Extreme Enduro

WESS Enduro 2019: The Who’s Who of World Enduro Super Series – hotshots to watch

WESS Enduro 2019: The Who’s Who of World Enduro Super Series – hotshots to watch

Billy Bolt starts as the defending Ultimate Enduro Champion

With anticipation ahead of this weekend’s eight-round 2019 World Enduro Super Series opener hotting up, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the riders to watch in 2019. Offering a varied mix of disciplines and terrains, it’s unsurprising that those riders vying for WESS glory are equally as diverse as the championship itself.

Enduro World Champions, SuperEnduro World Champions, Beach Race winners, Hard Enduro and Cross-Country specialists plus a former Trials World Champion, all take to the start line at round one’s Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares as this year’s battle begins…

Billy Bolt

Nationality: British
Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Racing his way into the record books, Billy Bolt became the inaugural Ultimate Enduro Champion as winner of the 2018 series. From the off, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider made his title intentions known by winning round one in style.

Further podium results at Red Bull 111 Megawatt and Hawkstone Park Cross-Country saw him come on song as the series neared its conclusion, before enjoying the spoils of championship glory at the final round. Although beginning the defence of his crown not fully recovered from a knee injury sustained during the winter, Bolt will no doubt once again be hungry to assert himself as the rider to beat.

Manuel Lettenbichler

Nationality: German
Team: KTM

Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler came of age in 2018, taking the battle to become champion down to the wire with Bolt. Proving raw talent matters most in Enduro, the privateer spectacularly brought the fight to the sport’s top factory riders, which included a near-win at Red Bull Romaniacs. Claiming a pre-season victory in the Dominican Republic’s Machete Enduro indicates Lettenbichler is firing on all cylinders heading into round one.

Nathan Watson

Nationality: British
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Considered more of a Classic Enduro and Beach Racing specialist, Watson jumped into the deep end of the championship’s Hard Enduro events, picking up point-scoring rides at the majority of races.

That, combined with his runner-up result at Hawkstone Park Cross-Country and his fantastic victory at Red Bull Knock Out, elevated the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider to third overall come the series’ end. Entering 2019 with more experience in his weaker discipline while determined to capitalise on an additional Classic Enduro – BR2 Enduro Solsona – Watson will be strong competitor.

Nathan Watson will be strong competitor this year

Josep Garcia

Nationality: Spanish
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Despite a lack of Hard Enduro riding experience, Spain’s Josep Garcia proved himself as a serious contender for 2018 championship honours thanks to his third at Trefle Lozerien AMV and win at Hawkstone Park Cross-Country. A Classic Enduro specialist, Garcia’s speed and raw talent between the timing beams are never in question, but now with a year of WESS under his belt, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider will be aiming for Billy Bolt’s crown in 2019.

Taddy Blazusiak

Nationality: Polish
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

For five-time Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble winner Taddy Blazusiak, his 2018 WESS campaign did not turn into the winning year he initially hoped for. Although in contention for the majority of the series – highlighted with a podium at Poland’s Red Bull 111 Megawatt – a thumb injury sustained during the penultimate round cut short the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider’s fighting chance of a top-three finish in the overall standings. Feeling fresh off his SuperEnduro campaign indoors, Blazusiak will once again give his best in 2019.

Wade Young

Nationality: South African
Team: Sherco Factory Racing

Becoming the youngest winner of Red Bull Romaniacs before going on to win the Red Bull 111 Megawatt, South Africa’s Wade Young triumphantly tasted success in WESS during 2018. Focused on the Hard Enduro races, the talented Sherco Factory Racing rider will look to add to his WESS win tally. A strong contender where ever he lines up, Young is a rider who never gives up without a fight.

Wade Young will be a serious contender for the WESS title

Graham Jarvis

Nationality: British
Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

At 43 years of age, Graham Jarvis is Enduro’s elder statesman – one of the best of the best Enduro riders. But for Graham age is just a number. Defying the odds, the British rider stormed to victory at the Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble in 2018. A past winner of the series’ Hard Enduro rounds, expect Graham to excel when the going gets tough.

Jonny Walker

Nationality: British
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Despite leading the majority of the 2018 series, Jonny Walker’s hopes of becoming the champion ended spectacularly in Poland when he crashed out of contention. It was cruel luck for the super-smooth and supremely talented Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider. Fit and healthy, Walker returns in 2019 seeking revenge and the opportunity to win Enduro’s coveted prize.

Lars Enockl

Nationality: Austrian
Team: X-Grip

As Austria’s leading Enduro rider and top privateer, Lars Enockl switches colours for 2019 moving from Gas Gas to X-Grip Husqvarna. Enockl ended 2018 10th overall thanks to super-consistent riding.

Alfredo Gomez

Nationality: Spanish
Team: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Injured prior to 2018, Spain’s Alfredo Gomez missed the opening three rounds of the season and then used the remainder of the championship to regain both his confidence and speed. Back to his best and more determined than ever, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider is going all out to win every Hard Enduro on the calendar, starting with Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares.

Travis Teasdale

Nationality: South African
Team: Eurotek KTM

Part of the new-look Eurotek KTM team for 2019, South Africa’s Travis Teasdale is a rising talent on the world stage. Committed to the full series this year, he’s got his eyes set on securing some promising results. Look for Teasdale to challenge for a top-five result on a consistent basis.

Pol Tarres

Nationality: Spanish
Team: TTR Officine Rigamonti

A relative newcomer to Enduro, Spain’s Pol Tarres has been rising sharply through the ranks. The former FIM Trials Junior World Champion is a rider with lots of potential. A pair of top-10 results in 2018 highlighted Tarres’ ability to compete on Enduro’s world stage and now signed to the new Italian outfit of TTR Officine Rigamonti he’s got the tools necessary to succeed.

Pol Tarres is a new name to watch for in 2019

Mario Roman

Nationality: Spanish
Team: Sherco Factory Racing

Aiming to excel at the series’ Hard Enduro races, Sherco Factory Racing’s Mario Roman is a regular front runner. A proven winner of the Hixpania Hard Enduro, he will sight round four as his best opportunity for a podium result.

Will Hoare

Nationality: British
Team: Eurotek KTM

Will Hoare was one of the standout privateer riders during the 2018 season. He’s since gone on to win the FIM SuperEnduro Junior World Championship and secure himself a place on Eurotek KTM for 2019. Still growing in confidence and experience, the 20-year-old is aiming for top-10 results.

Will Hoare will be aiming for top-10 results in this year’s WESS

David Cyprian

Nationality: Czech
Team: JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team

Often understated, David Cyprian is the Czech Republic’s leading Enduro rider for very good reason. Repeated top-10 performances in events like Red Bull Romaniacs demonstrate his ability. Fresh off a top-three finish in the 2019 FIM SuperEnduro Junior World Championship and now signed with JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team, the 20-year-old will be a strong contender when the 2019 season begins.

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