The fifth edition of the Red Bull Sea to Sky Hard Enduro concluded on Sunday with Graham Jarvis taking a third victory in this epic event. Red Bull KTM factory riders Jonny Walker (GBR) and Andreas Lettenbichler (GER) finished second and third with KTM riders taking seven of the top ten places in Kemer, Turkey.
Red Bull athlete Walker, who took second in the Beach Race and the Forest Race on Friday and Saturday, was the early leader in Sunday’s decisive run up Mount Olympus but Jarvis closed down on him just after the first fuel stop and steadily built on the advantage for the rest of the ascent.
The Mountain Race wrapped up three days of tough competition at ‘the most enjoyable Hard Enduro’ at a location that is becoming increasingly popular with competitors and has now evolved into an important stop on the annual competition Calendar.
American KTM rider Taylor Robert, who this season has been tackling some of the major European Hard Enduro events was in top form on Friday to steal the jump on the overall competition with a win in the Beach Race after a tough battle with Walker, who finished second.
Walker, winner here last year in the 15-minute, plus one lap race on the beach at Kemer was clearly disappointed. He set the fastest lap to claim pole, then took the holeshot only to go down on the stones obstacle. “Taylor caught me when I went down the first time but we had a good battle in the middle of the race but then I crashed again and he went on the take the win.” He said the only way to tackle the soft sand was to go fast and that increased the risk of crashing, as he found out to his cost.
South African teenager Wade Young was also in the mix for a top result slipping onto second behind Robert when Walker went down. But Walker fought back to claim second with Young finishing third for an all KTM podium of young riders. The more hardened Hard Endurists paced themselves with Lettenbichler and Jarvis settling for ninth and tenth.
Jarvis fought back in the Forest Race in the wooded slopes at the foot of the mountain, ultimately finishing the 55 km loop with a 16-seconds advantage over Walker on adjusted time with Lettenbichler, who just turned 40, in third to give KTM two out of three podiums.
17-year-old South African Travis Teasdale (KTM) finished fourth, one place better than his finish in the Beach Race and Robert was just one second behind Teasdale to round off the top five. Hero points went to Paul Bolton who finished in ninth riding with a dislocated toe and went on to ride to fifth overall in the Mountain Race.
On Sunday young riders Young and Teasdale finished fourth and seventh to indicate that the sport is safe in the hands of the next generation. Young Manuel Lettenbichler, son of Andreas, also put in an excellent race weekend on his KTM to finish in twelfth, as did Bradley Cox, teenage son of the legendary Alfie Cox, winner of the first Erzbergrodeo Red Bull Hare Scramble who finished 43rd.
Red Bull Sea to Sky Hard Enduro – Kemer, Turkey
Beach Race Results
1, Taylor Robert, USA, KTM, 18 minutes 28
2, Jonny Walker, GBR, KTM, 18.47
3, Wade Young, RSA, KTM, 19.17
4, Alfredo Gomez, Spain, Husqvarna, 19.26
5,Travis Teasdale, RSA, KTM, 19.29
6, Paul Bolton, GBR, KTM 19.38
7, Blake Gutzeit, RSA, Husqvarna19.38
9, Andreas Lettenbichler, Germany, KTM 20.16
10, Graham Jarvis, UK, Husqvarna, 20.25
11, Bradley Cox, UK, KTM 20.30
Forest Race Results
1, Jarvis, UK, Husqvarna
2, Walker, GBR, KTM
3, Lettenbichler, Germany, KTM
4, Teasdale, RSA, KTM
5, Robert, USA, KTM
6, Gomez, Spain, Husqvarna
7, Young, RSA, KTM
8, Manuel Lettenbichler, GER, KTM
9, Paul Bolton, GBR, KTM
10, Dougie Lampkin, GBR, KTM
1, Graham Jarvis, GBR Husqvarna
2, Jonny Walker, GBR, KTM
3, Andreas Lettenbichler, GER, KTM
4, Wade Young, RSA, KTM
5, Paul Bolton, GBR, KTM
6, Taylor Robert, USA, KTM
7, Travis Teasdale, RSA, KTM
8, Blake Gutzeit, RSA, Husqvarna
9, Dougie Lampkin, GBR, KTM
10, Alfredo Gomez, ESP, Husqvarna
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Image courtesy KTM