KTM’s Alfredo Gomez has claimed victory in the very first edition of the Hixpania Hard Enduro in Spain…
*Updated: 16:40 Nov 6th*
The Spanish crowd wanted a Spanish winner and that’s exactly what Alfredo Gomez gave them securing an almost start-to-finish win over Graham Jarvis and Mario Roman in Sunday’s main event to conclude the three-day Hixpania Hard Enduro.
“Winning this race is incredible. It’s my home race, so many people came here to watch me race and to give them a Spanish victory is fantastic. I’m so happy right now,” told Gomez.
With the top 40 riders from Saturday qualifying through to the main event, competitors faced a two and a half hour multi-lap race in and around an old quarry. Offering something totally unique to the event, riders raced first on foot to their machines which were parked in a cave before heading out on the lap.
Emerging from the initial chaos in a strong position, Gomez quickly fought his way into the lead as they climbed out of the quarry. A bad start from Roman and Jarvis saw them boxed in traffic and forced to work hard to recover.
Slicing their way through the traffic, both riders caught up to Gomez but then disaster struck Jarvis when he damaged his exhaust on a rock and was forced to pit at the end of lap one. With only the riders allowed to work on their machines, Jarvis lost almost eight minutes in the process as Gomez and Roman began lap two in first and second.
From then on it was a matter of controlling the pace for Gomez as he held the lead for the remainder of the race before scaling the last climb to become the first ever winner of the Hixpania Hard Enduro.
“I got to my bike OK in the Le Mans style start and exited the cave fourth or fifth. Then after the first big climb I got into the lead and pretty much rode at the front for the entire race. On lap two I found out that Graham had a problem with his bike and it gave me a big lead.
“But I had to keep pushing hard until the end because you never know with Graham. Finally, a big thank you to everyone who came to support, it’s been a great first edition of the Hixpania Hard Enduro.”
Giving himself a mountain to climb, Jarvis found himself starting lap two with an eight minute deficit to Gomez. Working his way back up to third, he then began to find his groove as the race wore on. Passing Roman after the pit stop, he managed to close the gap to Gomez by three minutes but ultimately had to settle for the runner-up result.
“I’m a little disappointed not to win but I gave it my best shot despite a major problem on lap one of the main race,” said Jarvis. “I didn’t get a great start, Le Mans starts never really suit me but I quickly made up the places I lost until about midway around the opening lap when I hit my exhaust on a rock. I had to stop and make repairs and that cost me about eight minutes. It was always going to be hard to win after that.”
Delivering yet another solid ride, to match his GetzenRodeo podium result from the previous weekend, Roman was third. Despite an initial bad start, Roman - Hixpania day two winner - fought his way up to second at the end of lap two but couldn’t make any further inroads to Gomez’ lead. Then getting caught by Jarvis with about 50 minutes to go he had to be happy with third overall.
“I’ve really enjoyed this race,” commented Roman. “It’s been a really good event and so nice to race in front of my family and friends in Hard Enduro. I really wanted to give them a victory but finishing on the podium in third is still a very good result.”
Behind the leading trio, Sergi Leon (Husqvarna) was fourth with Pol Tarres bringing his Beta home in fifth.