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Riding high on his winning momentum from Erzbergrodeo, Graham Jarvis once again delivered the goods in 2019 by securing the top step of the podium in Spain. With points allocated to each of the three days of competition, the Husqvarna rider fought back from a slow start on Friday to place second each time out on Saturday and Sunday, securing the overall victory.
Winning the opening two days of competition, but ending Sunday in fifth, home favourite Alfredo Gomez had to be content with the runner-up spot. Edging out Jarvis for the win in Sunday’s Lost Roads Hard Enduro, Mario Roman claimed third overall.
“What an event, I’m really happy to end it as the winner,” said Jarvis. “It was a tough race today. I was still tired from yesterday - it was fast but there were still some technical bits. I think everyone was really feeling it and I know I was on the limit today.
“It’s crazy to think I’m leading the WESS now. I’m not going to get too excited just yet, though, and my plan is to take each race as it comes. Red Bull Romaniacs is going to be the game changer. Hopefully I can at least finish it this year and keep hold of this lead.”
Kicking off his home round of WESS in style, Gomez was incredibly fast in Friday’s Super Enduro style prologue in Aguilar de Campoo’s town square. Fending off Billy Bolt and Jonny Walker, he took the win.
Faced with a 50-kilometre-long cross-country loop around the lakeside, to be ridden three times, Saturday was physically demanding for all. Gomez again showed his determination to win and rode clear to take the top spot over Jarvis and Bolt, with Roman close behind in fourth.
With the outcome of the Hixpania Hard Enduro coming down to Sunday’s two-hour 30-minute Hard Enduro, Gomez held a slender six-point lead over Jarvis and Bolt, but needed fourth or better, should Jarvis take the fight to him.
With the riders racing on foot to reach their machines in a cave, it was Roman and Taddy Blazusiak who led the opening two laps. Jarvis then found his groove and joined Roman in the battle for the lead as Blazusiak - riding through the pain barrier of a broken finger - slipped back to an eventual fifth.
The duo were pretty much neck-and-neck for the duration. Roman held the lead entering the final climbs, but a mistake allowed Jarvis through. Undeterred, he charged back into the lead and cleared the last climb to take the win and with it third overall in the event.
“It feels amazing to take the win in the final race,” said Roman. “I had such a tough time yesterday in the cross-country, crashing six times and bending my handlebars. Today, I wasn’t thinking too much about points, I just wanted to take the win.
“Halfway through I was thinking it’s not possible to keep going for another 90 minutes, but I kept going and we did it. I don’t know how many fans came out to watch the race and cheer on the riders, but to hear them all shouting my name made it possible to keep going.”
For Gomez, hopes of a home win slipped away, despite winning the opening two days. Unable to find his rhythm on Sunday, he didn’t have the energy to push on in the closing stages of the race to hold onto the points lead and slipped to second overall.
Behind the top three, Bolt ended his weekend in fourth overall, with Manuel Lettenbichler completing the top five.
The World Enduro Super Series continues with round five at Red Bull Romaniacs on July 30 - August 3.
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