Manu Lettenbichler wins Erzbergrodeo for the third time in a row

Manu Lettenbichler wins Erzbergrodeo for the third time in a row
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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Manuel Lettenbichler has won the 2024 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, conquering the Iron Giant for the third year in a row. FMF KTM Factory Racing teammate Trystan Hart finished second in the race to make it a KTM 1-2 in the second round of the 2024 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship (HEWC) in Austria.

A prologue over two days determined the starting order for Sunday's main event: a grueling 35-kilometer race around the Iron Giant with legendary sections such as Carl's Dinner, Machine and Dynamite, which riders must complete in just four hours. In the 2024 edition, participants were presented with many unexpected things, such as new sections and important changes in the order of the checkpoints. Riders were also not allowed to walk on the course before the race.

A two-day qualifying process on Friday and Saturday awaited the 1300 riders who dared to tackle the Iron Giant. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Josep Garcia clocked more than 30 seconds and won with ease. Mani Lettenbichler set the fifth fastest time on his KTM 300 EXC. Trystan Hart secured a front row seat with his ninth qualifying for Sunday's feature race.

The fastest 500 riders qualified for Sunday's main race, with both Lettenbichler and Hart comfortably on the front row. Mani had a strong start and came out of the groove close to the head of the pack. Undeterred by the tough course, the German put on a masterclass at Erzbergrodeo to build an impressive 20-minute lead as he tackled some of the toughest sections in hard enduro. Mani chose his lines tactically, kept his energy and maintained his speed until the end of the race, where he crossed the finish line with more than an hour to spare.

Teammate Trystan Hart also had an incredible day on the Iron Giant, finishing 20 minutes behind Mani in second. Despite Trystan being involved in a minor crash at the start in the first corner, he showed his skill and experience to work his way through the pack and work his way up to second place by the time he reached checkpoint nine.

Mani's win extends his winning streak to 10 in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship and also marks his third straight win at the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, making him one of only two people to ever achieve this incredible feat. The German increases his lead in the HEWC standings to 13 points after two rounds. The 2024 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues with the third round in Serbia for the Xross Hard Enduro Rally on June 19-22.

Results – 2024 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 2:47:23
2. Trystan Hart (CAN), KTM, 3:07:40
3. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 3:21:47
4. Graham Jarvis (GBR), KTM, 3:23:39
5. Wade Young (RSA), GASGAS, 3:39:48
Standings after 2 of 7 rounds
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 45 points
2. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 32 pts
3. Wade Young (RSA), GASGAS, 29 pts
4. Mitch Brightmore (GBR), Husqvarna, 24 pts
5. Teodor Kabakchiev (BUL), KTM, 20 pts

Photos: Future7media

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