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Interview: Wade Young Ė Victory At Red Bull Romaniacs 2018

Round four of the World Enduro Super Series saw Sherco Factory Racingís Wade Young become the youngest ever winner of Red Bull Romaniacs. For five epic days of Enduro racing the 22-year-old South African battled both his rivals and the elements to secure the biggest victory of his career to date.

Pushing to his absolute physical limits during each of the long and demanding days of racing, Young conquered the toughest Enduro terrain Romania had to offer and etched his name onto the winnerís list of the world-famous Hard Enduro Rallye.

Congratulations Wade, how does it feel to have won the 15th edition of Red Bull Romaniacs!

Wade Young: ďThanks. This race is probably the toughest Enduro race around so Iím really stoked on the win. Itís a hugely demanding event. Itís five days on a bike and you get pushed to your absolute physical limit. Iíve been trying for a while now to get it done and finally the winnerís trophy is mine. But thanks also go to my whole Sherco Factory Racing team, my mechanic and family and friends whoíve kept me going all week.Ē

Entering the final day of racing you only had a small four-minute lead, were you nervous about that?

ďI felt like I was riding well all week and knew that I could do it. But also, Manuel Lettenbichler was riding good too and was keeping me honest. He was fast on the up hills but I managed to reel him in on the downhills and flowing sections of the course. It went like that for the whole day right until the last couple of checkpoints. I knew then it was a case of now or never and I just gave it everything I had. I rode at maximum attack for the final 20 kilometres.Ē

What was the feeling like entering the final hillclimb in Gusterita, knowing youíd done enough to win?

ďI could hear the crowd cheering and the atmosphere was just pumping. The final hillclimb is always nervy because itís so steep and easy to make a mistake. With the gap being so tight crashing there could have lost me the entire race. I wanted to celebrate but held back until the finish line and then once I passed the chequered flag the enormity of it all hit me. It was an unreal moment in my Enduro career.Ē

Aside from winning the race, were there any other highlights for you during the Red Bull Romaniacs?

ďProbably just before the service point on off road day three. There we had the hardest climb of the race and I managed to pull a gap on the guys. Up until then the climbs were not my strongest asset and to just get it right and build a small lead felt awesome. It was a little victory in itself.Ē

Youíve had multiple podium results here and now a win, what is it about the Red Bull Romaniacs that suits your style of riding?

ďI think itís the long days ó itís not just all about technique. Somewhere like the Erzbergrodeo relies a lot on technique and trials riding, where for me Red Bull Romaniacs is a pure form of Enduro riding. Itís man and machine against the elements for as long as it takes each day. Itís the toughest and most physically demanding Enduro race in the world. It requires you to dig deep and thatís something I can do when the going gets tough. I feel like I showed that this week ó there were some gnarly days for sure.Ē

Finally, with a debut Red Bull Romaniacs win do you think you can keep that momentum going and claim a debut Red Bull 111 Megawatt victory?

ďIíd definitely like to. Although itís completely different to here in Romania, itís a race where Iíve finished on the podium before. Iím riding well and Iíve always been strong there, so Iíll try to fight for the top step of the podium again.Ē

Photo credit: Future7Media


Rnd 1. Extreme XL Lagares (Portugal) May 11-13
Rnd 2. Erzbergrodeo (Austria) May 31-June 3
Rnd 3. TrŤfle Lozťrien AMV (France) June 8-10
Rnd 4. Red Bull Romaniacs (Romania) July 24-28
Rnd 5. Red Bull 111 Megawatt (Poland) September 8-9
Rnd 6. Hawkstone Park Cross-Country (England) September 22-23
Rnd 7. Gotland Grand National (Sweden) October 26-27
Rnd 8. Red Bull Knock Out (The Netherlands) November 10