Graham Jarvis wins Erzberg 2016
Dominant race-long display sees Graham Jarvis claim 2016 Erzberg Hare Scramble victory
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis has claimed victory at the 22nd running of the ErzbergRodeo Hare Scramble. From a front row start Graham was well placed during the early, faster sections of the race. The hugely experienced former event winner then methodically worked his way into the lead with 30 minutes of the race completed.
Once out front and with the event’s well-known technical sections ahead of him, he never stopped extending his race lead to eventually reach the finish in a time of two hours and 19 minutes. Jarvis finished more than 33 minutes ahead of runner-up Cody Webb with third placed Alfredo Gomez a further three minutes behind.
Overall, it was a near perfect race for the now 41-year-old British rider. Always excelling when conditions are at their most difficult, Jarvis produced a world-class performance around the Iron Giant. Smooth, calculated and unrelenting, he took control of the race lead at a crucial moment in one of the forestry sections and never looked back. Crossing the finish line over 33 minutes clear of his nearest rival, Jarvis reminded everyone why he is one of the best extreme enduro riders in the world.
KTM USA’s Cody Webb and Red Bull KTM factory rider Alfredo Gomez of Spain fought out a battle of attrition for the minor podium places, especially in the final stages in the extremely difficult ‘Lazy Noon’ final climb.
It was an eventful day for Gomez, who was a joint winner in 2015. He started strongly in the top five and even led the race at one of the early stages. Then he crashed hard and broke his backpack, including his supply of rehydration drink. By the time he reached the final big climb he said he was extremely tired.
Delivering a very impressive ride, Mario Roman secured an impressive fourth overall in the Red Bull Hare Scramble. Focused on avoiding trouble, Roman placed strongly throughout the duration of the 35-kilometre long race. Closing up on Wade Young and Taddy Blazusiak in the final few sections, he set his sights on a top four result. Working hard to scale the final Lazy Noon climb, Roman battled his way past the duo to claim the position in the final few moments of the race.
Billy Bolt was one of the big stories of the 2016 edition. A new talent in the racing stable of manager Julian Stephens, he qualified at 51st on the second row and was fourth about 45 minutes from the end. But he lost the chain on his bike and had to do some emergency repairs. When he got to the final climb he flew past two riders to finish fifth in his debut Hare Scramble.
Taddy Blazusiak, the most winning rider at the Erzbergrodeo with five victories to his name, dropped down the order after damaging a brake lever about half way through the race. Then he broke the clutch lever. He soldiered on but had particular difficulty on the last climb, which required all his skills to make it to the top without a clutch lever.
SuperEnduro World Champion Colton Haaker competed in the ErzbergRodeo for the first time this year. Starting off his weekend on top form, Haaker placed an impressive 11th overall in the Iron Road Prologue to secure a place on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s Hare Scramble. Starting strongly, he then crashed on one of the first hill climbs, losing numerous positions. Pushing a little too hard to recover resulted in numerous further crashes and Haaker was unable to complete the race distance in the allotted four hours, this year yielded nine finishers in the regulation time.
Some 500 riders qualify for the Red Bull Hare Scramble, which starts with lines of 50 riders at the bottom of the tiered mountain, honed into giant steps by mining that dates back to the Roman times.
The race takes riders over incredible obstacles some 31 km to the finish line and requires skills ranging from Motocross to Extreme Enduro and endurance riding. It is a course that takes no prisoners. Erzberg is still a working mine.
Graham Jarvis – Winner
“This feels amazing. Erzberg is a race I had marked out as one I wanted to win this year and I’ve done that. It was an amazing race – I got a good start and managed to start making my way forward through the pack. In one of the first sections in the woods I found a really good line and managed to get up a technical climb ahead of some of the others. After that I just tried to relax and do what I know I can do through the more technical sections. Everything went well but I knew I had to stay focused. This has been a real team effort.”
Cody Webb – 2nd
“It was so rough. I knew I just had to survive. I was able to keep Alfredo in my sights. Then the last climb was so difficult I didn’t think we were going to make it. Luckily I was able to pass Alfredo. This is such a surreal feeling and I’m just so glad KTM gave me the opportunity to come over here.”
Alfredo Gomez – 3rd
“I tried to find the right line (on the final climb), but it was impossible. I tried in third and second gear and I needed many times to do it. But the bike was good and I am happy to be on the podium.”
Mario Roman – 4th
“It’s been a really tough race, very hard in places but I’m very happy with my fourth position. I’m pleased with how I rode, generally it was ok. That last few sections things were very close between Wade Young, Taddy Blazusiak and myself for fourth. I just found that little bit extra, got up the final Lazy Noon climb in front and secured the position.”
Billy Bolt – 5th
“Julian told me after ‘Dynamite’ that the others were struggling at ‘Lazy Noon’. He said I should attack here and make sure I get up the hill. That went well and I got past Wayne and Taddy and I’m delighted to get to the finish line.”
Taddy Blazusiak – 7th
“After that (clutch lever), happened I thought that was it to be honest, and I just tried to finish. This is racing. I was happy to have been in the lead in the first part of the race and to have the speed to keep up with the boys today. I made my mistake and that was it.”
Colton Haaker – Failed to complete in the regulation four hours
“I got a good start but then on one of the first climbs I crashed. That set me back a lot of places and from there on that theme would continue. It’s been a real eye opener for me doing this. It’s definitely something I’ve not really experienced before. Especially the forestry sections. They were so slippery and gnarly, we just don’t really have trees back home in California. But I’ve enjoyed the experience. I would have loved to finish but it is what it is.”
Alex Doringer, KTM’s Division Manager Enduro and Rally
“It was a shame that Taddy had the problem because he led for a long while at the start and without this, maybe he would have been on the podium. I’m very impressed with the character and form of Cody and it was a super result to have the first American on the podium. It was also a shame Alfredo had the problems on the last climb. I was very surprised by the 18-year-old Bolt, and to get that result after starting from the second row was naturally amazing. He is a very promising rider.”
Red Bull Hare Scramble 2016 Results
1. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 02:18:47
2. Cody Webb (KTM) +33:07
3. Alfredo Gomez (KTM) +36:02
4. Mario Roman (Husqvarna) +58:19
5. Billy Bolt (KTM) +01:08:46
6. Wade Young (Sherco) +01:12:28
7. Paul Bolton (KTM) +01:19:35
8. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) +01:23:08
9. Philipp Scholz (KTM) +01:37:24