Graham Jarvis and Jane Daniels set for Gotland Grand National debuts
The list of international stars competing in the 2023 Gotland Grand National continues to grow with Hard Enduro GOAT Graham Jarvis and Women’s World Enduro Champion Jane Daniels signing up for the gruelling Swedish off-road race.
Sometimes you have to double-check you are reding something right but it’s true, the legend of extreme and hard enduro is the latest addition to the starter list for the 40th edition of the notorious Gotland Grand National cross-country race.
The huge Scandinavian festival of off-road takes place over the last weekend in October (27-29) and bills itself as the world’s biggest enduro with over 3000 riders competing. The weekend has separate races and classes for literally everyone including around 350 children from the age of five upwards.
Already on the list of riders is seven times World Enduro Champion and current EnduroGP points leaders, Steve Holcombe who joins the local specialists like Albin Elowson and Miki Persson. The event carries big kudos in Scandinavian and northern Europe and these two have made a habit of winning the GGN in recent years.
Racing takes place in a Swedish army training ground on the Island in the Baltic sea which means the weather can be just as brutal and as much of a challenge as the terrain. That terrain is hard as hell because it is relentless hard work on a cross-country course built on the world’s slipperiest substance, limestone bedrock.
With the event falling between the final two rounds of the Hard Enduro World Championship – Hixpania in Spain on October 13-15 and Getzenrodeo in Germany on November 3-4 – Jarvis and his old bones will have a hell of a finish to the season.
In his favour Graham will have some experience to rely on after the now defunct WESS championship visited Gotland in 2018. At the time, Taddy Blazusiak was the best-placed WESS rider in what appalling conditions.
One of the reasons behind the growing list of top-flight riders heading to the Tofta shooting range on the island in the Baltic sea could well be the increased prize money for the podium places this year.
GGN 2023 has equal billing for the men and women with the podium finishers taking home SEK 75,000 (£5300/€6300) for first place, SEK 35,000 (£2500/€3000) for P2 and SEK 15,000 (£1000/€1200) for third.
Stiff competition in the women’s class
Surely eyeing that winning pay cheque is Women’s World Enduro Champion and outright ISDE Women’s winner, Jane Daniels. As Jane’s armoury extends to rally also these days, the extended length of a cross-country race shouldn’t present her with too many problems but the competition in the female class might.
Joining Jane in the competition is the Women’s MXGP race winner and German champ Larissa Papenmeier. The German tackled the notorious Gotland limestone rocks and battered course for the first time in 2022 and led for the first half of the morning race.
Both will potentially face the podium finishers from 2022, Tyra Bäckström, Hanna Berzelius, and Linnea Åkesson who all got the better of Papenmeier during the morning race last year.
Entries are still open if you think you are hard enough. More information: www.gotlandgrandnational.se
Want a brief look at the course? Enduro21 cruised a lap in one of the hobby races last year...
Photo Credit: Future7Media