South African rider, Wade Young clinched a record eighth title at the 2023 Roof of Africa (ROA) edition under sweltering hot and dry conditions, which added an extra spice to the gruelling motorbike contest.
Unlike the torrential rain-soaked event of the past year, this year’s edition presented a new challenge for riders, with dehydration and heat exhaustion often taking their toll across the entire rally.
Commonly known as ‘The Mother of Hard Enduro’, the heart of the three-day race is set against the stunning backdrop of the rugged terrain deep in the highlands of Maseru.
“It was really hard this year we did long hours on the bike, but I’m happy to get my eighth win even though it was one of the toughest ROAs we have done,” Young said following his impressive win.
“The last climb on day one broke most of the riders, and that helped me to build the lead that I worked hard to maintain to the end. I have to say I have never been this tired at the end of a race in my entire career, the days were just so long and the heat only made it worse,” Young explained.
He encourages young riders to partake in the annual race because apart from being really good, it also offers a perfect opportunity for youngsters to rub shoulders with some of the top international riders from around the world.
Young, who is from team Sherco, is already looking forward to defending his title in next year’s race. Being a South African, he said the rally feels like a local race to him.
His accolades include winning Hell’s Gate in 2016 in Italy, King Of The Hill in 2017, the Extreme XL Lagares in 2017 in Portugal, and the Red Bull Romaniacs in 2018 held in Romania among others.