Hard Enduros and extreme off-road racing have gained in popularity over the past few years, and many of the top factory teams have switched their efforts from the traditional World Enduro format to the many Hard Enduro races that have cropped up around the world. In fact, Graham Jarvis, the king of extreme racing, will be focusing exclusively on Hard Enduros in 2019.

In 2018, Cody Webb, Mario Roman, Wade Young, and Graham Jarvis stood out as the top extreme off-roaders on the planet, as the four riders combined to win the majority of the extreme racing events last year. The 2019 season should see more of the same, as the extreme calendar kicks off in late January.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker competing at Hell's Gate in 2015.Courtesy of Jonty Edmunds/Red Bull Content Pool

Most of us don't have the means to travel to these events to watch them firsthand, but you can keep up with all the extreme racing action in 2019 right here at dirtrider.com, as we bring you coverage from each round.

Hell's Gate
February 16, 2019
Tuscany, Italy

Hell’s Gate is one of the biggest events on the calendar that’s held in the Tuscany hills near II Ciocco, Italy. It features a single-lap qualifier race in the morning, which pares the field down to 30 riders who will move on to compete in the afternoon/evening race. During the break, riders fit headlights to their bikes for the final race, which is held on an 11-mile course over steep hills and rocky climbs. This race, which finishes up in the dark, uses the “knockout” format so riders are eliminated on each lap. The payoff is a massive, nearly impossible hill that the riders finish up on. This year’s event will see Mario Roman pitted against 2017 Hell’s Gate winner Wade Young, Jonny Walker, and Graham Jarvis. According to Jarvis, Hell’s Gate is an intense race, due to the head-to-head action, though there are no insane sections where a rider has to get off and push his bike.