Why are so many of the great extreme enduro riders from the north of England?
We consider why British riders have dominated the extreme enduro scene in recent years.
During the last couple of years British riders have dominated Hard Enduro. In 2012 they won all bar one of the ‘Big 7’ events on the Hard Enduro calendar. Five of those wins went to the unstoppable Graham Jarvis while Jonny Walker enjoyed the spoils of victory at the Erzberg rodeo.
Only South African Wade Young caused an upset win with his surprise victory at the Roof of Africa.
But what’s even more remarkable is that Great Britain locked out the podium on numerous occasions. At The Tough One, Hell’s Gate, the Red Bull Hare Scamble at the ErzbergRodeo and also the Red Bull Sea to Sky, British riders carded a 1-2-3 result. And it’s an impressive statistic that looks set to continue in 2013 due to a growing number of Brits focusing their efforts on the sport.
Already we’ve witnessed another British 1-2-3 at The Tough One while three of the five finishers at Hell’s Gate in Italy were British.
Is it because many of Britain’s Hard Enduro stars have great bike control skills, having come from a trials riding background? Is it because British riders are used to riding in the mud, rolling their sleeves up and getting on with the job no matter what the weather? Or is it simply that the likes of Graham Jarvis, Jonny Walker, Paul Bolton, David Knight, and the Hemingway brothers can rise to the challenge of whatever event organizers can throw at them?
With all six riders plus past champions like Wayne Braybrook having learnt their trade in wet and muddy trial and enduro events they’ve become accustomed to the hardship. They feel confident riding slippery, greasy terrain and tackling shiny wet boulders and axle-deep rutted hill climbs is second nature to them. They now enjoy the misery. They’ve grown stubborn in refusing to admit defeat – even when the odds are stacked against them. And in a sport that’s intend punish both body and mind, it seems the gritty Brits are tougher than most.