Last year’s most dominant Hard Enduro racer makes a winning start to 2013.
Husaberg-mounted Graham Jarvis made a victorious start to his 2013 Hard Enduro campaign by claiming a dominant win at The Tough One. Facing a strong line-up of international Hard Enduro riders, Jarvis made light work of the three-hour race to finish ahead of KTM’s Jonny Walker and Gas Gas rider Danny McCanney.
With just four riders completing twelve gruelling laps of the slippery and technical course, it was Jarvis who quickly worked his way into the lead and, after overcoming an early dose of arm-pump, was never headed. Crossing the finish line in a time of three hours and five minutes, the former trials ace collected his third consecutive Tough One victory.
Placing an eventual eight minutes ahead of runner-up Jonny Walker, Jarvis delivered the sort of performance his rivals feared he might. Although slow to get going, he began to stretch out his lead once he had found his rhythm, getting his head down during the second half of the race to open up a commanding margin. In the end, it was a thoroughly deserved victory and one which again highlights why Jarvis is the current king of Hard Enduro.
For Jonny Walker, the race ended with the young Brit claiming a hard fought podium result on his first visit to The Tough One. One of the pre-race favourites along with Jarvis, Walker’s challenge for the win was derailed when he fell during the early stages of the race, forcing the 2012 Erzbergrodeo winner to stop and change his gloves. Losing precious time and sight of Jarvis, Walker battled on and claimed a comfortable runner-up result.
The final rider to claim a podium result was Manxman Danny McCanney. Hoping simply for a top ten result before the start, the Enduro World Championship regular surprised many, including himself, with his late race charge to make it three different manufacturers on the podium (Husaberg, KTM and Gas Gas). One of the standout performers of the event, McCanney, who confesses to not being ‘much good at the hard stuff’, finished ahead of numerous other experienced Hard Enduro racers.
Taking to the start with a heavy cold, Paul Bolton was one of the fastest riders during the opening laps of the race. Enjoying the track and feeling strong, he worked his way into second position at the end of lap two but soon after was demoted to third by Walker. Despite remaining in contention for a podium result for the majority of the race, Bolton simply ran out of energy during the final thirty minutes and was powerless to keep McCanney behind him.
Spain’s Alfredo Gomez claimed a creditable fifth having never raced in conditions as wet and slippery as those at The Tough One. Ben Hemingway placed sixth on his Beta debut, with French Sherco rider Fabien Planet seventh. Wayne Braybrook, Xavier Galindo and Alex Wigg rounded out the top ten.
Event organisers opted to reduce the severity of a number of the tougher sections of the track in anticipation of bad weather, a decision justified when heavy snow started to fall moments before the start of the morning’s Clubman race. With visibility severely reduced for much of the warm-up race, the weather thankfully eased for the Pros, the sun making a welcome appearance shortly before the chequered flag flew for winner Jarvis.