At the end of the second day, two French riders were back on top of the podium in the third round of the European Enduro Championship in Skövde, Sweden: Hugo Blanjoue and his KTM colleague Thomas Dubost are not only riding in the same KTM-team, but both are also personally good friends and fight against each other only in the special tests. Today Blanjoue was 23 seconds ahead after nine special tests and almost one hour of special stage time.
With the third position Alessandro Battig defended his leadership in the overall standings, but Blanjoue is already close, at four points. “This weekend didn’t go so well for me, I didn’t feel so good on the loose ground and on the grass tests. And today I also fell twice,” stated the Kawasaki rider from Italy.
All three riders also won their classes: Blanjoue the Junior class E2/E3, Dubost the Junior E1 and Battig the 4-stroke class over 250 cc.
In the Senior class, guest entrant and local hero Anders Eriksson won again: the former Enduro World Champion had spontaneously decided to participate in his home country just three weeks earlier. But for him it was the same procedure as before, he fought in every stage and did his best to relegate the leader of the class, the Polish Sebastian Krywult, to second place. But he remains at the top of Championship.
In the Women’s class, Sanna Kärkkäinen from Finland was pressed by guest entrant Emilie Karlsson, but was able to win both days and to extend her leadership to 29 points ahead of Nina Klink from the Netherlands and Hanna Berzelius from Sweden.
The nocturnal rain had done the track good and eliminated a lot of dust. Nevertheless, the tracks went deeper and deeper and exposed more and more stones and slippery roots. This made competition more demanding and difficult as the power of the riders diminished. Those who were not really physically fit fell further and further back during the long day.
In addition to the major motorcycle brands of KTM, Husqvarna, Yamaha and Honda, in the European Championship there are more and more small manufacturers: Sherco competed nine times, TM and Beta four times each and GasGas and Kawasaki with one engine each.
The final will take place from 14 to 16 September in Kielce, Poland, and will end with a classic motocross start.
Full results on FIM Europe website: http://www.fim-europe.eu/events/615
Photos ©Robert Pairan