Of FIM HEWC At Xross Hard Enduro Rally

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Photo of Wade Young at the 2024 Xross Hard Enduro
Winner Wade Young and Teodor Kabakchiev get off for a bit of a push at a tough Xross Hard Enduro Rally in Serbia. Photo: Future7Media

Wade Young has claimed victory in round three of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship in Serbia.

Young took the overall win at Xross Hard Enduro Rally ahead of Teodor Kabakchiev in second, with Michael Walkner completing the podium. TTR Squadra Corse’s Mitch Brightmore fought back on Offroad Day Three to claim victory in the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship.

Entering the final day of competition at the three day event with a healthy nine-minute and 24 seconds over Teodor Kabakchiev, Young had a virtual grasp on the winner’s trophy. However, he still needed to overcome a brutally demanding final day to seal the deal. And with Kabakchiev ready to push the South African every step of the way, Young was offered no easy run to the finish line.

With temperatures climbing above 30 degrees in Serbia, organisers modified the course to ease the intensity of the most demanding sections. But, with over three and a half hours of riding planned for the majority of the top riders, Offroad Day Three was still quite the workout.

With over nine minutes to make up on his rival Young, Kabakchiev gave it everything today to reel in the South African. The Bulgarian was pushing hard. After nine of eleven sectors, he had reduced the gap to just over three minutes.

Responding, Young fought back on the final two sectors and kept the Sherco rider at bay. Topping the final sector, he celebrated across the finish line as round three winner of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship. His victory now sees him lead the championship standings at the end of round three.

Photo of Wade Young at the 2024 Xross Hard Enduro: Podium
The 2024 podium with winner Wade Young (C), runner-up Teodor Kabakchiev (L) and Austria’s Michael Walkner (R). Photo: Future7Media

“I’m so happy to get the job done this week and claim the race win,” Young said. “It’s been an amazing race, super tough with the heat, but I’ve loved it. My bike hasn’t skipped a beat all week. I can’t thank the guys at Red Bull Leader Tread enough for their support in making this result happen.”

Putting in an incredible ride on Offroad Day Three, Kabakchiev was rewarded for his efforts with today’s win. But in the overall classification, he would have to settle for runner-up. In the end, he finished just two minutes and 42 seconds behind Young after almost 13 hours of racing in the Xross Hard Enduro Rally.

“I gave it my all today,” Kabakchiev reflected. “I think that’s the best I’ve rode in a long time. This is one of my favourite races. It’s pretty special to come to race in Serbia for the world championship. It would have been awesome to take the top step of the podium, but I’m pleased with how I rode, I gave it everything.”

Austria’s Michael Walkner enjoyed a solid final day in Serbia to complete the podium in third.

“I battled back and forth today with Mario. I knew it would be close between us, so I tried hard to manage that gap I had over him. It feels incredible to be on the podium in the world championship,” Walkner said.

A strong final day by Mario Roman saw him place fourth today to cement his position of fourth overall for the round. Also capping off an incredible event, David Cyprian secured fifth overall in the race, his best FIM Hard Enduro World Championship result to date.

In the FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Championship, the final day of racing did produce the grandstand finish. Beginning the day, Rigo Racing’s James Moore held a two-minute lead over Suff Sella, with Mitch Brightmore a further two minutes behind in third.

Brightmore meant business on Offroad Day Three and set about keeping his run of race wins alive. Reeling in both Sella and Moore, he put himself ahead on the road, and soon afterwards, ahead on corrected time. Placing sixth on the day, and sixth overall in the final standings, Brightmore claimed the top step of the Junior podium for the third consecutive time this season.

Despite coming up short on the final hurdle, Moore could still be pleased with his monumental effort in this year’s Xross Hard Enduro Rally. Regarded as a coming-of-age race for the young South African, his career-best result of eighth overall was enough to see him place as Junior runner-up to Brightmore.

The battle for the final step of the podium also changed hands on Offroad Day Three. Losing a lot of time, Sella slipped down the order. Ashton Brightmore was quick to capitalise, and with a strong ride on the final day, he brought his TTR Squadra Corse Husqvarna home in third overall.

Richard Moorhouse ended round three fourth overall in Juniors, with Marc Fernandez completing the top five.

In the Women’s Hard Enduro Performance Award it was Tjasa Fifer who took home the winner’s trophy. Fifer was the best placed woman rider in round three, thanks to her victory in the Hobby class.

After what’s been a closely fought round three at Xross Hard Enduro Rally in Serbia, the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship now looks towards round four at Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania on July 23-27.

Provisional Results: Round Three – Xross Hard Enduro Rally

Offroad Day Three
1 Teodor Kabakchiev (Sherco) 3:21:52
2 Wade Young (GASGAS) 3:28:34
3 Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 3:29:05
4 Mario Roman (Sherco) 3:30:26
5 Sonny Goggia (KTM) 3:36:55
6 Mitch Brightmore (Husqvarna) 3:37:23
7 Francesc Moret (Sherco) 3:38:54
8 Marc Riba (KTM) 3:38:55
9 Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 3:39:04
10 Matthew Green (KTM) 3:42:59

Final Overall Classification (After Offroad Day Three)
1 Wade Young (GASGAS) 12:43:48.68
2 Teodor Kabakchiev (Sherco) 12:46:31.02
3 Michael Walkner (GASGAS) 12:58:20.80
4 Mario Roman (Sherco) 13:14:33.47
5 David Cyprian (KTM) 13:45:16.73
6 Mitch Brightmore (Husqvarna) 13:50:23.68
7 Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 13:57:48.36
8 James Moore (GASGAS) 13:58:40.39
9 Matthew Green (KTM) 14:01:49.31
10 Francesc Moret (Sherco) 14:06:44.73

Provisional Championship Standings (After Round Three)

FIM HEWC
1 Wade Young (GASGAS) 49 Points
2 Mario Roman (Sherco) 47 Points
3 Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 45 Points
4 Teodor Kabakchiev (Sherco) 40 Points
5 Mitch Brightmore (Husqvarna) 38 Points
6 Francesc Moret (Sherco) 27 Points
7 Matthew Green (KTM) 27 Points
8 Marc Riba (KTM) 25 Points
9 David Cyprian (KTM) 21 Points
10 Vaclav Nedved (KTM) 19 Points

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