Quintin van Jaarsveld
Wade Young says he’s thrilled with his fourth place in the Red Bull Hare Scramble in Eisenerz, Austria on Sunday.
The South African superstar once again excelled in the Erzbergrodeo, a second place in the Iron Road Prologue on Saturday leading to a career-best result in the world’s toughest single-day extreme enduro the following day.
It was another gruelling race with just 25 of the 500 riders (who qualified from a prologue field of 1500) managing to successfully scale the imposing ‘Iron Giant’.
Despite not having a trials background, the Sherco Factory rider hailing from Paddock used his pure power and will to finish just off the podium behind winner Alfredo Gómez (KTM), runner-up Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) and Cody Webb (KTM).
Young has a highly successful as well as painful history with the event. He exceeded expectations when he finished 11th in a dream debut as a 17-year-old in 2013, and placed 13th the following year.
His 2015 race ended in heartbreak when he went from believed co-winner to non-finisher after being disqualified for missing a checkpoint. He bounced back with a sixth place last year and crept ever closer to the podium in a world-class performance at the weekend.
‘It was an intense race. Fortunately I got a good start – I got away with Jonny [Walker] and rode good with him. I got to one section where some guys put a log in the forest so I messed that up and I lost a bit of time. I just tried to keep it steady at Carl’s Dinner – that for me was the hardest part,” Young said.
“What a race! It was tough out there. I knew after Carl’s Dinner it was my time to shine so I really pushed hard. I know the feeling Jonny had on that hill on Lazy Noon because two guys did that to me last year.
“I said to myself before the race that I will ride up that hill and I want to give a big shout out to all the South Africans watching back home and my parents.
“I’m really chuffed. I would’ve really liked to be on the podium but man, these guys are amazing riders, so I’ll take fourth and I’m happy with that,” he added.