Only 25 riders finished the Erzberg Enduro on Sunday — the Austrian event is universally known as the toughest of all hard enduros. One of those finishers was Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Motorcycles South Africa rider, Brett Swanepoel, who ended up 19th at his first attempt at the event known as the Iron Giant.
Swanepoel qualified in the first wave of 50 riders for the event, which saw 500 riders qualify for the four-hour event out of the over 1500 who started the prologue event and Brett was one of five South Africans among the finishers.
“I am totally stoked to have finished my first Erzberg Rodeo,” Brett, who competed as part of the official Husqvarna team admitted. “This is the hardest one-day enduro in the world and it was a really tough day out there — I definitely learned a lot and we will come back stronger. “Thanks to everyone for the help and support — especially to Fred Fensham and Iain Pepper from Pepson Plastics Husqvarna SA and Andreas Hölzl of Husqvarna Austria for making this happen.”
“We are justifiably proud ot Brett Swanepoel’s performance in the Erzberg Rodeo,” Husqvarna Motorcycles SA brand manager Fred Fensham confirmed. “To be one of 25 finishers out of 500 starters on his first attempt on the Erzberg Rodeo is a brilliant achievement — Brett you did us proud — well done lad!”
But as they say, there is no rest for the wicked as Brett jets home to take on the highlight of the South African Cross Country Moto championship, literally jumping from the rocky frying pan of that Austrian mine pit to the fire of the Botswana Toyota Desert Race over a gruelling 885km three-day route this coming weekend 23-25 June.
Brett remains unbeaten in the OR2 class this year and he intends to keep it that way at the double-header event, where each of the Saturday and Sunday races counts for full championship points. “I’m looking forward to the contrast from last weekend’s slow and treacherous pace and this weekend’s fast and consistent challenge of the desert race,” Swanepoel concluded.
“My Pepson Plastics Husqvarna will be just as effective there, but I still have a job to do to consolidate my championship lead.”
Pictures: Franziska Brandl