Alfredo Gomez and Graham Jarvis Win Ukupacha, having to team up to finish course
I just have time for a quick results post before I start home from Quito. But I will have lots of great photos, video and stories to share when I get home.
The race ended up being extremely challenging, even for the top riders. In short, no rider could complete the course without assistance. Husaberg teammates Alfredo Gomez and Graham Jarvis battled each other for much of the day. Alfredo started two minutes behind and was able to catch Graham.
Late in the race they encountered a section that was unrideable. Teaming up together, it took them over an hour to move the bikes about 200 feet. They found a stick with a hook on the end. One rider pulled while the other pushed the bikes through the section. From there they continued riding, with Alfredo getting up the final hill and arriving at the finish line first.
When he arrived, he stopped to wait for Graham and the two crossed the finish line together. While Alfredo appeared to have the upper hand for the day, the bottom line was that neither could have finished without the help of the other. The organizers awarded them both first place finishes. This is the first major win for Gomez, but look for many more to follow. As I have said before, he gets faster each race.
Chris Birch finished in second place after a very difficult day. There were issues crossing some of the land. He and Taylor Robert had to parlay with a farmer for some time to get a gate opened. They were the last riders to pass that particular section.
Jesus Zavala and local Ecuador hero Wilson Malo Jr also teamed up to make it to the finish and crossed the line together to be awarded third place.
Taylor Robert was the last of the pro riders to finish. He had a day full of adventures. His GPS quit and he had to wander around much of the afternoon trying to find parts of the course. Unofficially he finished in 4th place.
Jonny Walker went out early in the race with a blown head gasket. He was leading at the time. I caught up with him on the course and he had water pouring out the exhaust port of his 300. It appeared to be more of a freak mechanical issue as he had not overworked the bike too much at that point.