By Quintin van Jaarsveld
Blake Gutzeit (Oslo Beach) continued his good run of form when he won the Regiment 13 Challenge in Poiana Mărului, Romania on Saturday.
Fresh off winning the Off-Road Scramble in Lägerdorf, Germany, Gutzeit was high on confidence heading into the taxing three-day enduro.
The South African star placed third in the prologue behind winner Jozsa Norbert-Levente and runner-up Martin Volný and headed into the final day sitting second in the A Class with his work cut out for him, trailing Volný by just over three minutes.
He stepped up when it mattered most with a masterful effort on the final day to power to victory in a total time of 7:50:49.
Norbert-Levente was a distant second, some 17 minutes behind Gutzeit, while Andy Noakley snatched the final place on the podium from Volný by a mere five seconds.
A pleased Gutzeit dedicated his win to Czech rider David Cyprian, who was seriously injured in the race.
“I’m really chuffed. There was a bit of pressure on me today because I was a little bit behind Volný, so I’m really happy,” Gutzeit told Zona Enduro.
“I finally had a mistake-free day. It got really tough just before checkpoint four – we were in a river for an hour with 30 degrees and no wind and I managed to pull away from the guys there and get a comfortable lead.
“It was so slippery, it was so hot; the intensity was so high and everyone was pushing so hard, there was no stopping, so I’m chuffed to be here safe and in one piece.”