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Photo credit: Robert Lynn / Future7Media

Husqvarna’s Graham Jarvis was crowned this year’s champion of the Hixpania Hard Enduro with victory on the third and final day of racing in Spain.

Taking the race win in the final extreme enduro of the weekend, Jarvis secured overall honours from Jonny Walker (KTM) with Alfredo Gomez (KTM) third.

“I got the lead when we were about two hours into the race and from that moment on I tried to open the gap on the following riders,” said Jarvis.

“I rode confidently and was happy to add this one to the list — it was one I’d yet to win.

“The track had nothing impossible but you to ride it fast with no mistakes was not easy, especially with the pressure of having everyone chasing me.”

The final day of the Hixpania saw the 60 qualified riders tackle a two-hour 30-minute race around a technical woodland and quarry based 15 minute loop.

Offering a unique start to the event, the top 10 riders faced a Le-Man style start to race their bikes located in a cave.

hixpania hard enduro final day 4

Photo credit: Igor Aguada / Future7Media

Bolt runner

Bill Bolt was fastest on his feet and reached the cave first to lead out of the quarry.

But he had close company with Gomez right on his wheel tracks and then Walker and Jarvis a couple of minutes behind.

Throughout the first hour the race for the lead was intense as positions consistently changed with each passing lap.

It was a fight between Gomez and Billy Bolt for the first half of the race.

At mid distance Walker made his move for victory but quick reaction from Jarvis ensured Walker didn’t escape his grasp.

hixpania hard enduro final day 2

Photo credit: Robert Lynn / Future7Media

Hixpania’s sting in the tail

Taking over the lead with two laps to go, Jarvis led the riders into the final sting of the tail — the impossible hill climb.

For the show stopper — the top five riders had to complete a small loop in the quarry.

Jarvis scaled the climb first, roped up the final few minutes to clinch the race win.

But with the overall victory still hanging in the balance — all three days of racing counted — Jarvis could only watch on to see how things would fair.

Bolt was next to attack the climb and made it almost to the top. Then Walker blasted his way up until he miss-timed a rock step and came tumbling back down.

As his KTM bounced back down the hill, Gomez charged his way up and then Walker followed once more.

With riders needing roped up, naturally things became tangled and after a frantic couple of minutes, it was Bolt who crossed the line second with Gomez and Walker in third and fourth.

hixpania hard enduro final day

Photo credit: Robert Lynn / Future7Media

Walker loses win on final climb

For Walker the point’s system didn’t weigh in his favour. Despite a virtual grasp on victory, dropping back to fourth in the race saw him ultimately tie on points with Jarvis for the victory.

And with the outcome of the final race deciding the tie-breaker it was Jarvis who secured the top step of the podium.

“That was a wild end to the race, things got a bit hectic,” told Walker. “At one point I almost had the overall win, but with my huge crash it cost me a chance at winning.

“As I went up the hill I saw Billy getting roped up. His bike was just were I was about to land and I had to avoid him at the last second and then had that big crash.

“It’s tough to lose just at the end, but I rode good, I’m happy with how I rode — things were just out of my control at the finish.”

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Photo credit: Robert Lynn / Future7Media

Gomez completes the podium

With Jarvis, Billy and Gomez deciding the top three in the race, Gomez secured enough points to take third overall.

“It’s my home race, so I really wanted to win but I can’t be too upset about it, it’s been a good event,” said Gomez.

“The final hill was a bit of a lottery, I almost got the overall but Graham just had enough in hand to stop me.”

Strong ride by Bolt

Putting in a stellar ride in Sunday’s final, Bolt, battled hard throughout, snatching second at the very end for fourth overall.

“I’m really pleased with how I rode today and all weekend to be honest,” commented Bolt.

“I felt strong all race and was able to push the pace. It’s been a hard race but a good one and I’m happy to sign off on my hard enduro season with a fourth here in Spain.”

hixpania hard enduro final day 3

Photo credit: Robert Lynn / Future7Media

Brake issues hamper Roman

For Mario Roman, day three didn’t deliver the winning result he’d hoped for.

Despite being tied on points with Walker entering the day, a small mechanical issue hampered his opening lap.

Unable to fight with the leading four, he ended the race fifth and fifth overall.

“Yeah, it wasn’t a good day for me,” explained Roman. “I lost my rear brake on the opening lap and I couldn’t push, especially on the downhills.

“Some feeling came back midway into the race, but by then it was too late. It’s tough, I was riding strong all weekend.”

 

 

The impossible climb 🤘🤘🤘 @hixpania_hardenduro 🎥 @philippeteixeira #enduro21 #thisisenduro #hardenduro #hixpania

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igor aguada 2017

Igor Aguada
Staff Writer