BRITISH STAR GETS 2017 INTERNATIONAL EXTREME ENDURO SEASON OFF TO A WINNING START WITH HARD-FOUGHT VICTORY IN FRANCE
Graham Jarvis has claimed victory at the 2017 edition of the Ales Trem Extreme Enduro – his first ever win at the event held in Ales in the south of France. Finishing on top of the podium at the end of a brutal seven-hour main race Jarvis placed ahead of Spaniard Mario Roman and South African Wade Young.
As he has done so many times before Jarvis was in no rush to establish himself as the rider to beat, completing the first of three laps together with team-mate Billy Bolt, Jonny Walker, Alfredo Gomez, Mario Roman, Wade Young and Pierre Pallut. With two hours of racing under his belt Jarvis then battled against Walker, Roman and Young as event organisers increased the intensity levels.
Lap three started with rapidly fading light and Jarvis initially giving chase to Walker. But with Walker taking a wrong turn Jarvis was then joined by Roman. Working their way towards the finish Jarvis seized his chance to secure the win under the cover of darkness. Capitalising on a mistake by Roman, Graham put his experience to good use and in sneaking ahead he went on to secure a well-deserved win.
In his first international Extreme Enduro event as a member of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team Billy Bolt made an impressive start to the event by placing third in the opening day’s night time Endurocross style prologue.
In the main race Billy was well placed among the top seven at the end of the opening lap. Completing the second lap without problems, the young Brit frustratingly failed to reach the finish after twice running out of fuel. Managing to get going the first time, thanks to the support of some of the event’s amateur riders, with just three kilometres remaining, and in total darkness, Billy’s race came to a premature end.
Graham Jarvis: “That was such a tough race. It’s great to finally pick up a win here at Ales Trem, but that has to be one of the hardest days of racing I’ve done for a long, long time. The first two laps were long and demanding but it was the extreme stuff that they put in on the third lap that was the deal breaker. There were two or three places where we had to get off and push. At one point I wasn’t sure if we were going to get to the finish. Thankfully, we made it. It was very close at the finish. Mario rode really well and it could have gone either way. Riding in the dark wasn’t expected, and certainly made things interesting. It was tough, but awesome to win.”
Billy Bolt: “As frustrating as it is not to have finished after twice running out of fuel, I’m pleased with the way I rode. I don’t think anyone expected the race to be as tough as it was, especially the third lap. For the majority of the race I was battling with the main pack, so I am happy with that. Together with third in the Prologue there’s plenty to be happy with. I wasn’t the only one to run out of fuel. Onwards and upwards now preparing for the next event.”
Described by those who finished as one of the hardest days riding they’ve endured for many years Alès Trêm 2017 started in a hugely positive way for the KTM duo with Alfredo Gomez topping the seven-lap Endurocross-style prologue on his KTM 300 EXC ahead of Jonny Walker after both riders won their respective heat races.
Assuming the three-lap main race would be challenging no riders were expecting things to get as difficult, or dark, as they did. “I guess this year’s Alès Trêm was a bit of a wild one,” commented Walker. “The first lap was pretty straightforward – there was a bunch of us all riding together and things weren’t too difficult at all. The second lap was similar. On the third lap it really started to get interesting.” added the Brit.
“I started to push a little harder and Graham and myself opened up a little gap. I felt good but as I passed through a check point I made a very small mistake losing no more than 10 or 15 seconds. As I was pushing to catch back up to Graham I missed a track marker. I accidentally followed the track used during the second lap. At the next check point I was told I was out, so I sat there for a while. Eventually I followed the trail back to where I missed the arrows and got back on track. I was a long way behind the other riders but at least I managed to finish. It’s great to be back competing in an Extreme Enduro but a little frustrating that I wasn’t able to challenge for the win.”
Like Walker, Gomez also endured bad luck during the main race. Well placed at the front of the pack and with most of the second lap completed the Spaniard’s race ended when he ran out of fuel. “45 kilometres into the second lap I was together with Jarvis and pushing hard when I ran out of fuel,” explained the Spainard. “It’s disappointing because I was feeling really good and competing at the front of the race but it can happen. I wasn’t the only one to run out of fuel.”
“I guess it just wasn’t my day even though I felt good. I was waiting for the last lap before really pushing hard, but already we’d opened up a small gap over the others. After winning the prologues on Saturday night it would have been great to try to fight for the win in the main race.”
Results – Ales Trem 2017
1. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
2. Mario Roman (Sherco)
3. Wade Young (Sherco)
4. Jonny Walker (KTM)
Photo: Future7Media / Husqvarna