Graham Jarvis kicked off the 2018 Hard Enduro calendar with a big win at the Tough One Hard Enduro in Great Britain last month. The factory Husqvarna rider now sets his sights on a second-straight win at the upcoming Hell’s Gate, having won the race in cold and snowy conditions in 2017. Jarvis and Mario Roman (who took fourth at the 2017 Hell’s Gate) give us some insight on the Italian race.

Graham Jarvis finds his way through the dark at a cold and snowy Hell’s Gate in 2017.Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Hell's Gate

February 9–10, 2018
Il Ciocco venue in Castelvecchio Pascoli, Tuscany, Italy

Graham Jarvis:
Hell's Gate is a one-day race, and it's more of a multi-lap thing now. The format has changed a little bit over the years. They've lost a little bit of land, so this year the main race is like a 10-minute lap. But you've got qualifying in the morning, which is four or five hours. So that's enough to wear the guys down. Thirty riders go through to the final, so it's a long day.

Unlike Erzberg, there are no real bits where you have to get off and push at Hell’s Gate. But it’s an intense race, and you’re pushing a lot harder because you know the track. Obviously you know the track so you’re pushing harder, at a faster pace, so it becomes physical in that way. So, like the TKO, Hell’s Gate is just an all-out sprint.

Mario Roman:
Hell's Gate is pretty hard. You have the qualifying race in the morning, which is really, really hard. It's snowing, raining, and so cold. Then if you are in the first 30 riders, you get into the final and it's about five laps, which is four hours more, more or less. The last two laps are at night, so it's pretty hard. It's snowing, and you're pushing with ice… It's one of the toughest races in the world.