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Alfredo Gomez Grabs WESS Glory In Porto Prologue
Spainís Alfredo Gomez showed himself to be the rider to beat on day two of the World Enduro Super Series opener. Proving to be the Urban Enduro master, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider claimed victory in the spectacular Porto Prologue.
In an all-out battle for supremacy on the cobbled streets of Porto, Gomez led home a stacked field of over 50 Pro riders, with Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) and Billy Bolt (Husqvarna - GB) joining him on the podium in second and third respectively.
After Fridayís action-packed Endurocross kick-starting round one of WESS with Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) taking the win, the 300 competitors in this yearís Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares headed to downtown Porto for the infamous prologue.
Thousands gathered to watch some world-class Enduro racing in Porto - © Future7Media
Porto Opens Its Heart To Enduro
In the heart of the world heritage cityís bustling tourist district, the worldís best Enduro riders were treated to a tough and technical Endurocross arena that was linked to the cityís narrow cobbled streets. Thousands of spectators lined the sides of the race course adding to the incredible atmosphere in Porto.
With the Hobby, Veteran and Expert riders first to tackle a shortened version of the track, it was the Pro class riders who turned up the heat around the narrow, cobbled streets. Already a multi-time winner of the prologue, Gomez once again showed his rivals whoís the boss by topping the qualification.
Blazusiak, Bolt and Walker battle it out on Portoís cobbled streets - © Future7Media
Gomez Puts In A Masterclass On The Cobbles
With pole position secured for the final, Gomez didnít disappoint and immediately put his Husqvarna out front. Commanding the cobbled climbs, he eased away from the chasing pack to take the win.
Behind him the battle for the remainder of the podium was played out between Blazusiak, Bolt, Walker and Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER). Holding firm despite a few mistakes, Blazusiak grabbed second.
Walker Takes A Bath
In a showdown for third, Bolt held off a late attack from Walker to complete the top three. In his bid for the podium, Walker misjudged the floating bridge and ended up in the river. With Walker taking an unplanned bath, Lettenbichler capitalised to take fourth, with Wade Young (Sherco - RSA) fifth.
Round one of WESS at Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares concludes with Sundayís Hard Enduro main event.
Alfredo Gomez is joined on the podium by Taddy Blazusiak and Billy Bolt - © Future7Media
Alfredo Gomez: ďThe start was key to winning the prologue final. I managed to get into the lead and was able to control the pace. Iím not sure why but I always enjoy riding it - I think itís because you are so close to the spectators on the track. Tomorrow will be the real test. Iíd really like to come away with the win - I feel like I can do it, weíll just see how things go.Ē
Billy Bolt: ďI was having a good run in my prologue qualification but on the final decent through the streets I clipped a spectator who got too close to the race track and that really unnerved me. I was pleased with third after that. Looking forward to tomorrow, I guess weíll just have to see how the opening lap goes. Iím riding good but I just donít know where my fitness is in a race situation coming off the injury bench. To be honest, a podium result would be like a win.Ē
Wade Young: ďIím pleased with how things went in the prologue. Itís always a tricky one - get a good start and you can win, donít and itís a steady race. I feel like fifth was steady. But Sunday is where it really counts and Iím on the pace and have prepared well for it. I won in 2017, so I know what it takes to get the job done. Iíll be going all out for victory.Ē
Wade Young is focused on fighting for victory on Sunday - © Future7Media
Results - Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares - Porto Prologue
Pro Class Qualification
1. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna - ESP) 4:38.75; 2. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM - POL) 4:49.88; 3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM - GER) 4:50.99; 4. Wade Young (Sherco - RSA) 4:52.24; 5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna - GB) 4:53.52; 6. Jonny Walker (KTM - GB) 4:54.58; 7. Diogo Vieira (Yamaha - PRT) 4:57.00; 8. Mario Roman (Sherco - ESP) 5:00.51; 9. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna - GB) 5:03.71; 10. Travis Teasdale (KTM - RSA) 5:04.71Ö
Pro Class Final
1. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna - ESP)
Photo credit: Future7Media