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- Oct 27, 2014
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Jonny Walker delivered the goods to claim the first extreme enduro win of 2015 at Alès Trêm in France.
Holding off stiff competition from both Graham Jarvis and Andreas Lettenbichler, Walker crossed the finish line after four hours of hard racing to take the win in the inaugural running of the event.
“I couldn’t ask for better really,” told Walker. “A win in the prologue and then backing it up with the main event win is just perfect all round.”
Seeing a return of extreme enduro to France, the first edition of the Alès Trêm went down a storm. A bumper entry of 400 riders that included some of the very best extreme enduro riders in the world ensured the Alès Trêm was well received by all.
© Lynn / enduro21.comWith the two-day event featuring an endurocross styled prologue race on Friday, the finishing order of the prologue was then used to determine the starting order for Saturday’s main race. Venturing out into the surrounding mountains, a 60 kilometre long course was completed three times with the difficulty level increasing each lap.
Getting his event off to a perfect start, Walker topped the night time prologue. Fighting his way into the lead on the opening lap, the KTM rider quickly opened up a steady lead to claim the win.
Behind him the battle for second place was fought out between Wade Young and Lettenbichler. Keeping it all together, Young held Lettenbichler off for the runner-up result. Hampered by a bad start, Jarvis was forced to fight his way through the field and eventually placed sixth.
© Lynn / enduro21.comLeading them out for Saturday’s main event, Walker pushed hard from the outset and tried to break away. But a couple of crashes and one wrong turn saw Jarvis eat up his lead. At the end of the opening lap both Walker and Jarvis were neck and neck with Lettenbichler close behind in third. Losing his front brake lever early on, Young became an early retirement.
On lap two, a mistake by both Walker and Jarvis allowed Letti to gain a slight advantage but with Letti making his own wrong move following the refuel point at the end of lap two the scores were levelled once more.
© Lynn / enduro21.comBack in front, Jarvis made his attack for the win. But Walker refused to yield and quickly chased him down again. Finding a better line descending the final steep quarry section, Walker passed Jarvis and made a charge for the finish to take the win.
“It was a good race. From the very start I went out hard,” explained Walker. “I knew the guys were chasing me so I couldn’t afford to relax. I made some mistakes though and the gap tightened up. On the final lap I upped my pace with a half a lap to go and rode as hard as I could to the finish. I’m chuffed to have won.”
Unable to respond, Jarvis was forced to settle for second…
“It’s been a good event but to be honest I’m a little disappointed I didn’t win. Starting the main event in sixth put me a little on the back foot and I had to ride hard to catch up. I made a mistake on the final quarry section and the victory got away from me there.”
© Lynn / enduro21.comRunning into tyre trouble on the final lap, Letti had no option but to drop his pace and ensure a finish…
“About one third of the way into the final lap I got some trouble with my rear moose and had to drop my pace. But it’s a good podium result so I’m very pleased about that. Overall it’s been a fun race. Every lap the track became harder and harder, which was something new for us. For the first event it’s been great.”
In the battle for the remainder of the top five, it was a last lap push from Frenchman Pierre Pallut who put in a charge to grab fourth from Beta’s Alexandre Queyreyre.
Julien Gauthier brought his Yamaha home for sixth with Blake Gutzeit crossing the finish line in seventh.
© Lynn / enduro21.comRESULTS – ALÈS TRÊM
1. Jonny Walker (KTM) 406
2. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) 412
3. Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM) 445
4. Pierre Pallut (Husqvarna) 4:48
5. Alexandre Queyreyre (Beta) 4:51
6. Julien Gauthier (Yamaha) 4:58
7. Blake Gutzeit (Husqvarna)
8. Cédric Tempier (Sherco)
9. Florian Peyret (TM)
10. Yannick Marpinard (Beta)…
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