The Mother of Hard Enduro, the Motul Roof of Africa celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, taking place from 15-18 November in Lesotho. This year’s event is also the final round of the 2017 Red Bull Hard Enduro Series and promised to be a good test of man and motorcycle.
Having earned the reputation of being one of the hardest Hard Enduros to compete in, the 3-day race attracts a large contingent of international competitors as well as local pro and amateur riders.
This Year’s Event
The route begins in Maseru, Lesotho’s capital with the “Round the Houses” part of the race that gives spectators a taste of the adrenaline and pace of the race. Gold and Silver riders will take part in the Round the Houses and Bronze riders will proceed directly to the time trial.
The start of the time trial takes place at a whopping 2,700 meters above sea level. The altitude of the race will vary from 1,500m in the lowlands to more than 3,000m in the mountains. The route of Day 2 and 3 comprises of sand and rock tracks with hard surfaces and donkey paths through mountain passes. Depending on weather conditions, several deep rivers may have to be crossed. Daytime temperatures can reach a high of 35 degrees, which makes effective hydration a critical element for success during the event.
This Year’s Top Competitors to Watch
The rider line up promises to be a gathering of the world’s top Enduro competitors. After winning last year, Graham Jarvis is set to return to defend his Roof of Africa title while Alfred Gomez, who came in at a very close second last year, will also be back to chase down the overall title. Andreas Lettenbichler will also be in the mix with the top runners.
Some of the top performing local athletes include Wade Young, Brett Swanepoel, Blake Gutzeit, Travis Teasdale and Dwayne Kleynhans, to name a few.
In the ladies division, SA’s Kirsten Landman, the first ever female competitor to enter and complete the Gold class in 2016, will be joined by Spain’s Sandra Gomez, which should make for an interesting battle and one worth keeping an eye on during this year’s event.
Motul Roof of Africa event organiser, Peter Luck, says “The route is as tough as always but is do-able for the various classes, certainly a great test for man, woman and machine. Spectators can look forward to great viewing points along the route.”