KING OF THE HILL HARD ENDURO 2016
King of the Hill Hard Enduro in Romania was Another great opportunity made possible by the organizers of the event, my sponsors and Holger Dettman. It was a race I was always interested in and when the opportunity came up I jumped at it with open arms.
The race format and terrain a lot different to that of Romaniacs. The race is 3 days of racing, with day 1 being the prologue set out in the city centre of Arad, Romania. The course was set up In a more extreme Enduro cross format, 1 lap sighting/practice, then timed qualification which would then set you either straight into the final with the top 20 in each class or LCQ. I qualified 26th in expert class, making it into LCQ and then Got put into the final with a wild card entry 🙂 the final for expert class final was 3 laps with 21 guys on the start gate. I managed to finish in 9th place.
Day 1 Offroad day I started in 32nd position according to my qualification time in the prologue. The days route was 80kms, had everything from extreme technical to flowing riding, majority of the days race was spent in wet, muddy, slippery river beds, with step up, roots and water holes. With ofcourse the infamous romanian steep up and downhills. I was Covered In mud from head to toe, and the mud was like clay so it stuck to everything, I battled to hold onto the bike as my hands were covered in mud and my hands kept slipping off the grips to add to my frustration I spent most of the day pulling myself onto the bike as I kept sliding off my seat from the mud on my pants and seat. As well as racing without goggles due to the mud covering everywhere haha :/ besides mentioned above it was a great day of racing. I had fun and the romanian spectators out in the mountains really made it even better, so supportive and always willing to help. I was happy to finish and within 4h 30 mins and moving up to 28th place.
Start of day 2 and the final day was a lot more chilled then expected, for expert class we only started at 11:30am. The race format today was very different, the expert class riders had 2 hours to complete as many laps as possible of a technical 25km loop. My first loop I battled to get into a rhythm as the night before it rained most of evening, which meant that the riding was completely different, everything was wet and the hills almost became impossibly slippery and no traction. I made it 40 mins before cut off then was allowed out for my second lap which I was really happy about, this lap was much smoother and less mistakes.
Finishing King of the Hill in expert class and being the First Lady finisher was another incredible achievement and goal ticked off my hard Enduro list. Again I will say it was a huge team effort and I had great support from the beginning. Thank you to Franziska from KTM SA who organized me the best Bike, thank you so much to everyone who made that possible, to Holger Dettman for getting the entry and getting me over to the race, thank you for believing in me, to Brett Sproson and the Leader Tread racing team for alway going the extra mile to make sure I am always covered and sorted out where ever I go, then to the KotH organizers thank you sorting me out with an entry, accommodation and allowing me to race in your beautiful country, then to everyone I met along the way that helped out, for all the support from my family, friends and all the South Africans back home, it’s always a reason why I get so inspired and make sure I finish the races.
I’ve been fortunate to race overseas twice already this year, it’s been such a try experience in terms of learning and exposure and I really look forward to the rest of the year with Romaniacs, Sea to Sky and then ofcourse the Roof of Africa with in the international hard Enduro series.