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Gómez leads the way at Red Bull Minas Riders
Alfredo Gómez claimed a hard-fought victory on day one of the event in Brazil.
Red Bull Minas Riders 2016 – Day One highlights
Red Bull Hard Enduro got its debut outing in South America started with a bang on day one of Red Bull Minas Riders, as the short 60km-long Time Trial put everyone through their paces. Throwing all the riders in at the deep end the opening day’s action was a sharp wake up call, and one that ensured the 2016 Hard Enduro season was definitely in full swing.
Alfredo Gómez was the man who immediately set the pace. Starting second on the trail – three minutes behind GrahamJarvis – the Spaniard put in a solid performance. Pushing hard to reel Jarvis in three-quarters of the way through the loop, the duo then rode to the finish together.
With the evening’s Prologue left to decide the outcome of the day, Gómez claimed the holeshot for the Gold class. Delivering a start-to-finish win, the KTM rider is now the early leader of the race.
“I tried to push hard from the beginning of the Time Trial loop,” said Gómez. “Graham Jarvis had a three-minute head start, but I gradually reeled him in. From there we pretty much rode together to the finish line.
It’s a great start to the Red Bull Minas Riders, so I hope to continue like this.
“In the Prologue I got the holeshot. Graham challenged me early on but I pulled away from him towards the end. It’s a great start to the Red Bull Minas Riders, so I hope to continue like this.”
As the first man away, Jarvis eased his way into the Time Trial loop. Making a few mistakes early on, the Husqvarna rider took his time to settle into his rhythm.
With Gómez catching him up, Jarvis then stayed within touching distance to cross the finish line second. Placing runner-up in the Prologue, he ended his day second overall.
“It would have been nice to win day one but it’s not the end of the world,” said Jarvis. “Gómez was riding well and caught me up. Tomorrow is a much longer day – 160 kilometres, so that’s when the race will really begin.”
Putting in a solid performance, Paul Bolton placed third in the Time Trial and then third again in the Prologue.
“That was a hard opening day – short but tough. It took me a while to get going in the Time Trial, the dirt feels so slippery here,” explained the English rider. “Once I found my rhythm I stepped up my pace and caught up to Lars Enöckl and PhilippScholz. I passed them in a riverbed section and then rode my own race to the finish.”
The fight for the remainder of the top five placings was a closely fought affair between Scholz and Enockl. Swapping positions throughout the Time Trial, Scholz crossed the finish line eight seconds clear to snatch the position.
Duct tape and cable ties fix everything
The opening day of competition in Brazil was anything but a gentle introduction. A tough Time Trial gave everyone a taste of what’s to come. With determination needed to see it through, Scholz was one rider who refused to be beaten down.
Crashing on a rocky climb, the German broke his throttle housing beyond use. But some ingenious handiwork prevented him from becoming an early retirement.
“I crashed awkwardly on a climb and broke the throttle housing on my bike,” explained Scholz. “My race seemed over. But then I thought to cable tie the throttle cable to the front brake master cylinder. I used duct tape to fix the nipple of the cable back onto the plastic part of the throttle tube.
“Somehow I got just enough tension on the cable to make the throttle work. It only worked at one-quarter throttle but I was moving again. Incredibly it stayed in place – I don’t know how – but I finished out the final 20 kilometres and made it home.”
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