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Lagares, Portugal – May 12, 2019 — Spain’s Mario Roman has taken an early lead in the battle to become this year’s ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION, claiming victory at round one of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series – the Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, in Portugal. Putting in a determined display of riding, the Sherco Factory Racing star produced a terrific late race charge to top the podium ahead of teammate Wade Young (RSA) with early race leader Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) third.

Following two days of action-packed Endurocross and City Prologue racing, the stage was set for Sunday’s Hard Enduro feature race. Among the 300 competitors entered, over 50 Pro riders took to the start line of the demanding two-hour long course, which was to be completed twice. Notoriously difficult, the addition of blisteringly hot sunshine ensured a punishing start to the 2019 WESS championship.

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What They Said…

Mario Roman: “I feel amazing, it’s so good to get the win. In 2016 I finished about a minute behind Alfredo and then two years in a row I had mechanical issues with my bike, but I always believed in myself and knew I could do it this year. On the first lap I was lying fifth or sixth and I couldn’t see the top two guys, but as the race went on, I started to feel stronger and was able to push 100% and pass the others one-by-one. The track was so much more difficult on the second lap and I knew I would be able to make up time on those tricky sections.”

Wade Young: “It feels great to get second today. At one point I was down in sixth and I was lacking some confidence after struggling in one of the rivers – that spent a lot of my energy. I came back strong though and towards the end people were starting to get tired and I was able to dig a little deeper and keep going.”

Manuel Lettenbichler: “I am so happy with my result and overall I had a really good race. I didn’t realise at first the gap to the others was so big. I tried to stick to the same pace on the second lap, but Mario and Wade must have been flying. I think they probably pushed each other on the difficult stuff and were able to maintain a good speed when it got really tough. Graham also caught me at a few places, but I was able to stay ahead. I had to stop to move a bridge on the first lap so that cost me some time, but thankfully they have awarded that back to me and I have come away with third. It would have been nice to get the win, especially after leading for over half of the race. But whatever the result, I am happy with my riding and it’s been a good start to this year’s WESS championship.”

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Results – Round 1: Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares

1. Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 4:01:43.21
2. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 4:05:59.04 +4:15.83
3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 4:07:09.68 +5:26.47
4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GB) 4:07:16.12 +5:32.91
5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 4:15:19.68 +13:36.47
6. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 4:29:26.58 +27:43.37
7. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 4:34:51.08 +33:07.87
8. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 4:53:58.02 +52:14.81
9. Travis Teasdale (KTM – RSA) 5:01:43.91 +1:00:00.70
10. Jonathan Richardson (Husqvarna – GB) 5:11:22.83 +1:09:39.70

2019 World Enduro Super Series Standings (after round 1)

1. Mario Roman (Sherco – ESP) 1000 points
2. Wade Young (Sherco – RSA) 850 pts
3. Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) 770 pts
4. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna – GBR) 690 pts
5. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB) 610 pts
6. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 570 pts
7. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna – ESP) 530 pts
8. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM – POL) 490 pts
9. Travis Teasdale (KTM – RSA) 460 pts
10. Jonathan Richardson (Husqvarna – GB) 430 pts

Damien Ashenhurst
About Damien Ashenhurst 1723 Articles
Managing Editor of DIRT ACTION magazine. Damo doesn't like cheese or ISIS. Can often be found riding in mud because it's closest to the natural environment of a squid.