Young Briton tames new World Enduro Super Series format in dramatic scenery.
Billy Bolt got the inaugural World Enduro Super Series season off to a thrilling start in Portugal as he came from behind to pip Jonny Walker for victory at Extreme XL Lagares and take an early lead in the search for the 2018 ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION.
Here is all you need to know:
After two days of intense qualification from Friday’s Endurocross and Saturday’s Urban Prologue, 252 competitors from 20 nations started Sunday’s Main Race.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Walker started first with American team-mate Cody Webb second and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Bolt off third.
The Pro riders faced two laps of slippery, rocky riverbeds, high-speed forestry trails and technical climbs ensuring a tough ride in dramatic scenery.
Last year’s runner-up Walker enjoyed a six-minute lead after lap one, but Bolt reeled him in superbly to claim the lead for good with one quarter of a lap left.
The 20-year-old rising star of the sport could not celebrate quite yet as veteran Pole Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) looked like he might overhaul him, after storming through the top 40, before ending the race in fourth.
Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) grabbed third to cement a tremendous weekend that the 20-year-old revealed was his biggest ever Hard Enduro result.
Three-time Portugal winner Graham Jarvis dug in for fifth with Webb slipping to sixth and South African Wade Young only managing seventh after victory in 2017.
Bolt said: “The riverbeds were incredibly slippery, but I just took the course as it was and remained focused on a long race. Winning the opening round of WESS is fantastic and I’m excited to keep this momentum rolling at Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble in Austria.”
WESS Standings (after round 1)
1. Billy Bolt (GBR) Husqvarna 1000 points
2. Jonny Walker (GBR) KTM 850
3. Manni Lettenbichler (GER) KTM 770
4. Taddy Blazusiak (POL) KTM 690
5. Graham Jarvis (GBR) Husqvarna 610
Remaining WESS 2018 calendar
May 31-June 3: Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble, Austria
June 8-10: Trefle Lozerien AMV, France
July 24-28: Red Bull Romaniacs, Romania
September 8-9: Red Bull 111 Megawatt, Poland
October 26-27: Gotland Grand National, Sweden
November 10: Red Bull Knock Out, The Netherlands
More info on iRideWESS.com
Watch on redbull.tv/WESS
Pictures: future7Media/Red Bull Content Pool