graham.jarvis_Erzberg 2012_0418 Graham Jarvis looks relaxed for the start of the Erzberg Rodeo Iron Road © Jonty Edmonds for Husaberg

Depending on how you look at it, Husaberg rider Graham Jarvis has already conquered the Erzberg Rodeo.

The Brit fell foul of some bad luck in last year's event when he crossed the finish line in first position, celebrated victory and then had it struck off after it emerged he had missed a checkpoint along the way.

Able to laugh about it now, Jarvis is targeting an “official win” as he terms it at the 2012 event and took up a few minutes of his time to get an inside line on how things have been shaping up...

How have you been preparing yourself for this year's Erzberg Rodeo?
“Well it's been a couple of months since the last main event I did so I've tried to structure my programme up to this event so I'm on top form for Erzberg. I've been trying to do a bit of speed training as well for the prologue so I've got a good position on the front row, because it is quite important to get out at the front in the main race so you don't get tangled up with the other riders. That's something I haven't managed to do yet, I've always had a bad start and had to fight my way through. That can save you a couple of minutes.

“In terms of specific training it's hard to find places, especially in England where there is nowhere like this where you can train, so it's just a case of brushing up on my skills. A lot of it is from the trials that I used to do. I'm fairly confident on the extreme stuff I can get through, for me it's more about keeping on top of my fitness and making sure I'm on top form and remaining uninjured.”


nullJarvis is determined to conquer the Red Bull Hare Scramble © Jonty Edmonds for Husaberg



How does this compare to the other events you compete in?
“It's probably one of the most intense ones. It's flat out for around two hours whereas the others are a bit longer so you can perhaps get away with making a few mistakes, you can get it back. But here, if you drop in a hole or do something stupid like miss a checkpoint [laughs] there's no getting it back!

“There's definitely a mental aspect to it as well, especially with the event getting bigger and bigger. Now there is more hype surrounding it and more build up to it too. It's probably more pressure at this event than ever before. You really need to get off the line quickly, it's all in the head. Then towards the end it's down to the physical capabilities and whether you've got enough to get there.”

There have been some changes to the track since last year's event. What do you make of them?
“Bits I've seen look slightly more rideable [than last year] but not a lot, and it's a bit of a longer track as well. I'm not banking on it being any easier though!”

You must be confident of a strong result given your previous form here?
“I had a second here three years ago and then I had a kind of win for half an hour last year! So I know what it's like to win but I need that official win. Anything less than a win doesn't mean anything now. It's a win or nothing for me.”

The belief must be there after you were first past the post in 2011?
“I have to take the positive from it and believe I can win. It definitely gave me a bit of confidence last year, knowing I can do it.”


nullGraham Jarvis on a mission in Austria © Jonty Edmonds for Husaberg



Who else have you looked at during the prologues and thought of as being your main challengers?
“There are a few riders. David Knight has come back, he has won it many times so he has got experience. Jonny Walker is the up and coming one, he's still learning. Then you have the regulars, [Andreas] Lettenbichler, [Paul] Bolton and [Dougie] Lampkin, they're all going for the win. It's unpredictable this type of event, anything can happen.”

You're heading directly to the 2012 Red Bull Romaniacs from here, where you'll defend your title...
“It's the one I enjoy the most, Romaniacs. You get a good long day of riding and it's just a good place to ride a bike.”

What are the challenges of doing back-to-back enduro events?
“I've focused just on Erzberg so Romaniacs has taken a bit of a backseat. I haven't done any GPS training which is the difference in that event. But again I'm just going to try and use my experience from previous years there and hope it's enough.

“There's only two days between the events, and it's a day's driving to get there. We've got two bikes though, we have a spare one so we can use a different one there. The bike set-up will be pretty much the same.”

You must be living the dream though, doing so much riding?
“That's it. I have a good team, they'll drive. Every event is different so it's enjoyable and I still love riding my bike.”

What's on the agenda after you've completed Romaniacs?
“A bit of a break and then off to the X Games in LA. That'll be a new experience and it will be good to be a part of it and I'll try to get a result there. Then there's a bit of a break until October when it starts to get a bit busy with a few extreme events.”

You can watch Red Bull Hare Scramble: the final and most dramatic act of the Erzberg Rodeo live on Sunday and chat live special guest expert summariser Chris Birch  




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