Hard enduro is unlike any other motorcycling discipline. Sure, it requires the fine clutch, throttle control, and balance abilities of a talented trials rider. However, it also requires the all-terrain negotiation skills of an enduro rider. Whoever came up with the basic idea “what if mountain goats but motorbikes” was clearly on to something, because it’s a sport that’s absolutely insane to watch.
Is it the fastest? No, but that’s not the point. Is it the toughest? Possibly. In any case, this video at the season finale 24MX Hixpania Hard Enduro round in Spain gives an excellent look at how and why top riders like Mario Roman, Graham Jarvis, and newly-crowned 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Champion Manuel Lettenbichler got to where they are.
Going into this round, the title fight was close—with only four points separating Roman and Lettenbichler (with the latter in the lead). To add extra pressure, the Spanish round was a home event for Roman—which is always an emotional and highly motivational factor for any rider. After all, there’s nothing like taking a win at home.
In the end, it all came down to each rider’s ability to meet the unique challenges and verticality of the course. People watching the competition in person mostly kept quiet, saving their wild cheering for the end, as they cheered on their favorite riders. While the crowd seemed to go mad for Lettenbichler’s decisive victory, there was of course plenty of enthusiasm for the local hero, Roman.
Jarvis came in third place—and of course, he’s been in the sport a long time, and has won here multiple times, so he also received plenty of cheering from the assembled crowd. Really, it’s hard not to cheer on anyone who can successfully do this kind of riding, because it’s difficult to think of anything more insane that you could possibly do with a bike than what basically amounts to moto parkour.
Congratulations to Lettenbichler, Roman, Jarvis, and everyone who competed—and we look forward to seeing how the 2023 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship pans out next year.