Husqvarna’s Graham Jarvis has taken victory in the 2017 Alestrem Hard Enduro in France.
Describing it as one of the hardest day’s riding he’s ever done, Jarvis led home Sherco’s Mario Roman in second and Wade Young third.
- Jarvis wins Alestrem 2017.
- Roman and Young make it a Sherco 2-3.
- The race started at 11am and ended in darkness.
- Walker was the final finisher in fourth (provisionally).
- Gomez’ race ended on lap two when he ran out of fuel.
- It was the third edition of Alestrem.
“I’m shattered,” told Jarvis at the finish line. “It feels good to win but that was a long hard race. We must have raced for over seven hours. It was a tough battle all day so to come out on top is awesome.”
Delivering a tough and fearsome start to the 2017 hard enduro season, the third edition of the Alestrem was easily the toughest so far, putting the world’s elite through their paces and then some. Adding in an unexpected night time finish for many, the rate of attrition was high.
Faced with three laps of increasing difficulty, the flag dropped on the Le Mans style start at 11am. Alfredo Gomez was fastest on his feet but pretty soon the top six guys — Jarvis, Roman, Young, Gomez, Jonny Walker and Billy Bolt — plus Frenchman Pierre Pallut were all closely bunched up. An easy but lengthy two-hour plus opening lap saw all seven lead at one point in time.
On lap two the pace upped as the game of cat and mouse took place. Gomez was first to fall by the way side when he unfortunately ran out of fuel three quarter ways through the lap. And as they ended lap two the seven-man group had whittled itself down to four — Jarvis, Walker, Roman and Young.
Walker made his break but Jarvis cooly gave chase. It up set the rythym slightly with Roman and Young momentarily dropping about two minutes back.
Jarvis then hit the front with Walker in tow. But with darkness falling, Walker made a costly mistake following the wrong track marker and knocked himself out of contention for the win.
Roman stepped things up and caught up to Jarvis as they battled the hardest elements of the course in darkness. Within range of the finish, Roman looked favourite for victory but then a mistake from him was all Jarvis needed to sneak back in front and claim the win — his first at Alestrem.
“Like I said it was one of the hardest days riding I’ve done,” continued Jarvis. “It’s been a long day but I’m pleased to have finally won it.”
A little gutted to miss out at the end, Roman was still pleased with bringing his Sherco home in second.
“I almost had the victory but with the darkness things were really crazy,” told Roman. “I’m totally exhausted now but to give Sherco a podium result like this at their home race is so good.”
Closing out the podium, Young completed the top three…
“It’s been a tough day,” said Young. “I’m only back from injury so this has been a hell of a tester for me. About six of us were close all day and it was only on the final lap where things changed. I didn’t even know I was third until the end so I’m happy to be on the podium.”
Retracing his steps, Walker got back on the right track but with a chance of making it a Alestrem hat trick lost he had to be content with fourth.
“I’m a bit gutted,” told Walker. “The last half lap was when everyone started to push, but riding in the darkness was tricky. I took the wrong maker and paid the price. But it’s been a good, tough day and I’m pleased with how I rode if not for that error.”