Lydenburg, Mpumalanga - Multiple former SA Enduro champion Louwrens Mahoney took a well-deserved win in the Lydenberg Enduro - Round 4 of the National serious - at the weekend, run over 11 dry and dusty Special Stages that varied from a short, grassy stage to a rocky Extreme Special and longer Enduro Special that took riders into the surrounding mountains.
Mahoney, out of action for the best part of the previous season with a broken ankle, showed a welcome return to fitness with his first overall and E2 (Open Class) victories of 2014 with his 500cc KTM, winning two of the eleven Special Stages.
Mahoney was followed by his team-mate, Wade Young, who won the E1 (200cc Class) for the fourth consecutive time this season, just weeks after taking third the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania with a serious bout of flu. He crashed in the penultimate stage and lost valuable time, but was happy with scoring good points to keep his overall and E1 championship lead.
Altus de Wet (Husqvarna), also still bruised from the extreme enduro in Romania, finished only nine points (seconds) behind Young and rounded off the overall podium. His second place in E2 ensured he kept his class lead.
Just seven points (seconds) separated Travis Teasdale (KTM), who finished second in E1 and fourth overall, from Blake Gutzeit, competing for the first time with his new Factory Husqvarna. Each of the top five riders claimed at least one Special Stage victory with Young posting the fastest times after four stages.
Brett Swanepoel, out for the first time on a 'works' Yamaha, was happy to bring home some silverware for his new team, rounding off the E1 podium and finishing sixth overall. It was, however, a close call as Dwayne Kleynhans (Racing KTM), another Romaniacs survivor, finished only five points behind him, posting fourth position in E2.
Swanepoel's team-mate Marc Torlage was back in action after recovering from injuries that prevented him from competing since early March. He finished fourth in E1 and eighth overall with his team-mate Kenny Gilbert rounding off the overall top 10 (he was sixth in E2) after losing time when his Yamaha's chain came off in the final Extreme Special.
KTM rider Scott Bouverie, still recovering from an injury at the Erzberg Rodeo in Austria in June, was sandwiched between the two Yamaha team-mates and was happy to bag some valuable points.
Defending Senior champion William 'Wild Will' Gillitt (Yamaha) extended his class lead while Hilton Hayward (Yamaha) strengthened his second place by claiming his fourth runner-up result this season - albeit only three points ahead of third-placed Bruce May (Yamaha). Franz Czepeck (KTM) finished fourth with Gillitt's team-mate Stephen Landman rounding off the top five.
Enduro legend Alfie Cox (KTM) claimed his fourth consecutive victory in the Master Class, 55 points ahead of defending champion, Denzil Torlage (Yamaha). Garth Prost (Husqvarna) was third ahead of Shaun Kirk (Beta) and Richard Cunniffe (Yamaha).
The fifth and penultimate round of the SA Enduro series will be run on 6 September in the Patensie area of the Eastern Cape.