More than 10.000 visitors attended the BMW GS Challenge and the Touratech Travel-Event which were held alongside at the Touratech site in southwest Germany.
»It’s a great feeling to surpass yourself and accomplish what seemed to be impossible«, said Ladies-Cup winner Maximilane Erlbacher from Haimshausen and spoke from the heart of those who attended the BMW Motorrad GS Challenge 2011. The forth GS Challenge set new standards: there were more starters than ever, the special stages were even more varied, and it was carried out on the most beautiful roads and tracks of the Black Forest.
The number of participants shows clearly how popular the BMW GS Challenge has become by now: 180 riders, 30 attendants and 15 guest starters were going for the best score, many of them not for the first time. »I just had to participate again. I’m as happy as a little boy«, one of the Challenge fans said, smiling. This enthusiasm, uniting riders and helpers, just proves that the idea behind the whole event is the right one, as Heiner Faust, director of BMW Motorrad Germany, pointed out: »We’re a great community that gathers once a year to have a lot of fun. That’s exactly what we want.«
Along with riders from all over Germany, enduro riders from Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Italy, the Czech Republic and even Canada made the BMW Motorrad GS Challenge 2011 an international event. 15 special stages with or without motorcycle, teamwork and technical tasks as well as skill and navigation tests guaranteed a lively mixture with a high fun factor for the participants. Hobby riders as well as experienced bikers could show how skilled they are. Different stations offered a wide spectrum of various tasks like brain callisthenics, or building a camp in teamwork with most primitive tools, and eventually the transportation of motorbike luggage across a river ford. Since there were Enduro tests in various degrees of difficulty, even professionals like the eight time Dakar participant Simon Pavey, who runs the BMW Offroad Skills Training Centre in Great Britain, enjoyed themselves: »I had a fantastic time and much more fun than expected.«
The same goes for Peter-Julius Henningsen from Holzbunge in Schleswig-Holstein, who won the BMW Motorrad GS Challenge Germany 2011. Not only during the two racing days, but also while riding the tricky final course where the 15 best riders were challenged to show their skills on a F 800 GS, the 23-year old showed an excellent performance. According to Henningsen, the key to his success was a clever strategy. In his private life, the student of mechanical engineering who has also won the single cylinder category, rides a BMW G 650 Xchallenge and a R 1100S. The Boxer category was won by Robert Wagner from Munich, the two-cylinder category by Thomas Fürst from Achern. Roadbook-King is Piet Lievens from Zegelsem in Belgium. Especially remarkable was also the performance of the German motorcycle legend Helmut Dähne, a 15 time German Champion in the field of serial motorcycle racing. Being the oldest rider, the 67-year-old reached position 18 and missed the final test only by a narrow margin.
»Many participants have told me that this was so far the greatest Challenge«, Tomm Wolf, sport director and ‘the Face of the Challenge’ (Heiner Faust) draw a positive balance. In addition to the perfect organisation, it was also the beautiful weather as well as the fairness and helpfulness of the participants and assistants that made this Challenge so successful. »Even ambitious riders offered their help en route and were real gentlemen. I can only say – especially to the girls: Have the heart to do it! The BMW Motorrad GS Challenge is a very unique experience», says Ladies Cup winner Maximiliane Erlbacher.
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