After a bumpy attempt to start the 2021 season, the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship looks like it’s finally set to kick off in Italy on July 9-11. Newly formed in 2021 from the former World Enduro Super Series, the Hard Enduro World Championship is FIM sanctioned, and that means a proper world championship will be awarded in the discipline of hard enduro for the first time.
The series technically got started with the season-opening Extreme XL Lagares in Portugal in May, but no points were awarded because COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented many riders from attending. The iconic Red Bull Erzbergrodeo, slated for early June, was then cancelled due to government lockdown restrictions on events in Austria. It marked the first time in 25 years that the renowned enduro race was cancelled.
As such, the series will get underway in proper fashion at the Abestone Hard Enduro in Tuscany on July 9. It’s the first of six events remaining on the calendar between July and the end of October, five of which are in Europe and one to take place in Tennessee in August. The round in Italy is new and reflects the series’ efforts to break new ground, while the popular Red Bull Romaniacs event will celebrate its 17th year.
Hard enduro—also known as extreme enduro—is a form of off-road riding made up of the most challenging terrain, obstacles, and conditions. It pushes even the most elite riders to the absolute limits. Challenges can include Obstacles may include rocky hill climbs, mud pits, river crossings, and countless diabolical, man-made hurdles.
In bringing hard enduro under the FIM umbrella, series manager Winfried Kerschhaggl’s goal is to elevate the profile, prestige and marketing value of the sport while making it more accessible to the casual fan. Incorporating amateur riders was also a must for Kerschhaggl, who ran the WESS and was the driving force behind the formation of the Hard Enduro World Championship and its blessing of FIM sanctioning.
The rest of the 2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship calendar looks like this:
Round 3: Abestone Hard Enduro – Italy, July 9/10/11
Round 4: Red Bull Romaniacs – Romania, July 27/28/29/30/31
Round 5: Red Bull TKO – USA, August 13/14/15
Round 6: HERO Challenge – Poland, September 11/12
Round 7: Hixpania Hard Enduro – Spain, October 1/2/3
Round 8: GetzenRodeo – Germany, October 29/30