Torrential rain turned the start line of the Red Bull Hare Scramble into a swimming pool while the vertical climbs proved more than a match for the five hundred entrants.
After numerous years trying Graham Jarvis finally beat the Iron Giant to etch his name in the record books…
“Despite the weather I can’t believe how smoothly the race went for me,” confirmed a delighted Jarvis. “I made it out of the quarry floor without getting stuck and just charged hard from there. I picked off rider after rider until eventually I was leading. I rode Karl’s Diner perfectly and that’s where I managed to win the race. I’m so happy to have finally won here.”
Like Jarvis, Andreas Lettenbichler rode a flawless race to secure a well-deserved runner-up result.
“The start was crazy but I didn’t get stuck. I was about mid-pack but rode flat out through the woods and took the race lead. Ivan Cervantes was right on my tail but after about fifteen minutes I was alone, until Jarvis passed me. I knew he was coming but had no answer from him. He was too fast. Second position is like a win for me.”
In the battle for the final step of the podium it was Alfredo Gomez that ultimately won out over Jonny Walker.
“I thought I’d never make it up Dynamite – I had no clutch,” told Gomez. “Walker was closing in and I began to panic a little. Luckily I had enough energy left to drag the bike over the hill and make it onto the podium. This was definitely the toughest race I ever did.”
Narrowly missing out on the podium, Jonny Walker was absolutely gutted with his race.
“I can’t describe how disappointed I am. I had the holeshot and then my bike stopped in the water. I got going and rode flat out to make up the lost time. It wasn’t enough though and I missed the podium. I’m completely gutted with fourth - I wanted to win so badly.”
Like Walker, Ben Hemingway was another rider to fall foul of the start line flood and despite losing over five minutes he still managed to finish fifth.
“Like so many others my bike died in the flood. It took five minutes to get going but I just kept pushing forward. I’m made up with fifth because at one point I thought I wouldn’t get out of the quarry.”
Spare a thought for pole sitter, Austrian Lars Enockl…
“I hit a rock in the first corner and it pulled the handlebars out of my hands and I ended up swimming and my bike drowned. I got it going after the tenth row started but it stopped before checkpoint six. This was my home race and after getting pole position I really wanted more – maybe next year.”