South Africa’s own, Wade Young (Sherco Liqui Moly Racing), rode to victory in the 50th Anniversary MOTUL Roof of Africa. Not too far astern was Travis Teasdale (Brother Leader Tread KTM). A South African one and two was always on the cards, as the two stars shadowed each other for the duration of the race. “Travis and I bonded during this race, he kept me honest”, Wade remarked at the finish. Teasdale commented, “I’m happy to be on the podium. It was never over till the end. Wade is one of the best riders in the world”. Asked about the final technical climb before the finish, called ’Soldiers’, Travis retorted, “You got to be a soldier to get up there!”.

The Hard Enduro Series winner for 2017, British superstar, Graham Jarvis (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), brought it home in third place. Involved in a race long battle with young South African star, Blake Gutzeit (Bibvest bLU cRU Yamaha Racing), Jarvis gapped him up Soldiers. Approaching the final climb, Jarvis felt that he “should be able to get time on Blake there”. Asked about the speed of Young and Teasdale, he candidly retorted, “they are faster than me in the fast stuff, that’s all there is to it”. Blake Gutzeit flew the flag high by riding in to a superb fourth place. “It’s an honour to ride with a rider of that calibre”, he said of his duel with the legendary Jarvis. “He is the best in the world and gapped me on the last hill, where it mattered”. Gutzeit felt the course favoured the speed of the South Africans. Racing into 5th was Alfredo Gomez, who clearly found his mojo, and scorched the course.

Speaking of Gomez, the fairer of the two siblings, Sandra, finished 30th in Gold class on her Pepson Plastics Husqvarna. It is nothing short of unfair that two kids from the same family should get such a huge dollop of talent!

 Not too much changed on the Silver overnight leader board. Heinrich Zellhuber (Alfie Cox MOTUL KTM Racing) maintained his lead over his team mate Bradley Cox (Alfie Cox MOTUL KTM Racing), to win convincingly. Wilhelm Schonfeldt (BCR Arrow Yamaha) came home in third. Czech rider Zdenek Cyprian, finished a highly credible 4th place.

A finisher worth noting is James Hillier (Husqvarna), the Isle of Man Star, who, riding with a Lesotho local, and helping each other along the way, finished his first ‘Roof of Africa’.

 Brett Geary (KTM) was a man on a mission. He put the hammer down to clinch the win. Clearly a good year for Brett’s, as Brett Boyes (KTM) brought it home in second. Grant Burton-Durham (Mechspec Racing), also KTM mounted, rode into third.

It is hard to believe that the 50th running of the MOTUL Roof of Africa is finally done and dusted. What a race it was!

Results are as follows:

GOLD: 1. Wade Young (Sherco Liqui Moly Racing) 10Hrs 41,28 2. Travis Teasdale (Brother Leader Tread KTM) 10Hrs 52,34 3.Graham Jarvis (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) 11Hrs 04,06

SILVER: 1. Heinrich Zellhuber (Alfie Cox MOTUL KTM Racing) 11Hrs 28,02 2. Bradley Cox (Alfie Cox MOTUL KTM Racing) 11Hrs 49,36 3. Wilhelm Schonfeldt (BCR Arrow Yamaha) 12Hrs 01,00

BRONZE: 1. Brett Geary (KTM) 9Hrs 20,22 2. Brett Boyes (KTM) 9Hrs 24,52 3. Grant Burton Durham (Mechspec Racing) 9Hrs 32,18

[For full race results go to: www.racecontrol.co.za]

Photographer Credit: Wayne Reiche / Red Bull Content Pool