Returning to the top of a Hard Enduro podium, Bel-Ray Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis has secured a record breaking third victory at the Red Bull Sea to Sky event in Kemer, Turkey.
Determined to better his runner-up results from Erzberg’s Red Bull Hare Scramble and Red Bull Romaniacs earlier this year, Jarvis made his intentions for victory known with a confident win in the Forest Race. Starting 10th following his Beach Race result, he laid down the fastest time in the 55-kilometre stage to secure a front row start for the all-important Mountain Race.
Starting inside the top ten, the Husqvarna rider quickly set about carving his way to the front of the pack. Moving into third position at the end of the first, difficult riverbed he set about closing in on race leader Jonny Walker. Taking control of the race lead after the first fuel point, Jarvis pushed on to open a gap. Building his advantage in the final stages of the race he crossed the finish line on the summit of the Olympus Mountain as the 2014 Red Bull Sea to Sky winner.
Making his return to competitive action following his recent foot injury, Alfredo Gomez saw his race go anything but to plan. Fouling a spark plug on the start line, the Spaniard frantically fought to fix the problem as the leaders disappeared from sight. Finally starting outside the top 60, Gomez put in a ride of heroic proportions. Charging his way through the field, the Husqvarna rider passed over 50 riders to take a well-deserved 10th position.
Graham Jarvis: “It feels great to be back on the top step of a Hard Enduro podium. It’s been a lean couple of months for me so I’m delighted to win again. Honestly I really enjoyed myself. There was a bit of confusion at the start and I ended up about ninth after the first corner. But I didn’t panic too much and just tried to find my own pace. After the riverbed I was up to third and then I managed to pass Jonny at refuelling. From there I rode my own race and broke away. It’s brilliant to win again.”
Alfredo Gomez: “What can I say – it’s been a difficult race. My spark plug broke on the line just as we were about to start and by the time I fixed it there were about 60 riders in front of me. I did the best I could and fought hard to recover. In one sense I’m disappointed because my speed was good enough to battle for the podium but I’m still pleased with how I rode. Overtaking 50 riders wasn’t easy!”
Red Bull athlete Walker, who took second in the Beach Race and the Forest Race on Friday and Saturday, was the early leader in Sunday’s decisive run up Mount Olympus but Jarvis closed down on him just after the first fuel stop and steadily built on the advantage for the rest of the ascent.
The Mountain Race wrapped up three days of tough competition at ‘the most enjoyable Hard Enduro’ at a location that is becoming increasingly popular with competitors and has now evolved into an important stop on the annual competition Calendar.
American KTM rider Taylor Robert, who this season has been tackling some of the major European Hard Enduro events was in top form on Friday to steal the jump on the overall competition with a win in the Beach Race after a tough battle with Walker, who finished second.
Results – Red Bull Sea to Sky
1. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna); 2. Jonny Walker (KTM); 3. Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM); 4. Wade Young (KTM); 5. Paul Bolton (KTM); 6. Taylor Robert (KTM); 7. Travis Teasdale (KTM); 8. Blake Gutzeit (Husqvarna); 9. Dougie Lampkin (KTM); 10. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna)…