Race report: French fight back at Trèfle Lozérien AMV but Garcia gambles to snatch the win

Trèfle Lozérien AMV overall leader, Josep Garcia, takes day two win but only after crashing over the finish line on the last test to steal the win from fast French duo.

 

Josep Garcia’s blisteringly fast pace at the 2019 Trèfle Lozérien AMV continues to set the benchmark on day two of round two in the 2019 World Enduro Super Series. 

It wasn’t easy for the Spaniard however as French riders Julien Gauthier and Jeremy Tarroux pushed him hard all the way to the finish line. It wasn’t until the fifth and final test of the day ,when Garcia gambled with a do-or-die blast in the rain (that saw him crash over the finish line), that the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider leap-frogged his way from third to first in dramatic fashion.

“The French riders were really fast today in the rain.” Said Garcia at the finish. “I had to push hard to keep with them. 

“In the final test a lot of guys held back due to the rain, so I gambled and went in almost first and just gave it everything I had. I was pushing the limits everywhere, so much that I actually crashed – but luckily it was after the finish line. 

“In the end I managed to win that test by nearly six seconds and jump from third to first, so I’m happy with that.”

 
josep.garcia Wess 2019 Rnd2 Trefle Lozerien 560
 

Early morning pace setters

Garcia continued to set the pace by topping the opening special test but with the top four riders separated by less than one second, the competition was fierce.

Julien Gauthier edged out Garcia by one tenth of a second to claim the fastest time in the second test, while Nathan Watson – a lowly seventh on the opening test – worked his way up the leader board with third quickest.

 
jamie.mccanney Wess 2019 Rnd2 Trefle Lozerien 560
 

McCanney tops special test three, Garcia falters

Keeping the racing unpredictable and his stake on the podium intact, Yamaha’s Jamie McCanney became the third different winner in as many tests, putting his name at the top of the time sheets for special test three finishing ahead of Gauthier, Jeremy Tarroux and Joe Wootton.

Nearly five seconds behind McCanney, Garcia saw his early morning work undone and slipped to fourth overall. Sixth fastest, South Africa’s Travis Teasdale impressively got amongst some of the established Classic Enduro stars.

 
travis.teasdale Wess 2019 Rnd2 Trefle Lozerien 560
 

Garcia goes on the attack

On the penultimate test, Garcia had regained his composure to top the time sheets for the second time. However, now over three seconds behind Gauthier and Tarroux entering the fifth and final test, he had some work to do.

With numerous riders watching how the rain was affecting conditions, Garcia threw caution to the wind and went on the attack. Delivering arguably one of the day’s finest performances, the Spaniard blasted his way around the muddy sub-three-minute test in style to win the day.

 
julien.gauthier Wess 2019 Rnd2 Trefle Lozerien 04394 560
 

With no answer for the KTM rider, Gauthier had to be content with second - finishing almost three seconds back. “I feel like it was a good day.” Said Gauthier. “I started strong in the morning and was nearly always top three in the tests. 

“I lost out a little in the final test today. It was muddy and slippery from yesterday and when we arrived it was also raining. Overall, my speed is good but Josep is really fast so I will fight for a podium result.”

A further three seconds behind, Tarroux ended his day third overall, while McCanney and Watson completed the top five.

 
Jeremy Tarroux Trefle 2019 day2 Enduro21 560
 

The Trèfle Lozérien AMV concludes tomorrow, Sunday, where Garcia aims to become the first non-French winner in the 33-year history of the event.

 

Results: WESS Round 2 - Trèfle Lozérien AMV, Day 2:

  1. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 20:01.240
  2. Julien Gauthier (Yamaha – FRA) 20:04.174 +2.934
  3. Jeremy Tarroux (Sherco – FRA) 20:07.434 +6.194
  4. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha – GB) 20:08.194 +6.954
  5. Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 20:13.049 +11.809
  6. Emmanuel Albepart (Yamaha – FRA) 20:27.766 +26.526
  7. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas – FRA) 20:30.336 +29.096
  8. Theo Espinasse (Sherco – FRA) 20:32.402 +31.162
  9. Joe Wootton (Husqvarna – GB) 20:38.005 +36.765
  10. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 20:49.243 +48.003

 

Standings: WESS Round 2 - Trèfle Lozérien AMV (after day 2):

  1. Josep Garcia (KTM – ESP) 41:46.387
  2. Jamie McCanney (Yamaha – GB) 42:16.509 +30.122
  3. Jeremy Tarroux (Sherco – FRA) 42:18.362 +31.975
  4. Julien Gauthier (Yamaha – FRA) 42:18.392 +32.005
  5. Nathan Watson (KTM – GB) 42:18.760 +32.373
  6. Emmanuel Albepart (Yamaha – FRA) 43:02.050 +1:15.663
  7. Theo Espinasse (Sherco – FRA) 43:05.948 +1:19.561
  8. Christophe Nambotin (Gas Gas – FRA) 43:07.415 +1:21.028
  9. Jonny Walker (KTM – GB) 43:29.825 +1:43.438
  10. Joe Wootton (Husqvarna – GB) 43:31.580 +1:45.193

 

See our separate ‘Results Feed’ post for the top 100 finishers.

 

 
Photo Credit: Future7Media/Andrea Belluschi/Robert Lynn
 
 
 
 
Byline jp ISDE 2018 Enduro21
Jon Pearson
Enduro21 Editor and Bike Tester
jon.pearson@enduro21.com