News 3 Apr 2009


KTM press release:

The challenge of this duel of the titans was simple: who would climb the Geraardsbergen Wall in the shortest time, a Citroën C4 WRC car or a Red Bull KTM 450 cc?

And the protagonists of the event: five times rally champion Sébastien Loeb and ten time world motor cross champion Stefan Everts. The result was a particularly exciting and unusual race between two heroes in their disciplines. Stefan Everts reached the top of the Wall first against all expectations. Sébastien Loeb, who was one tenth of a second behind, had to acknowledge the superiority of our compatriot.

What started as an innocent competition between two top athletes turned into an exceptional duel. It was Stefan Everts who challenged Red Bull athlete Sébastien Loeb a few weeks ago, but he could never have imagined that the cobblestones of the legendary Wall of Geraardsbergen would be so slippery smooth today. However this did not put him off and he succeeded in reaching the top first with a very tiny difference separating him from his opponent. His timing was 49:07 seconds compared to 49:17 for Loeb. The Limburger was as pleased as Punch with this unexpected victory: “I surprised myself at my win. It’s probably the only time this year that Sébastien will be beaten by anyone!”

The loser of the duel had a great task awaiting him: he had to clean the vehicle of his opponent. Sébastien Loeb put up no resistance at all to carrying out this fun assignment and showed no sign of disappointment afterwards: “I thought this duel was a tremendous idea and I have no problems with Stefan winning it. The difference is so small, it could have gone either way.”

One week before the Ronde Van Vlaanderen explodes in all its fury on the Wall of Geraardsbergen, racing specialist Michel Wuyts was present at this challenging climb. He got the chance to share his knowledge of the Wall in the competition as Sébastien Loeb’s co-pilot. An experience that did not leave him indifferent. “I’ve been to heaven and back. It was sheer magic. Sébastien made me realise that I’m really no good at driving a car. I wasn’t afraid, because I was sitting next to the world champion.”

As general rule vehicles are not allowed on the Wall, but with the permission and co-operation of the town of Geraardsbergen and the police, everything ran seamlessly and safely. Here’s hoping that Red Bull will give wings yet again to the racers to fly over the Wall next week.