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Erzbergrodeo Introduction: KTM star Josep Garcia excelled/Hard Enduro World Championship

Erzbergrodeo Introduction: KTM star Josep Garcia excelled/Hard Enduro World Championship

KTM factory pilot and enduro world champion Josep Garcia won the prologue at the Erzbergrodeo by 30 seconds over German Chris Gundermann (KTM). Dominik Olszwe (Rego) crossed the finish line in third place.

Round 2 of the Hard Enduro World Championship is the 28th edition of the legendary Erzbergrodeo in Styria, Austria. About 1,300 participants competed in various categories in the Iron Road Prologue on Friday and Saturday in order to secure one of 500 starting spots for Sunday's main event in the two qualifying stages.

On the 15-kilometre-long gravel road, which presents technical challenges along the open pit of an iron ore mine and is designed for speed, the top runners had to place themselves among the top 50 runners. Only then will she qualify for the first of 10 starting rows for Sunday's main event.

It is the basis, if not the prerequisite, for being able to get to the finish line after 4 hours of racing in the main event on Sunday. However, if you want to have a realistic chance of making the podium, a good start is also essential, because being at the front will help you avoid traffic jams caused by riders stumbling or falling on the first few climbs.

As expected, Spaniard Enduro World Champion Josep Garcia of the KTM Factory Racing team set the fastest time in the first round with a time of 10:19.563 minutes in the “Iron Giant”, a good 30 seconds ahead of second place Chris Gunderman. (DE, KTM) took off. Polish Rieju Factory Racing driver Dominik Olszowy was third.

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This arrangement did not change after the second round on Saturday. After the track was literally bombed by 1,300 participants in the first round, fast times in the second round became almost impossible, at least for the top drivers, due to the much worse track condition.

Hard Enduro World Championship leader Manuel Lettenbichler finished fifth on his KTM behind South African Wade Young (GASGAS). All the top drivers managed to reach the top 50 and will therefore start the most prestigious race of the season from the front row of the grid. Since Garcia will not start on Sunday, Chris Gunderman will have the honor of choosing the best position on the front row of the grid.

After Garcia and Gunderman were not counted out in the Hard Enduro World Championship, Olszowy received all three World Championship points for the prologue victory, Young received two points and Lettenbichler one point. Austrian Michael Falkner finished tenth. With Valentin Riehrl in 27th and young talent Leni Giretzky (GASGAS) in 35th, two more German drivers were able to qualify for the front row of the grid.

Josep Garcia explained: “I'm happy to be back in Erzberg after five years. The prologue course has changed a lot since my last visit and today it had many very fast sections. I felt really comfortable and I'm very happy with the time I had!”

Red Bull Erzbergrodeo Preliminary Results – Introduction

1. Josep Garcia (KTM) 10:19, 563 minutes
2. Chris Gunderman (KTM) 10:49.806
3. Dominik Olszwe (Rego) 10:50.955
4. Wade Young (Gasgas) 10:54.174
5. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) 10:54.354
6. Teodor Kabachev (Sherco) 10:55.229
7. Johnnie Walker (Beta) 11:01.355
8. Carson Brown (KTM) 11:05.115
9. Tristan Hart (KTM) 11:09.14
10. Michael Walkner (Gasgas) 11:10.507

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