Bel-Ray Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis clinches his first victory in 2015 by winning Red Bull Sea to Sky.
Finishing second, Jonny Walker (KTM) missed out on his chance to secure the Hard Enduro Grand Slam of a perfect season. Securing his debut podium in the event, KTM’s Wade Young took third.
At the strike of 9am it was Young who got the holeshot at the start, closely followed by Jonny Walker. Hitting hard and fast, Walker took control of the race lead and fought to breakaway. But Young was determined not to let Walker get away and kept within striking distance for the first half of the race.
Behind them however, Jarvis was steadily gaining ground. Fluffing the start, he found himself in 10th. Unfazed, he warmed himself into the rhythm of the race and began to work his way forward. Catching up to both Walker and Young, he set his next target on the race lead.
With a major card up his sleeve to play, Jarvis gambled on skipping the final refuel point to take the lead. Knowing that the tight single track would prove decisive, he hit the front and made a break for the mountain summit. Securing victory by over two minutes, Jarvis ruled out any hope Walker had of claiming the perfect season.
“I really wanted that win,” told Jarvis. “It’s been a long season without one so I’m delighted to end the Hard Enduro season on the top step of the podium.
“I knew everyone would be pushing for position early on so I let them get on with it and settled into my own race. I had a bit of ground to make up after the canyon section. I got up to third after the first fuel stop and closed up on Jonny shortly afterwards.
“I had a trick up my sleeve and I gambled on skipping the second fuel stop. I knew the trail afterwards was going to be tight and single track so if I was in front there would be a good chance I could keep the lead. It paid off and I got past Jonny when he was stopped and from there on pushed hard over the mountain.”
Missing out on making it a perfect season, Walker had to be content with second – his first and only defeat of 2015.
“It wasn’t the winning result I wanted but I can’t complain too much about it,” admitted Walker. “It’s hard to win them all. My start was decent and I made my way into the front on the first section. But on the high-speed section my front wheel hit a rock or something and jolted my handlebars. My shoulder hurt like hell after it. I tried to shake it off but the pain never left.
“When I stopped for the second fuel point Graham didn’t stop and got into the lead. He pulled a gap on me there and it was one I just wasn’t able to close back. Overall, it’s been an incredible season though. I never thought I’d win five races. It’s been a long year racing in so many places so to only lose one race is perfect really.”
Making amends for missing out on the top three in 2014, Young made no mistakes this time around and grabbed third.
“I’m so happy to get my first Red Bull Sea to Sky podium,” told Young. “I really wanted to deliver a good result here. I attacked hard from the start. Jonny passed me but I didn’t let him get too far away. I had a few problems during the second half of the race but other than that it was a good run.”
Paul Bolton was more than pleased with his fourth…
“It was a really good track this year with some new and really tough sections. I was able to pass Letti in one of the last switchbacks and kept pushing to maintain the position. I’m really happy with this result.”
Letti’s race had mixed emotions. In the lead in the early stages he had to give in and let Jonny Walker pass. Still overcoming recent injuries Letti had nothing left to give in the dying stages of the race.
Letti’s 17-year-old son Manuel had actually beaten his father in the Forest Race the day before and wanted to improve his result from 2014 where he finished 12th.
Starting on the front row he had a good first half of the race but then got stuck in first gear for the last sections of the race. Finishing 10th he set a clear signal that he has what it takes to fight for the podium sooner rather than later.
Burak Özdemir (31st), Islam Yildiz (38th) and Ismail Özgül (52nd) were the fastest riders from Turkey.
67 riders reached the top of the Tahtali and earned the Gold Medal finishing the Red Bull Sea to Sky 2015 Mountain Race. 80 riders made it to the Silver Finish at an altitude of 1,175m and were rewarded with a Silver Medal. 110 brave Hard Enduro heroes battled their way through the riverbed and got their Bonze Medal.
Results – Red Bull Sea to Sky
1. Graham Jarvis (UK, Husqvarna) - 3 hours 8 minutes 35 seconds
2. Jonny Walker (UK, KTM) - 3:11:10
3. Wade Young (RSA, KTM) - 3:19:13
4. Paul Bolton (UK, KTM) - 3:20:19
5. Andreas Lettenbichler (GER, KTM) - 3:20:59
6. Lars Enöckl (AUT, KTM) - 3:22:57
7. Blake Gutzeit (RSA, Husqvarna) - 3:26:13
8. Jonathan Richardson (UK, KTM) - 3:30:43
9. Philipp Scholz (GER, KTM) - 3:37:57
10. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER, KTM) - 3:38:35