News 7 Nov 2016

Husqvarna's Harper wins 2016 edition of Wildwood Rock

Extreme enduro talent defeats top-level international field.

Image: John Hamilton (Mad Dog Images).

Image: John Hamilton (Mad Dog Images).

Husqvarna support rider Mitch Harper won Sunday’s Husqvarna Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro in Victoria, leading an international field aboard his MotoGC-backed TX 300.

Harper climbed into the lead by the end of the first lap of the super-challenging 12-kilometre circuit and took victory in the event by 11m39s from Tim Coleman and Dylan Rees.

The 24-year-old, who won the inaugural event in 2010, picked up a well-deserved $6000 winner’s cheque for dominating the annual three-hour torture test – negotiating massive, boulder-strewn climbs to be the toughest Husqvarna Wildwood Extreme Enduro yet.

‚ÄúThis is easily the hardest race in Australia and probably one of the hardest in the world I guess,” Harper said. “It’s a different style to Erzberg – more of a cross-country extreme. It’s got the fast sections as well so it’s not just all trialsy technical stuff.

“There were five riders a minute ahead of me off the start, but I got into the lead by the end of the first lap. I got three of them up and down the gullies, in the first three quarters of the lap and then in the final rock garden I got the last two.”

Former Enduro World Champion Mathias Bellino showed plentiful class by taking his Husqvarna FE 450 to the fastest time in prologue, but after both his body and the bike he will race in next week’s Australian Four-Day Enduro took a beating in the first three laps, Bellino decided it was wiser to withdraw.