Wade Young (Sherco) was one of only 18 riders out of 500 to finish the Red Bull 111 Megawatt in Poland on Sunday and he did so in style to step on to the podium.
The Paddock superstar represented South Africa along with fellow South Coast rider Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha) and Kirsten Landman (KTM) and showed his class to finish third behind second-placed Spaniard Mario Roman and Brit Jonny Walker, who narrowly retained his title.
Red Bull 111 Megawatt saw two days of hellish enduro action in the heart of the Belchatow Coal Mine for the third time.
It consisted of three stages: fast motocross, technical endurocross, and the toughest extreme enduro. The last one surprised everyone with specially prepared several high “mega woops”.
For some of the riders, riding in the natural mining landscape turned out to be quite impossible.
The different types of terrain and elevations were already unbelievably challenging, and the weather – rain showers and wind – made it even more dramatic.
Young led with half a lap to go but failed to scale one of the longer climbs, which saw him being relegated to third place.
“I got so much sand in my face after the start, but I kept pushing hard and got onto the back of the lead riders,” Young told enduro21.
“I felt strong and my speed was good so I was in a good place at the start of the third lap. I made a mistake and didn’t get to the top of one of the climbs, which was frustrating because I felt good.”
Unfortunately for Oslo Beach-based Gutzeit, who was considered among the title contenders, his race came to a premature end, while Landman toughed out two of the three laps to finish in an impressive 30th position.