The three podium finishers at the 2018 Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble, Jarvis, Walker and Lettenbichler talk us through how their races unfolded...
In what is widely acclaimed as ‘the big one’ Jarvis came from a low start position in typical style to win teh 2018 Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble. Getting into his stride at the toughest sections of the course, just as his rivals were faltering and making mistakes, is a pattern we've become familiar with from the King of Hard Enduro.
Speaking after his victory, Jarvis said: “I was determined to get a good start this year, but I got my traditional bad one! There was just so much dust it was dangerous and there was nothing you could do but try and look for a better line on a hill to get past.
“I felt like I wasn’t too far behind that I couldn’t make it up though. I’ve been here before and I kinda kept calm and other guys around me were making mistakes and that helped me claw time back.
“I had to push out of Three Kings again like last year, so it wasn’t all good, but then was on my own until Carl’s Dinner. I felt good there so I just went for it as I knew it was one of my only chances to make time on the leaders.
“Then in Green Hell I had a pretty good run up but still had to do some pushing to get through. Mani was there in front but he had to go back and help Billy and that was my chance."
Photo Credit: Robert Lynn/Future7Media
“I knew Jonny was there behind me – coming into Dynamite I could see where he was and could just cruise to the end then.
“It was a harder race this year but everyone’s upped their game so it was good to come out on top of that. Four wins is a pain because I was planning to retire but now I have to come back!”
Graham’s victory puts him second on the all-time list of Erzberg winners behind Taddy Blazusiak (five wins). It also puts Jarvis joint second in the WESS championship points alongside round one winner, Billy Bolt (1610 points apiece). Jonny Walker now leads on 1700 points.
Photo Credit: Markus Berger/Red Bull
Jonny Walker, who know leads the WESS championship standings after two second place finishes, was happy how his race panned out: “I didn’t get the best of starts but managed to come through in the dust early on and I was riding with Taddy up front. I messed up a hill and needed a few goes at it and that’s where Mani and Billy went past.
“I tried to stick with them but their pace was ridiculous at the start. I thought, “I’m not pushing too hard now, I’m going to save myself for the rest.”
“When we arrived at Carl’s Dinner I was pretty knackered to be fair. I tried to keep Graham behind me, at least that was the plan but he came by towards the end.
“We came out of there together though and I stuck with him until we arrived at Green Hell where we caught the other guys again. I felt a bit stuck behind Graham but we left there together again and then I basically crashed and lost about a minute to him.
“I tried to push back towards the end but it is what it is and I am happy with second. It is good for the championship so it’s all good.”
Photo Credit: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull
Manuel Lettenbichler is proving a hot contender in the major extreme events in 2018. So far he has podiums in Lagares and now at Erzberg making for a strong start to his WESS championship: “I had a decent start today, was seventh or so and I passed Blake and Colton pretty early on. That put me near to the leader pack of Taddy, Jonny and Billy. I got past them in a new forest bit where I had pretty good drive up a hill.
“I tried my hardest from there until Carl’s Dinner when Billy and I arrived together. I think maybe we were pushing a bit too much there – we’d been on it!
“After Carl’s I let him go but then passed him back at a fuel stop and then we went into Green Hell. Man it was hard in there!
“We were working together, he helped me up first then my bike was not working well – the e-starter was not working and it was not kicking over so it was difficult. I helped Billy and then a clear run to the finish. I am pumped with third.”
The WESS championship moves swiftly on to France and round three at the Trefle Lozerien next weekend, June 8-10, where the extreme specialists will have a harder time keeping tabs on the ‘classic’ enduro boys.
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.email@example.com