Video: Walker wins Red Bull Sea to Sky Beach Race
© Robert Lynn
The Red Bull Sea to Sky got off to a flying start with Jonny Walker winning the Beach Race.
Following a revised format for 2013, the Beach Race was split up into two parts. During the morning the 110 riders from 18 countries entered took to the track to qualify for the afternoon final. With competitors riding two qualifying laps to determine the start list for the 75-rider final, it was Walker that blitzed his way around the course to claim pole position.
At 16.00hrs local time, competitors lined up on the beach for the Le Man style start. And for the second year in a row it was Spain’s Xavi Galindo that claimed the holeshot. Avoiding the early carnage that ensued behind him, the Spaniard tried to open up a lead but with both Walker and Alfredo Gomez nipping at his heels, he was quickly pushed back to third. It was a position he would hold to the chequered flag.
Starting within the top five, Walker worked his way into the lead at the start of lap two. Comfortable in the deep, loose sand the young Brit checked out to secure the win.
“I’m honestly pumped to win my third Beach Race in a row,” remarked Walker. “I got a decent start – about fifth – and then charged hard to get into the lead. After that I just tried to keep it all together to win. It was a bit crazy at times but a lot of fun.”
Once into second position, Gomez set about trying to close the gap to Walker. However, despite his best efforts, he wasn’t able to bridge the eight-second gap to the KTM rider. Matching each other’s pace in the closing stages of the 20-minute plus one lap race, Gomez chased Walker home to claim second.
With Galindo riding a smart race to complete the podium, Mexico’s Homero Diaz placed fourth. Getting one of the worst starts possible, Diaz spent the majority of his race passing riders to eventually finish fourth.
“My start was terrible – I was buried at the back of the pack,” laughed Diaz. “I had no idea what position I was in but I felt good in the sand – I like the loose stuff.
“I charged as hard as possible and just kept passing riders anywhere I could. I didn’t even know I had finished fourth until someone told me after the race was over.”
Also suffering from a poor start, Andreas Lettenbichler steadily worked his way inside the top four as the race passed the halfway point. But with the rough sandy conditions taking their toll, the Husqvarna rider had no answer Diaz in the closing stages of the race and had to settle for fourth.
Brits Paul Bolton – third in Red Bull Sea to Sky 2012 and Andrew Noakley placed sixth and seventh respectively while Germany’s Rene Dietrich was eighth. Despite not being a fan of the Beach Race, defending champion Graham Jarvis was ninth while Harry Neumayr completed the top ten.
The Red Bull Sea to Sky continues with the Forest Race on Saturday 28 September.