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Jozsa Norbert won Xross Hard Enduro Rally 

28/09/2021

Xross Hard Enduro Rally roared through Serbian mountains, and a combo of rough terrains and beautiful landscapes made a strong impression on riders. The perfect duality for hard enduro. Jozsa Norbert from Romania took the lead on day one and never lost his pace throughout the rally. He was celebrating as the winner of the first-ever Xross Hard Enduro Rally. 

The 7th edition of the Xross event brought a lot of novelties. This race became a hard enduro rally sending the riders on 300km over three mountains for three days. The tracks were a combination of hard enduro lines with some common challenging obstacles and fast liaison sections. Around 90 riders from European countries accepted this challenge. Each day, they had to tackle 100km of tracks. 

On Day 1, they got to know charming Zlatibor mountain that surprised them with rocky terrains. The track led through woods, meadows, ridges, river beds, and a couple of uphills. 

Zlatibor surprised riders with its rocky terrain. Photo: Vladimir Mladenovic

Day 2 took them to well-known wild beauty Tara mountain that seriously tested their strength and endurance, both physical and mental. Tara is known for its merciless terrain. 

Starting from Zlatibor and heading to Tara mountain. Photo: Aleksandar Savin

Once again, the notorious Mousetrap was the point that took the most out of riders. Some of them needed help from the spectators to pull up their bikes on that steep and slippery uphill.

You can always count on carnage on the Mousetrap. Photo: Aleksandar Savin

Last Day of the event, riders got the chance to ride the picturesque Mokra Gora. The start was in charming Drvengrad village, where the famous film festival ​​Küstendorf takes place.

Hard Enduro meets Drvengrad. Photo: Vladimir Mladenovic

It was almost unrealistic, like in a movie, seeing hard enduro bikes among wooden houses in the mountain surrounding. After a relaxing morning in Drvengrad, they went on a 100km ride that took them mostly over meadows, downhill, and some relatively easy uphills. 

Mokra Gora with its fast tracks, and not so challenging sections. Photo: Zoran Jesic

Jozsa Norbert from Romania was the fastest rider in the PRO Class all three days. He never lost his pace and endangered his leading position.

I am happy with the win, and it was a wonderful three days riding in the Serbian mountains. This is my first time at the Xross. I’ve heard from a friend who raced here in previous years that the event is good. So I came to check it out. I was also interested because the race is in the mountains, it is rockier, and it is pretty different from where I come from. The first day of the event was an easy one, nothing too complicated with pushing the bike, just enjoying the ride. The second day was the toughest, and the third was similar to day one – fast track, not a lot of tough obstacles. I liked it here, and I am looking forward to coming back next year – said Jozsa after winning the event.

Sections through woods at the Xross rally. Photo: Zoran Jesic

He was followed by Slovenian Toni Mulec, who took the 2nd position. It is interesting to know that Mulec was battling cold a week before the event and he was considering whether or not to come. At the end, he took his chances and came to Xross, showcasing through hard enduro spirit and dealing with all obstacles.

– I loved this last day, short and fast sections, some tricky stuff but overall it was an enjoyable ride. The last part was tricky with the navigation because there were no tapes, but that made it more interesting. Although I didn’t came 100% ready for the race, because I was sick the week before, I was getting better and better each day. But that took its tool, I was constantly struggling with breathing and overall conditions, and I made some mistakes. But as I said I am happy with how it all went. My first time at the Xross, and this combination of three different mountains is amazing. Zlatibor is more rocky, Tara reminded me of Romaniacs-like terrains, and Mokra Gora is a mix of the two. Congratulations to the organizers for this amazing event – Mulec said.

The third rider on the podium in PRO Class was Romanian Zsolt Varga. EXPERT Class got the new-old winner, and it was Marko Petelin from Slovenia.

Super, everything was super. This is my third win in the Expert Class and I am happy. I like the tracks, and I liked Zlatibor because it is more rocky and requires a technical ride. See you next year – said Petelin shortly after crossing the finish line.

Other riders were delighted with what the three Serbian mountains had to offer, as well. They compared the terrain to the one in Red Bull Romaniacs and Sea to Sky. And it wasn’t just a coincidence that Xross reminded them of the world-class races because next year, Xross will be part of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship. The rally will take happen from 19. to 21. of May, 2022. 

XROSS HARD ENDURO RALLY 2021 RESULTS

PRO Class
1. Jozsa Norbert (ROM)
2. Toni Mulec (SLO)
3. Zsolt Varga (SLO)
EXPERT Class
1. Marko Petelin (SLO)
2. Marko Goršek (SLO)
3. Ivica Platužić (CRO)
HOBBY Class
1. Martin Lindtner (AUT)
2. Boštjan Šturm (SLO)
3. Milan Kovačić (SRB)