With the battle to become this year’s ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION in full swing, the World Enduro Super Series heads to Sweden in a little over one week for the penultimate round of the 2018 season – the infamous Gotland Grand National.
Continuing the Cross-Country theme from round six, the championship now heads to its most northerly stop for Sweden’s most prestigious race, where up to 3000 riders are expected to compete.
Now entering its 35th edition, the small island of Gotland, situated in the Baltic Sea off Sweden’s east coast, will become a hub of Enduro activity and action during the final weekend of October.
A ‘must-do’ race on the Swedish Enduro calendar, the Gotland Grand National has all the traits of a hallmark race, with literally thousands of competitors flocking to the island each year. Earning its title as the world’s largest single day Enduro, a record-breaking 3,172 riders competed in 2016.
Situated on the Tolka military range, just south of Gotland’s capital Visby, the 22-kilometre long Cross-Country course weaves its way through a maze of Scandinavian forestry.
From typically Swedish rocky trails to technical, tree root covered forestry tracks, and with plenty of marshy wetlands in-between, the venue ensures a testing three-hour race for all competitors.
First held back in 1984, it was Per Grönberg who first etched his name onto the winners list. Swedish legend Mats Nilsson entered the Gotland Grand National’s winners list back in 1997 and has since gone on to become the event’s most successful rider with eight victories. And by claiming a podium result in 2017, he is one rider who’s never to be counted out.
Two-time Enduro World Champion Pela Renet is another rider who ranks highly in Gotland history with four consecutive victories going the Frenchman’s way from 2011 until 2014, while Australian Josh Strang claimed victory there in 2015.
With the fight to become this year’s ULTIMATE ENDURO CHAMPION nearing its climax, championship contenders Billy Bolt (Husqvarna – GB), Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM – GER) and Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) will all be aiming to put their name at the top of this year’s results.
The World Enduro Super Series takes place at Sweden’s Gotland Grand National on October 26/27.
Gotland Grand National Fast Facts
GGN is the world’s largest single day Enduro race
2016 saw the largest recorded attendance with 3,172 competitors
The course is 22 kilometres long with a three-hour race distance for all classes
Swede Mats Nilsson is the event’s most successful rider with eight victories
Pela Renet has won the GGN four consecutive times from 2011-2014
Categories range from Youth to Elite, with a class for military bikes
Approximately 4000 hamburgers are served up during race weekend
Gotland Grand National 2017 Results
1. Kjetil Gundersen (NOR) 7 laps
2. Albin Elowson (SWE) 6 laps
3. Mats Nilsson (SWE) 6 laps
4. Rikard Hansson (SWE) 6 laps
5. Kevin Olsen (SWE) 6 laps
Gotland Grand National Winners
2017 Kjetil Gundersen
2016 Kenneth Gundersen
2015 Josh Strang
2014 Pierre-Alexandre Renet
2013 Pierre-Alexandre Renet
2012 Pierre-Alexandre Renet
2011 Pierre-Alexandre Renet
2010 Mats Nilsson
2009 Mats Nilsson
2008 Mats Nilsson
2007 Mats Nilsson
2006 Mats Nilsson
2005 Samuli Aro
2004 Mats Nilsson
2003 Kenneth Gundersen
2002 Mats Nilsson
2001 Jonas Edberg
2000 Kenneth Gundersen
1999 Kenneth Gundersen
1998 Joakim Hedendahl
1997 Mats Nilsson
1996 Joakim Hedendahl
1995 Joakim Hedendahl
1994 Joakim Hedendahl
1993 Peter Hansson
1992 Joakim Hedendahl
1991 Joakim Hedendahl
1990 Dick Wicksell
1989 Peter Hansson
1988 Peter Hansson
1987 Thomas Gustavsson
1986 Peter Hansson
1985 Dick Wiksell
1984 Per Grönberg
Photo Credit: Nordic Sport & Event, Future7Media