Continuing his impressive form Husaberg’s extreme enduro star notches up another important winWith his dominant Hell’s Gate performance still fresh in the minds of his rivals British extreme enduro star Graham Jarvis has scored another impressive victory, this time comfortably winning The International Tough One. Now in its seventh year, for ’11 the event was held for the first time at the demanding Back Cown Quarry north of Manchester and despite heavy rain early on race day all three hours of the main Tough One event took place under clear and sunny skies.
No stranger to the venue selected for this year’s event Graham was in confident mood before the start. But it was the start that proved to be the toughest part of the race for the former trials ace. With all competitors performing a ‘Le Mans’ style run-to-your-bike get away, Graham learned that while he’s unquestionably a superb extreme enduro racer he’s not the world’s fastest runner. Although arriving at his bike in reasonable time, the Husaberg rider was the second to last competitor to head off into the three-hour race.
“I thought I’d managed to run to my bike pretty quickly but all of the other riders seemed to get onto their bikes and get going faster than I did,” explained a tired but overjoyed Jarvis at the end of the race. “I think I was second to last, which wasn’t what I wanted. But I had to remind myself that it was a three-hour race and not to do anything stupid on the first lap.”
Not doing anything stupid is exactly what Graham did. And despite suffering with crippling arm pump he was soon back in contact with early race leader Andreas Lettenbichler. With almost summer-like weather making the rock littered course a little easier than many were expecting, while there were few places where the top racers were forced to get off and push, the constant pounding from the terrain ensured a seriously challenging opening first hour.
“I managed to work my way past most of the riders during the first half of the opening lap, but I had really bad arm pump,” added Graham. “I had it for most of the first hour so although I was able to get past Andreas Lettenbichler I couldn’t ride as hard as I wanted to, which maybe wasn’t such a bad thing. At the end of the first hour I think I was less than two minutes ahead so I started to put in a few quick laps. My arms felt better then and I managed not to make any mistakes.”
Opening up a commanding lead during the middle hour of the race it was clear to all that Jarvis was heading towards another impressive victory. But as the clock counted down the laps got harder. “The last 30 minutes, and especially the last two laps, were really hard – it was just a case of slogging it out to the end. Although there weren’t really any places to get stuck there was nowhere to take a rest, and not really anywhere that you could grab a quick drink either. I was definitely pleased to see the finish.”
Overjoyed to have claimed victory in an event that’s ‘not been kind’ to him over the years, while the victory itself was certainly one to enjoy for Jarvis good results at Hell’s Gate and The International Tough One are all part of a bigger goal. “It’s great to win here as well as at Hell’s Gate, I really feel like I’m riding well and I definitely feel this had been the hardest Tough One yet. Erzberg’s the big one and although it’s a few months off yet it’s good for my confidence to get a few wins under my belt. I’m just going to keep training hard and hopefully I’ll be in peak form at Erzberg.”
Joining Graham as an official Husaberg representative at The Tough One was Spaniard Xavi Gallindo. Well aware just how tough the event can be, and how the weather can play an important role in making things even more challenging, Xavi was one of many riders pleased to see the sun shining. Making a reasonable start Xavi was soon battling near the front of the race but his pace was disappointingly slowed when he encountered a problem with his rear wheel, which cost him a considerable amount of time. Nevertheless Xavi battled his way to the finish to claim a creditable fourth place result.
Local rider Gavin Houson picked up a well-deserved seventh place result ensuring three Husabergs finished inside the top 10.
Results – 2011 International Tough One, 13.3.2011
1. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) 12 laps (2.52:53); 2. Paul Bolton (KTM) 12 laps (3.02:53); 3. Andreas Lettenbichler (Husqvarna) 12 laps (3.03:55); 4. Xavi Gallindo (Husaberg) 11 laps (2.53:05); 5. Ben Hemmingway (KTM) 11 laps (2.59:42; 6. Andy Cripps (Gas Gas) 11 laps (3.01:20); 7. Gavin Houson (Husaberg) 11 laps (3.02:00); 8. Michael Vukcevic (Sherco) 11 laps (3.03:36); 9. Richard Ellwood (KTM) 10 laps (2.55:42); 10. Gerhard Forster (Husqvarna) 10 laps (2.58:17); 11. Andrew Reeves (KTM) 10 laps (3.00:30); 12. David Meyers (KTM) 9 laps (2.37:10)…
Another extreme enduro event and another win, this time at The International Tough One
Flanked by Paul Bolton and Andreas lettenbichler, Jarvis was just too strong for his rivals
Up and over, Jarvis tackles one of the tougher sections of the course
Mixing natural with man-made sections the new home of The International Tough One proved popular with all
Xavi Gallindo battles his was to a creditable fourth
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