Jonny Walker wins, while rival Graham Jarvis fails in his bid to earn another Hell’s Gate title.
Red Bull KTM’s Jonny Walker won the tough Hell’s Gate Hard Enduro near Lucca Italy, Saturday, prevailing in bad weather that added to the brutal course conditions for which the event is known.
As heavy rain and, later, snow, pelted the event in the Tuscan Mountains, Walker took the lead toward the end of the opening lap in the afternoon/evening final. From then on he was never challenged. Spain’s Mario Roman and Austria’s Lars Enöckl battled for second place throughout the race, with Roman securing the runner-up spot only in the final climb. That made it an all-KTM podium in an event where the original field of just over 100 riders was trimmed down to just 14 qualifiers for the final race up the dreaded Hell’s Peak.
“That’s the hardest race I’ve ever done,” Walker said afterward.
Walker’s win snaps the stranglehold that rival and nemesis Graham Jarvis has had on the event, Jarvis having won every edition since 2011. But it all went bad for Jarvis this year, as he did not finish after he drowned his bike in a deep water crossing.
Walker’s win follows his recent victory at the inaugural Ales Trèm Extreme Enduro in France. He was also outstanding at the end of 2014, winning both the Red Bull Hare Scramble at the Erzbergrodeo and the Red Bull Romaniacs. Walker’s next battles will be in the finaltwo rounds of the FIM SuperEnduro in Mexico and Brazil. He will then prepare for The Tough One Hard Enduro at home in the UK and for the 2015 Erzbergrodeo.
2015 Hell´s Gate Hard Enduro
Results: January 15, 2015
1. Jonny Walker (GBR)-KTM
2. Mario Roman (ESP)-KTM
3. Lars Enöckl (AUT)-KTM