Quintin van Jaarsveld
The world’s elite extreme enduro motorcycle riders are braced for the ultimate challenge on the African continent, the Motul Roof of Africa, which gets underway in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho on December 1.
International superstars such as defending champion Graham Jarvis, Alfredo Gomez, Andreas Lettenbichler and Billy Bolt will take on South Africa’s finest in what’s essentially a home race for riders from the republic.
Rising stars and passionate privateers will also descend on Lesotho looking to draw inspiration from the Gold Class competitors as they strive to complete the Silver and Bronze Class races.
Eleven South Coast riders will be in action; Wade Young (should he recover from injury in time), Kyle Flanagan, Blake Gutzeit, Scott Bouverie, Chayse Orsmond, Stuart Gregory and Tristan and Tyler Robins will test their mettle in the Gold Class, while Pierre Stapelberg, Jason Palmer and Josh Bailey are eyeing Silver Class success.
In a special Road to the Roof series, eHowzit gets these riders’ thoughts on their journey and what goal they’ve set for themselves for the 49th edition of the Mother of Hard Enduro.
Scott Bouverie is relishing his Roof return and sees it as a perfect opportunity to end a spectacular year on a high.
“The Roof is a special race because all the South Africans come and get a chance to see a bit of what international extreme enduro is about. Also, it’s almost a home advantage for us on our own bikes and with our local support,” the KTM rider told eHowzit.
The Harding star earlier this year blitzed 28 of the country’s best riders to win the first ever Alfie Cox Invitational in Umzumbe, finished a career-best fifth in the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania and most recently earned his maiden Red Bull Sea to Sky podium in Turkey.
These remarkable results have Bouverie brimming with confidence. “It definitely helps my confidence knowing that I’m one of the top guys. Also, riding in such hard conditions makes it a lot easier to adapt.”
The 23-year-old, however, isn’t resting on his laurels and has been doing the hard yards ahead of his Roof return.
“My training is going well. I’m feeling strong going into the Roof and really enjoy extreme races.
“I’ve maintained a good fitness, so it’s just fine-tuning now and a getting the bike perfect for Lesotho. I’ve been to Lesotho to train, so I’m feeling comfortable on that terrain.”
A veteran of four Roofs, Bouverie missed last year’s race due to knee surgery. He’s proven himself as a top contender, finishing third in 2013, and said he’s determined to ride his momentum to the top.
“I’m aiming for a podium,” he said, adding, “There are a lot of good riders, but I’m feeling confident in my extreme riding.”
Photo by Lucas Nazdraczew/Red Bull Content Pool