Manuel Lettenbichler wins Valleys Hard Enduro

Manuel Lettenbichler wins Valleys Hard Enduro
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The Valleys Hard Enduro, the first stop in the seven-round series, is a completely new event held over three days of competition. The action kicked off on Friday with a short SuperEnduro-style course at the Walters Arena, where riders got their first taste of the Welsh terrain. Despite the enormous pressure from pursuers Jonny Walker and Alfredo Gomez, Mani held his nerve and took the victory.

For Saturday's prologue, the riders had to complete a 10 kilometer course, the results of which would determine the starting order for Sunday's main race. Lettenbichler maintained his form from Friday and made the technically demanding course look easy. He set the pace and set the fastest time on his first lap, before Mani went another minute faster on the second lap to secure pole position for Sunday.

With more dry and hot weather on day three in Wales, the Valleys Hard Enduro would be a tough job. Three laps over a 16 kilometer course were on the program for the participants: whoever crossed the line first was crowned Valley Hard Enduro champion and earned the maximum FIM Hard Enduro points.

It was Mani's race. After a strong start, the KTM 300 EXC rider pushed hard on the first lap to build a lead over the chasing pack. The young German kept that pace on the second lap and was able to control the race from the front despite a challenge from Teodor Kabakchiev. Mani extended his lead on the third and final lap and delivered a championship ride to reach the checkered flag first in style. With a lead of more than three minutes over second place, he took his first victory of the 2024 HEWC season.

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Manuel Lettenbichler: "That was not an easy race! It was hard and hot today. On the first lap I wished I had a fan for my face because I was sweating so much. The pace was really high, especially on that first lap, but I knew I had to stay at the front to control the race. I managed to build a bit of a lead and from there I was able to take it a bit easier and keep a good, solid rhythm up front. In the last lap Teo (Kabakchiev) started pushing really hard and so I had to increase my pace a bit – he did very well today. At the end I gave everything to make sure I had enough lead and to keep everything safe, but it all worked out and I was able to take the win. I'm super happy to start the season like this and now I can't wait for Erzberg."

Results – 2024 Valleys Hard Enduro

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 2:06:57.11
2. Teodor Kabakchiev (BUL), Sherco, 2:09:58.79
3. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 2:11:15.38
4. Jonny Walker (GBR), Beta, 2:15:18.25
5. Will Hoare (GBR), RIEJU, 2:18:35.60

Provisional standings 

1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 23 points
2. Teodor Kabakchiev (BUL), Sherco, 19 points
3. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 15 points
4. Will Hoare (GBR), RIEJU, 13 points
5. Mitch Brightmore (GBR), White, 11 points

Photos: Future7Media

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