Grundge Border

XL LAGARES 2018


2018 saw the introduction of the all-new “W.E.S.S (World Enduro Super Series)” championship, which consisted of 7 races in the Hard-Enduro calender, but also some other additions to test the riders over various race formats, conditions and principles.

Before the introduction of the championship, races were raced as individuals with the win being the main focus. However, this brought about a scoring system for each of the 7 races and the points leader after the final round would be crowned the WESS champion.

The first round of the WESS series was Extreme XL Lagares, which was no walk in the park. Would we see the top riders pushing for the win or would they aim to be as consistent as possible?

Day One started with the Endurocross in the evening. The super-final consists of the top 10 qualifiers. Jonny Walker got a great start, and got the holeshot with ease with the chasing pack following close behind.

Colton Haaker and Jonny Walker came into the water section side by side, with Billy Bolt following close behind – waiting for one of them to make a mistake. Colton Haaker makes a small mistake going through the logs, allowing Billy Bolt to get by with ease.

A lap later, Jonny Walker makes a mistake in the same spot as Haaker – allowing Bolt to get past, also taking over the lead. Jonny Walker uses his expertise to claim the number 1 spot once again. In the final lap, Haaker was trying to catch Bolt to secure a second place but he makes a mistake going into the water section.

Out of nowhere, Manuel Lettenbichler comes storming by Haaker, who was still stuck in the water section. This meant that Manuel Lettenbichler was promoted into third.

The final lap drama was far from over, with race leader Jonny Walker falling in the tricky rock section – allowing Bolt to get passed. Billy Bolt takes the race win, ahead of Jonny Walker and Manuel Lettenbichler.

DAY 1 QUALIFIER RESULTS:
1) CODY WEBB
2) JONNY WALKER
3) BILLY BOLT
4) PAUL BOLTON
5) WADE YOUNG
6) TRAVIS TEASDALE

- Also, a notable 9th placed finish from South Africa’s Blake Gutzeit. Definitely an impressive showing, with 3 South African’s within the top 10 for Day One. Day Two was the “Prologue” where the riders would race through the town. The prologue kicked off with a hot-lap, and then a race with the top 10 qualifiers. The time for the day one endurocross and the prologue time would determine the starting position for the main race.

The pressure was on as the top 10 riders all lined-up with the intentions of being the fastest, to ensure the best starting position for the next day. With Taddy falling over in the first turn, it was Jonny Walker and Billy Bolt who emerged with everyone racing behind to catch-up. After an intense first lap, it is Walker who leads ahead of Billy Bolt, Kevin Gallas, Wade Young and Manuel Lettenbichler.

Billy Bolt gets caught up in the stairs and allows Jonny Walker to pull away – creating a big gap. Jonny Walker secured the win for the prologue, ahead of Billy Bolt and Kevin Gallas. Day Three was the main race, the day that definitely was the highest priority for all the riders.

The starting order for the main race was as follows:
1) JONNY WALKER
2) CODY WEBB
3) BILLY BOLT
4) PAUL BOLTON
5) WADE YOUNG

The first checkpoint is a tricky water and rock section, a section that would not only catch out some of the amatuers but also some of the pros as well. Jonny Walker has a steady lead over Billy Bolt and Cody Webb, heading into this section.

After just over an hour and 48 minutes, Jonny Walker is the first of the pros to arrive into the service point. As Wade Young and Billy Bolt enter the service point, Jonny Walker leaves – making for some interesting racing ahead. The second lap would be a lot tougher, as the leading riders would have to contend with the slower “back markers” who would still be on their opening lap.

A notable ride was Taddy who started 43rd and was up to 6th, by the end of his first lap. The stand-out ride for day 3 however, was definitely Billy Bolt who secured his first win in Hard Enduro, ahead of Jonny Walker and Manuel Lettenbichler. With so many new faces a part of the “Pro Class” for the WESS series – there was definitely a lot more action to come, and a lot more possible winners throughout the 7 races.

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