In a thrilling showcase of skill and endurance, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‘s Manuel Lettenbichler emerged victorious at the 27th edition of the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo. This remarkable achievement solidifies Lettenbichler’s name among the select few riders who have secured back-to-back triumphs in this iconic Austrian hard enduro event. Lettenbichler’s teammate, Trystan Hart of FMF KTM Factory Racing, also delivered an impressive performance, securing the final podium position.
Red Bull Erzbergrodeo Qualifying Ride and Intense Competition:
Lettenbichler displayed his prowess from the onset with a strong qualifying ride during the prologue. This performance secured him a front-row start for the main race on Sunday. As the flag dropped, Lettenbichler swiftly maneuvered his 2024 KTM 300 EXC, rapidly ascending the ranks and settling within the top three contenders. Trystan Hart initially took the lead, closely followed by Lettenbichler. However, Lettenbichler’s determination propelled him to regain the lead, albeit briefly relinquishing it to his long-standing rival, Billy Bolt. Demonstrating unparalleled skill, strength, and technique, Lettenbichler masterfully reclaimed the lead, creating a considerable gap between himself and the pursuing pack.
Dominant Performance and Victory:
Exhibiting flawless riding and navigating challenging sections, Lettenbichler skillfully completed the remaining kilometres of the course, including the renowned signature sections. Ultimately, he crossed the finish line with an impressive 11-minute lead over the second-place rider, solidifying his victory. With two wins from two starts, Lettenbichler is on a remarkable path to defending his 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship title successfully.
Lettenbichler’s Triumph and Gratitude:
Overwhelmed by his achievement, Lettenbichler expressed his elation, stating, “I can’t believe it! After the start, I was following Trystan, just conserving my energy a little, but then Billy passed me and looked really strong…” Lettenbichler attributed his victory to his ability to maintain focus and ride his own race. He also commended the performance of his new bike, emphasizing the team’s hard work over the winter, which paid off as the bike felt perfect during the event.
Trystan Hart’s Performance and Ambitions:
In his third appearance at the Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, Trystan Hart showcased his racing prowess with a strong start, leading the pack through the initial checkpoints. Although a few errors cost him some time, Hart tenaciously secured his podium position until the race’s end. Content with his performance but aspiring for more, Hart currently ranks second in the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship standings, trailing Lettenbichler by 12 points. He eagerly anticipates the next round of the series, the Red Bull Romaniacs, scheduled for late July.
Manuel Lettenbichler’s victory at the 2023 Red Bull Erzbergrodeo cements his status as a dominant force in hard enduro racing. His exceptional performance, coupled with Trystan Hart’s podium finish, showcases the prowess of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and FMF KTM Factory Racing teams. As these talented riders continue to push the boundaries of endurance and skill, the world eagerly awaits the next chapter of their hard-fought battles on the global hard enduro stage.