18 year old rider Wade Young became world famous in the Extreme Enduro scene when he won the gruelling Roof of Africa event in 2012 at the tender age of 16. 17 months later the talented rider from Paddock, KZN, has matured even more and is at the top of his game, leading the National Enduro championship after three consecutive wins. After a taste of Romania last year, competing in both the King of the Hill event as well as the Red Bull Romaniacs event, Young went back to Arad, Romania to be crowned 2014 ‘King of the Hill’.
The event kicked off on Friday 5 April in Arad, Romania with a prologue in the city centre that determined the starting order for the following day. Arad’s central park was transformed into an obstacle course of logs, rocks, tyres and constructed wooden jumps and crowds packed the street for the spectacle, which was televised on national TV. Brother KTM’s Wade Young finished the prologue in a comfortable second place, just behind stable mate Paul Bolton (UK).
“After arriving in Arad the first thing we did was go see my bike, a KTM 300 2-stroke, and I knew immediately that there was testing and fine tuning to be done. We had two days to spare and thanks to KTM who sent over all the spares and to the King of the Hill organisers the bike was ‘ready to race’.”, said Young.
Saturday brought about day one of the mountain race: dry conditions making the 100 km long course a fast charge from start to finish. Wade Young stormed into 1st on his 18th birthday with UK’s Paul Bolton in second and Germany’s Marcus Kehr in third place after some drama around the route:
“The top 30 riders got horribly lost due to the fact that someone had sabotaged the race and changed all the markers leading the riders 2.5 km’s into the wrong direction, so the organisers decided to use the last check point as the results for the day.”, said Young.
Praying for rain to dampen the dusty conditions, Bolton was keen to see some more technical terrain emerge for day two, whilst Young was hoping for it to stay dry. A small shower on Saturday did nothing to alter the terrain and a super fast day two ensued. Young and Bolton battled to the finish with Young ahead in full throttle after the 60 km course of the third and final day.
“The day ran smoothly and my KTM 300 was running well. The conditions were a lot different from last year as it was dry this time around whereas last year was a lot wetter. My game plan was to charge from the beginning to the end, which worked well although I was battling with flu and wasn’t feeling 100%. I am absolutely stoked with my win after a second place last year and I’m extremely grateful to everyone that keeps on supporting me.”, said the talented Brother KTM rider.
While the National Enduro scene enjoys a break until July this year Young is training flatout for the Red Bull Hare Scramble at this year’s Erzberg Rodeo in Austria on 1 June in order to improve on his 11th place finish in 2013.