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Xross Challenge – the second day: Tough battle against mud and slippery uphills

Xross Challenge 2018 / Photo by Predrag Vučković

16/06/2018

On the second day, Xross Challenge justified the title of the toughest Hard Enduro race in the region. Riders had to tackle very demanding track with a lot of steep up-hills on which they left the last atoms of their strength because the race is harder and harder every year. Rain, muddy terrain and hard obstacles were quite the challenge for Wade Young, but he was fast as a lighting and manage to cross the finish line first, long before other riders.

Riding conditions were extreme, and it was the hardest part of Xross Challenge race. Riders had to tackle 90km that seriously tested their physical abilities and mental toughness, and no doubt all riders had to push their limits. They were riding through the woods, creeks, stones and extreme uphills that were even more slippery because of the rain and mud so motorbikes couldn’t go up.

Xross Challenge 2018 / Photo by Attila Szabo

Photo by Attila Szabo

All three classes had much harder task then it supposed, because of the weather conditions. On top of one of the uphills, we met Daniel Fashing from Austria, brother of Markus Fashing long time Xross Challenge rider. Although he was visibly exhausted, Daniel was in a mood for chatting.

Markus brought me to the Xross Challenge, he said that this is the best race of the season and I had to come and try to ride. It’s a little slippery and difficult, but it’s a great ride – least for now – Daniel told us before he rides onto the next challenge.

Xross Challenge 2018 / Photo by Predrag Vučković

Photo by Predrag Vučković

The biggest problem this year was notorious uphill “The Mousetrap” and even the best riders couldn’t climb it in one take. That is a place where bikes go out of control, they are slipping down, fly over riders heads or even on the riders. Because of that, this was the place where most riders needed the help of the audience to pull their bikes to the top of the hill, and even those who helped the riders didn’t have an easy task.

Xross Challenge 2018 / Photo by Vladimir Mladenović

Photo by Vladimir Mladenović

First on the finish line was Wade Young from South Africa, one of the best Hard Enduro riders in the world, who ride in Pro class.

Today was very hard, the hardest part was a steep, rocky uphill, I wasn’t ready for that. But the entire track has a lot of difficult parts which is good, it reminded me of Red Bull Romaniacs. Of course, mud and rain made everything even harder, but I am first on the finish line and of course, I am happy with the result. It is my first time here, and I knew very little about the race, but according to what I have seen in last two days it’s great and I like it – says Wade Young.

Xross Challenge 2018 / Photo by Mihai Stetcu

Photo by Mihai Stetcu

A slightly easier track had riders in Expert and Hobby class, but they too had to face with some slippery uphills. All riders came to the finish line completely exhausted, but always with a smile on their faces.

It was great, it’s great! I’m riding Hobby class and this is my second time at the Xross Challenge race. I do not remember my results last year, I was not very successful. This year, the Hobby class is perfectly optimized, it has heavy parts, but is just as it should be for riding. It’s a great race, I think this is the best in the Adriatic region – said Severin Sajevec from Slovenia who was second in Hobby class.

Xross Challenge 2018 / Photo by Mihai Stetcu

Photo by Mihai Stetcu

In Pro class, the second rider was Matija Zec from Croatia, who last year won the second place at the Xross Challenge.

 It was very hard, it was raining and it was very difficult to ride, there was a lot of mud, the race was harder than the previous year. The hardest part was “The Mousetrap” and there were several difficult locations in the woods, but I’m satisfied with the second place and I will be ready for the last day of the competition – said Zec.

Xross Challenge 2018 / Photo by Predrag Vučković

Photo by Predrag Vučković

Due to bad weather conditions, sand overflown rivers, the track of the third day of the race will be changed a little bit and shortened.

Xross Challenge 2018 / Photo by Mihai Stetcu

Photo by Mihai Stetcu