Final-Ergebnisse: 1. Dougie Lampkin, 2. Graham Jarvis… das war’s!
Hier ein deutliches Statement von Chris Birch zum Schwierigkeitsgrad vom diesjährigen Hells Gate heute.
Well it was definitely a toughy! The mornings five and a half hour qualifier went pretty well apart from when I had the stupidest crash possible when I hit a fence and ended up face first in a icy puddle. The course was technical and muddy after plenty of rain the day before and you needed to stay focussed the whole way especially in the treacherous snow and ice sections. I qualified 6th which gave me a pretty good starting position for the afternoon’s elimination race.
The afternoon race was pretty ugly, to be honest I think it was too difficult as this sport is supposed to be extreme enduro, not high speed trials. Several other riders shared this opinion including Taddy Blazusiak who crashed out early on. I had a tough first half lap with a bit of arm pump and a lot of riders bouncing around the place. I was in 6th place but eventually found some rhythm and a bit more pace. The course was really intense – to put it into context there was stuff that you would not put into a NZ national trials competition. One piece in particular was a completely unrideable waterfall and had a queue of riders lining up to get dragged up by ropes.
I got pulled out of the race 3/4 of the way through lap two after working my way up to fourth overall behind three ex world trials riders, Grahame Jarvis in 1st, Dougie Lampkin 2nd and Andreas Lettenbichler 3rd. It looked like there would only be two finishers. So whilst I am disappointed not to have made it to the finish line, for someone with modest trials skills fourth place is pretty sweet.
Fellow Kiwi Rory Mead had a tough time and was unable to qualify.
I’m now off to Florence for sight seeing on the way to Wales for the Tough One on 20th February – should be enough time to recover!
Bilder gibt es bei IG-Gatsch: Hells Gate 2010