Favorable spring weather faced the contenders of the Knobby Swedish Enduro Championship held within Hässleholm after a lengthy winter season accompanied by a lot of snowfall. This was the perfect condition needed for the opening round of the domestic series. The said round included a four timed special tests, run three times a lap scheduled on Saturday and two and a half on Sunday.
The nine-time champ ever since 2006 (although he didn’t attend the series 2012–2014) Joakim Ljunggren bid his farewell to the championship following last year’s title. He will still be racing this year in a variety of races except he will no longer compete at the Swedish Championship. With this info, a lot of young riders will be able to get the shot at winning the championship or step their game up. First out the blocks was Albin Elowson, at the moment on a Yamaha, who took an early pilot during Saturday’s race.
Sad to say, Elowson had crashed during the penultimate test and experienced a terrible concussion furthermore, he couldn’t start again on Sunday. He will also miss the initial two rounds of the Junior World Championship. With Elowson out of the picture, Andreas Linusson grabbed the opportunity and tookthe overall victory on day one. It was considered a career first meant for Linusson as well as a special one.
“From this year on I ride just for fun. I think I’ve only been on the bike for maybe ten hours since the last round of the European Championship last year. But this race was so fun and when it is like that it seems like I’m still fast,” told Linusson.
Second in overall was Mikael Persson along with his older brother Niklas Persson in third place. Oliver Nelson and Pontus Skoog were in fourth and fifth place respectively.
On the second day, Andreas Linusson roared his way and was the fastest on the first timed special resulting in him being in the leading spot that he held on to for half the day. Unfortunately, he ran out of pace and completed the race in fourth overall. In contrast, Mikael Persson seemed went faster and faster as the day went on. Eventually, he took the lead from Linusson following the sixth special moreover; he kept it to achieve as well his first overall triumph in the Swedish championship.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Second on day one and a win on day two. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect from this first race on my new KTM. It was actually my first race since Six Days last year. I knew my speed was good but as I started back in the pack I had to pass a lot of guys in the specials. Big thanks to them for letting me pass.” said Persson.
In second place was Oliver Nelson and in third was Niklas Persson once again. Rounding up the top five was Linusson and Joakim Grelsson in fourth and fifth.
E2 had Niklas Persson took home the triumph taking place on Saturday in the company of Oliver Nelson in second and Rikard Hansson third. On the second day, Nelson won first as with Persson in second along with Hansson who was once again in third.
Within the E3 podium, the outcome was similar for both days. Andreas Linusson came in first; Pontus Högberg was in second place and Martin Larsson in third.
A double victory for the three time champion Hanna Berzelius of Husqvarna in the Women category. In second place was KTM’s Martina Reimander along with Amanda Elvin of Husqvarna in third for both days.