In front of 5,000 passionate enduro fans, Manuel Lettenbichler battled hard with championship rival Billy Bolt in the morning’s GetzenRace to top qualifying and go into the afternoon’s GetzenChamp final with a four-second advantage off the start. With the lead swapping several times during the first 20 minutes, Mani claimed the advantage on lap three and didn’t look back.
Riding smoothly and making the minimum of mistakes on the rapidly deteriorating terrain, Lettenbichler ticked off the laps to maintain his lead over the chasing pack of riders. After 80 minutes of racing, Mani was first to reach the short but intense Red Bull X-Loop – an ultra-extreme final section of track reserved for the top riders. Taking the checkered flag to the cheers of the crowd, Mani was crowned 2021 GetzenRodeo Champion – his third win in a row at the hugely popular event.
The well-deserved victory at the final race of the series topped off a superb year of results for Lettenbichler, results that saw the 23-year-old finish on the podium at every single round of the series. His wins at Red Bull Romaniacs and at home at GetzenRodeo were undoubtedly the highlights of a season that saw the battle for the championship go right down to the wire.
Coming into GetzenRodeo trailing the championship leader by just three points, Mani knew he had to win to ensure his best chance in the title fight. With Bolt claiming second and the two riders tied on points, the title was decided on the number of second-place finishes during the season. Although disappointed not to have taken the championship victory, Lettenbichler was pleased with how he has performed all season and is already looking forward to 2022.
Manuel Lettenbichler:“I’m tired, I’m really tired, but super stoked to get the win. I knew I had to do it here at home in Germany and go all-out for victory in front of the fans. To be tied with Billy on points at the end of such a tough championship just shows how hard we were both pushing all season. I really think we have both raised the bar this year. Obviously, it’s disappointing to have come so close, finish on the same points, and only get second in the championship. But I gave it everything and you can’t ask for more than that. The morning race went really well. It was close with Billy and me, but I managed to get ahead just before the finish. The main race was super tough. At first, I was riding so stiff, and my arms felt really heavy. Then, after a couple of battles with Billy I managed to get out front and find a good rhythm. I built up a good lead and was able to relax right up to the end, where I had to push a little bit more to make sure I stayed ahead. To take three wins in a row here at Getzen feels amazing, and I can’t thank the fans enough for their support. I’m looking forward to some nice winter training now to be ready for next season and try again to go for the title.”
Results: 2021 GetzenRodeo
1. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 1:29:20.433
2. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 1:30:16.852
3. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 1:32:05.524
4. Wade Young (RSA), Sherco, 1:31:29.066
5. Jonny Walker (GBR), Beta, 1:31:52.822
Final FIM Hard Enduro World Championship standings
1. Billy Bolt (GBR), Husqvarna, 104 points
2. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER), KTM, 104 pts
3. Wade Young (RSA), Sherco, 83 pts
4. Mario Roman (ESP), Sherco, 76 pts
5. Alfredo Gomez (ESP), Husqvarna, 66 pts