Graham Jarvis takes victory at the 2019 Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble – back-to-back wins and a record-equalling fifth overall win for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider.
In a tougher than ever 2019 Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble, round three of the World Enduro Super Series, another immensely hard battle unfolded at the 25th running of this iconic event.
As the race progressed, five different riders took turns to lead on a course which continually threw twists in the plot. Infamous sections like Machine, Green Hell, Dynamite and the daddy of hard enduro pieces of track – Carl’s Dinner – all had extra twists and turns thrown in to increase the pain.
Ultimately it was Jarvis who had the measure of the mountain once again to take his fifth victory in an unbelievable 2hrs:26m. Jarvis headed a total of 16 riders home, 10 less than 2018, to claim a coveted Erzberg finishers flag.
The 16 official finishers...For full finishers listing please click onto herer for our seperate results post.
How the 2019 Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble unfolded:
- Racing away from an unbelievably wet start line in the bottom of the quarry it was Josep Garcia who took the early lead with Jonny Walker second and Manuel Lettenbichler third.
- A whole heap of riders got caught on the opening hill as a Ryan Sipes went down causing a log jam, holding up many riders including Graham Jarvis, Taddy Blazusiak and Mario Roman.
- Conditions were actually pretty good, despite so much pre-race rain. The ground was at times dusty but the climbs were surprisingly dry.
- By checkpoint seven Lettenbichler had pulled almost a minute lead from Garcia, Walker and Wade Young all in close company.
- The Husqvarna trio of Jarvis, Billy Bolt and Alfredo Gomez were in seventh, eighth and ninth – three minutes behind at this stage.
- Lettenbichler then made light work of the horrendous “Machine”. Walker and Young were fast up too but Manni had more than a minute at this point.
- Graham Jarvis was closing in fourth at the checkpoint at the top of Machine, two and a half minutes behind the lead. That meant Graham had come from 14th to fourth.
- Approaching the hour mark along the off-camber forest (as bad as it sounds) Young had Lettenbichler’s exhaust smoke in his face but Wade showed every bit of his brute strength to basically ski himself and the bike down and into the lead.
- Heading through Burping Stones, the service point and into Carl’s Dinner Jarvis was up to third.
- But not for long. The extended and even harder Carl’s Dinner took the leading riders the best part of an hour to complete and once again proved to be Graham’s defining moment as he took the lead.
- The battle for third heated up on Carl’s between the Sherco team-mates. Mario Roman gained minutes on Wade Young as they picked their way through. By the exit Mario had taken an advantage to sit a clear third overall.
- By checkpoint 20 in the new ski resort section, Graham had a six-minute gap but that nemesis section of the track, Green Hell, brought the lead pairing back together.
- Manni got a good run up Green Hell but Graham was basically in the way and as each rider inched his way up the slippery (as hell) hill, Jarvis was again clear out front.
- Topping out Dynamite and then moving through Lazy Noon it was a little like Deja-vu with Manni chasing Graham this year instead of Walker btu Graham kept on keeping on.
- Jarvis takes consecutive wins and a record-equally fifth Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble victory.
What they said:
Speaking after the race, Jarvis said: “This was my most important win at Erzberg. I was doubting myself but I worked really hard and it is just an incredible feeling.
“I kept focused and that was the key. The course changed a lot from when we walked it so it was important to keep looking up. I was really feeling it physically but I knew when I was through there I had it in the bag.
“I got a bit of a lead but I saw Manni at Green Hell and I had to keep calm there. But it was so important to me to get that fifth win and equal Taddy’s record.”
Manuel Lettenbichler was happy with his runners-up position and with it the provisional lead in the World Enduro Super Series.
“I had an almost perfect the first half of the race.” Said Lettenbichler at the finish line. “I was battling Walker and made a little mistake in the forest. Then when I came into the Dinner and I saw the number one was coming! I just couldn’t keep his [Jarvis's] pace.
“I thought it was possible to come back and I saw him in Green Hell. I had such a good drive up that hill but it was not possible to pass him. It is like this and I am super-stoked to finish second.”Photo Credit: Future7Media Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org