So here we go again, the 2012 Extreme Enduro season kicked off with the Tough One in the UK. Where exactly in the UK? Let’s just say about 70 miles southwest of Manchester. The name of the place is sort of unpronouncable for anybody living more than 200 miles away: Nantmawr Quarry.
Did Graham Jarvis (UK, Flite-Husaberg) continue his path of victories he started by winning almost all of the most relevant Extreme Enduro races in 2011? Yes, absolutely. “Grimbo” lapped ALL of the competitors including runner-up Wayne Braybrook (UK, Sherco) and Ben Hemmingway (UK, KTM) in third place – and this is within 2.5 hours of the Tough One and lap times of slightly above 10 minutes.So, without ignoring the outstanding performance of the other riders in this event, there wasn’t really anybody who seriously challenged Graham. Britain’s super talent Jonny Walker (KTM) had to withdraw due to sickness before the race and few international top riders actually showed up. Chris Birch (NZL, KTM) and Darryl Curtis (RSA, KTM) prefered racing the Dakar and others like Andreas “Letti” Lettenbichler (GER, Husqvarna) and Xavi Galindo (ESP, Husaberg) didn’t show up.
And Great Britain’s fastest “privateer” Paul Bolton (KTM), Tough One runner-up in 2011, broke his clutch cover in the third lap and had to call it quits, very much to his disappointment since his chances to repeat last years result or even challenge Jarvis were pretty good.The race started at 3:00PM and the riders had to run uphill for about 200 meters from the bottom of the quarry to get to their bikes. After the start the riders faces a bit of cross country style track, nothing difficult really but when diving into the quarry a bit later it started to get rather extreme. Especially one pretty steep downhill was a bit of a mission for some guys and the track certainly didn’t get better after a while. The ideal line was getting bumpy and you had to closely watch your rear wheel to not lose control of the bike in that downhill. However some did lose the control but fortunately without major injuries.
The track itself was pretty much ridable for the Pro Class riders, but some from the Expert Class struggled with one uphill and that section was crowded with thousands of enthusiastic fans who seriously had a ball in the darkness. Graham Jarvis did 14 laps in this race and promotor Steve Ireland created a very spectator friendly course so that you did get the chance to see the heroes performing in different sections a number of times. This got even more interesting since it was getting dark about 1.5 hours after the start.Jesus Zavala from Mexico did an outstanding job on his KTM finishing in eighth place considering he has a glass eye and his headlights weren’t really working in the darkness of the quarry. Respect!Graham Jarvis however had a good day in the office even though he didn’t have a perfect start since his Husaberg didn’t start immediately. But within the first lap “the silent assassin” took over the lead and never gave it away: “I was in third position after the start but I didn’t have much problems passing the other riders. In the second half of the race that downhill into the quarry got a bit nasty and I didn’t push to hard in that section. I’m really happy about this good start into the 2012 season and am looking forward to the Hell’s Gate in the Tuscany in mid February!”Results Tough One, Nantmawr Quarry, Oswestry, UK
1.Graham Jarvis (UK), Husaberg, 14 laps, 2 hours 28 minutes 11 seconds
2.Wayne Braybrook (UK), Sherco, 13 laps, 2:35:12
3.Ben Hemmingway (UK), KTM, 13 laps, 2:41:43
4.Dan Hemmingway (UK), KTM, 12 laps, 2:30:02
5.Melcior Faja (ESP), KTM, 11 laps, 2:29:44
6.Alex Wigg (UK), GAS GAS, 11 laps, 2:32: 35
7.Lars Enöckl (AUT), KTM, 11 laps, 2:36:52
8.Jesus Zavala (MEX), KTM, 9 laps 2:42:38
9.Joao Ribiero (POR), AJP, 8 laps, 2:32:23
10.Carsten Stranghöner (D), GAS GAS, 8 laps, 2:40:57