Hells Gate podium Hells Gate 2012 Graham Jarvis wins, ahead of Walker and Xavier Galindo © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool

Britain's Graham Jarvis proved to be the toughest of them all when he took the honours at the 2012 Hell's Gate Enduro in Italy last weekend. Check out the highlights in pictures here...

The ninth edition of Italy's number one extreme enduro race took place in the idyllic backdrop of Il Ciocco in the Tuscany region and for the second time in two years Jarvis took the top honours, ahead of fellow Brit, Jonny Walker and Jarvis's Husaberg colleague Xavi Gallindo.

nullWalker leads Jarvis and Alessandro Botturi in Race 2 © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

Spectator participation is actively encouraged at Hell's Gate and without it there would be even less finishers than this year's total of five classified riders. There were just two finishers in 2011 – Jarvis and Dougie Lampkin.

nullDefending champion Graham Jarvis climbs Hells Peak © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

After the first lap, there were 17 riders left in contention.
 

nullBen Hemingway takes on Le Cascate © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

And only 11 were still standing after the second lap of the race, which was scheduled for six laps.
 

nullThe competitors ride off into Hell's Gate © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

Then there were just seven riders still going after the third lap. Jarvis, Walker, Gallindo, Cody Webb, Andreas Lettenbichler, Dougie Lampkin, and Piero Sembenini. 

nullHell mouth © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

The Italian favourite, Sembenini, was forced out of the race on lap number four, as he was more than 30 minutes behind the leader.
 

nullJonny Walker gets a tow up a slippery Hells Peak © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

And shortly afterwards on the fifth lap, Dougie Lampkin was also out of the race and back in the Gas Gas tent.
 

null2010 winner Dougie Lampkin in the Gas Gas tent © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

The former winner's departure left just five riders in contention for the 2012 title.

null2010 winner Dougie Lampkin riding high © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

The Hell's Gate course was designed by Italian extreme enduro and Dakar veteran Fabio Fasola, who set up a real challenge for the riders.

nullHell freezes over © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

Each lap of the course took over an hour to complete, so on top of the morning qualifying, this was a truly gruelling day's work for the competitors.
 

nullKTM wire a GoPro camera to Jonny Walker's race helmet © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

Andreas Lettenbichler crashed out on the penultimate lap and said: "I felt very good with the bike and I'm happy with my race. Unfortunately on the last lap I crashed losing at least five minutes to recover the bike. The boys have worked really well and Husqvarna are satisfied with how things went at the first race of the season."

nullAndreas Lettenbichler wrestles his Husaberg © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   
 

null© Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
   

"Getting a second win here at Hell’s Gate is great," Jarvis said after his victory. "The event didn’t start quite as well as I hoped it would. I made a few mistakes during the morning’s qualifying race and generally didn’t quite feel 100 per cent having only recently flown back from the States. I felt a little fatigued before the start but once I got a couple of laps under my belt I felt ok."
  

nullGraham Jarvis wins, ahead of Walker and Xavier Galindo © Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
    

For more Hell's Gate action, check out this highlights video...

 

 
Hell's Gate 2012 – results
1) Graham Jarvis (GBR) Husaberg
2) Jonny Walker (GBR) KTM
3) Xavi Galindo (ESP) Husaberg
4) Cody Webb (USA) Beta
5) Andreas Lettenbichler (GER) Husqvarna

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