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Course designer and Kiwi extreme enduro star Chris Birch had brought tonnes of rocks, dirt, logs, concrete and tyres to transform the idyllic setting of T Pier in Westhaven, Auckland, into an Enduro-cross track of epic proportions. More than 10,000 spectators watched 80 riders battle it out for the City Scramble title.
“Paul Bolton just kept pushing and pushing on those last few laps and I was holding on for that chequered flag” said Jarvis. “It was a tough race and hard not to make mistakes, but the course is great. You just have to give it everything as soon as you’re out of that gate.”
The UK’s Paul Bolton proved himself to be one to watch, as he constantly placed in the top three of each of his heats and semis and eventually fought his way to second place on the podium.
“I tried to play it cool, I’m really happy with the result. It was a worthwhile trip down here, it’s a great event,” said Bolton. Chris Birch, had a bad run out of the starting gate placing him seventh in the final field of 10. He fought hard lap by lap and slowly overtook a tight field to take the final place on the podium.
“The bad start really killed me, by the time I fought my way past the guys from 7th the top two had checked out,” said Birch. “I tried a couple of stunts to catch up to the guys, I jumped off one of the containers and re-injured my dodgy knee, but got on the podium at least! The support I had from the crowd was unreal, it was really motivating when you could hear everyone cheering. Everyone had a good time and that was the main goal.”
The sport of Enduro often distances itself from spectators because of the remote locations of its competitions. Red Bull City Scramble, however, ensured that every natural obstacle a rider is likely to encounter in the forest and mountains of typical Enduro track was replicated with man-made features in a metropolitan location so crowds can check out the sport firsthand.
“The section where you go over the rock gardens and the big road barriers is the hardest, they blow your arms out and it takes a long time to recover” said Birch.
A first for Red Bull City Scramble was the new water feature where riders had to traverse a 10 metre-long ladder bridge that was partially submerged in the Waitamata Harbour. Two riders misjudged the corner coming into the bridge, which sent their bikes flying into the sea. One such mishap earned Quade Young the Red Bull City Scramble ‘Bugger’ award.
Red Bull City Scramble Results
1st Graham Jarvis (UK)
2nd Paul Bolton (UK)
3rd Chris Birch (NZ)
4th Andreas Lettenbichler (GER)
5th Jake Whitaker (NZ)
6th Mitchell Nield (NZ)
7th Chris Power (NZ)
8th Warren Laugesen (NZ)
9th Scott Bouverie (SA)
10th Karl Power (NZ)