Delivering a start to finish win Husaberg mounted Brit Graham Jarvis leaves his rivals behind and romps to an outstanding Hells Gate victory.Starting as one of the favourites for victory at the 2011 running of the infamous Hell’s Gate event in Italy Graham Jarvis knew that the fight for the win was going to be a tough one. The rider that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory 12 months ago when he got to within 200 meters of the finish only to be overtaken and beaten into the runner-up spot, Graham’s goal this time around was simple. To go one better that his runner-up result in ’10 and finally claim a lo ng overdue victory.
Right from the start of this year’s event Jarvis put himself atop the Hell’s Gate leader board, going on to win three out of the four special tests during the event’s morning qualifying enduro. In doing so he opened up an almost one-minute margin over fellow British rider Dougie Lampkin.
It was clear from the start of the day that the organisers had laid out a truly gruelling course for the riders. With over six hours of technical enduro going, which included 40 minutes of special test racing, the qualifying enduro was anything but easy. The afternoon race was then scheduled to be six laps of the course, each lap taking at least one-hour to complete.
Despite the physically demanding morning race Graham started the main event looking fresh and sitting on pole position on the road race style starting grid. After failing to fire his bike into life at the drop of the starters flag he was beaten to the holeshot by Husaberg rider Xavier Galindo. However, it quickly became clear that this was to be Graham’s day as by the time he’d reached the first major spectator point he held a three-minute lead.
His lead continued to grow. With the organisers pulling riders out of the race as they fell more than half an hour behind the Brit it became clear that Jarvis was riding at his very best. Riding calmly he kept extending his lead until the race was brought to an early close as his lead had grown too large. On the fourth lap the organisers decide it would be the last and just five riders headed out into the hills. Darkness closed in and an hour later Graham arrived, tired and sore, at the bottom of the infamous Hell’s Peak. Over 500 people were scattered across the Italian hillside, many helping to pull the TE 300 mounted rider up the loose and near vertical climb and helping him on his way to his first win at Hell’s Gate. In the last lap Jarvis’ lead continued to grow, with the former trials rider eventually claiming the win by 25 minutes. Jarvis not only won the 2011 running of Hell’s Gate but eliminated all riders except Dougie Lampkin.
“Qualifying went pretty good really,” commented the always understated but thrilled Jarvis. “I was trying to save energy for the afternoon because I knew from previous years how hard it is here. I qualified first and was really happy with that. At the start of the main race I completely fluffed it and ended up fifth to the first corner. It gave me a bit of fight though and I had to work hard to get in front on the first lap, which used a fair bit of energy. I tried hard to settle into a rhythm then and ride my own race. On the third lap they told me they were going to cut it short by a lap, so I went flat out. I felt good at that point, I had some energy still and I really wanted to make sure of the winning result after last year. I was really nervous at that point so I went for it and it worked for me. It feels great to win after the disappointment of last year.”
Fellow Husaberg rider Xavier Galindo also made a good showing. After the elimination race Galindo sat in a comfortable third place. An excellent start saw the Spaniard and his TE 300 holeshot and lead the chasing pack up the hill away from the start. Despite slipping back slightly, Galindo settled into a comfortable fourth position, closely behind American Cody Webb. Galindo managed to keep in touch with the leaders until the final lap where he dropped outside the half hour and was eliminated in fourth place.
Main Event Results
1. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) 5 Laps; 2. Dougie Lampkin (Gas Gas) +25 Minutes
Elimination Race Results
1. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg TE 300) 41:31.15; 2 Dougie Lampkin (Gas Gas) 42:27.89; 3. Xavier Galindo (Husaberg TE 300) 43:02.18; 4. Alessandro Botturi (Gas Gas) 43:12.20; 5. Maurizio Gerini (Husqvarna) 43:41.73; 6. Andreas Lettenbichler (Husqvarna) 44:13.84; 7. Diego Nocoletti (Beta) 44:16.02; 8. Jonathon Walker (KTM) 44:16.81; 9. Michael Vukcevic (Sherco) 45:05.56; 10. Kyle Redmond (Beta) 45:12.73…
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