Kellogg / Billroda – Tim Apolle has reached another milestone in his sporting career: For the first time, the man from Billroda made it onto the podium in the US hard enduro series AMA. The 25-year-old recently achieved this feat in Kellogg, Idaho, at the Silver Kings competition.
Once again, around 400 pilots were out and about in a very touristy ski area, similar to those in the Alps. In a qualifying prologue, Apolle initially set the fifth-best time. On Saturday, two rounds of around 45 minutes each were on the agenda. “It went quite smoothly on single trails through the mountains, adapted to the performance of the riders in the different classes,” reports Apolle.
Flew past Haaker
For professionals like him there were two particularly demanding extra sections on the so-called gold course. The Billrodaer won the start and led the race for about half an hour. “But I lost a lot of time on the first steep climb and I dropped down to fifth. The podium place I so longed for was a long way off,” says the member of a Bundeswehr competitive sports group. But Tim Apolle caught up, and at the last challenging point he even flew past top pilot Colton Haaker to second place, which he was able to maintain to the finish. Race winner was Keith Curtis. “My first podium, I was totally happy,” Apolle looks back on this feeling of happiness.
The actual main race on Sunday should go over six hours. “It started at the top of the mountain station. There were gondola tickets for the spectators, so they could use the lift to get to the various sections. That was pretty cool for the audience,” said the Burgenlander. Like the other top pilots, Apolle only needed a little over four hours after several checkpoints had to be reached along the way.
Navigating without GPS
“This time there was no GPS navigation. The route was marked with arrows.” The bronze class amateurs drove on the main loop; From there, additional, more complicated tests for the silver and gold class went off. “As a result, there was sometimes heavy traffic with traffic jams on the way. I had won the start again, but I preferred to be the fox chasing the hare,” reports Tim Apolle on the phone. This made navigating a little easier for him and he was able to avoid the mistakes of the competition. Apolle ended up third behind Curtis and Haaker. “My first podium finish in a main race of this series”, the Billroda resident is still blown away days after the competition.
Because things went so well for him, Apolle now has the opportunity to contest the last race of the season next weekend in Tamaqua (Pennsylvania). “I’m already there. It’s 35 degrees Celsius and high humidity here,” reports the beta pilot from the east coast. His Italian motorcycle manufacturer has a branch there with a workshop and buses.