The worlds best Hard Enduro riders will converge on Lesotho in Africa on the 4th of December to compete in the 2014 Roof of Africa. Graham Jarvis, fresh from his victory at the Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro in Australia, will be there to defend his 2013 title.
Although this is really good news for Jarvis fans, the best news to come from this event is that Western Australia’s own Bradley ‘Ponga’ Evans will fly across the Indian Ocean to join Jarvis and the other competitors on the starting line.
If you haven’t heard of it, the famous Roof of Africa sits alongside the Erzberg Hare Scramble and Redbull Romaniacs as one of the toughest events on the annual Extreme Enduro calendar. This year the event will be held in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho and it will be the 45th consecutive time that the event will be held for off road bikes (the event was first held in 1967 but it was only cars that raced back then).
This will not be the first time Evans has competed in an Extreme Enduro. He raced the famous Redbull Romaniacs in 2013 and even though he rode extremely well he was hampered by bike issues on the second day of the event. Day three didn’t exactly go to plan either, resulting in him missing the finishing deadline by just just 10 minutes. He was devastated, but not deterred.
Brad learned a lot at Romaniacs and plans to use that knowledge to his advantage in Africa. He is feeling fit and was able to spare some time for a chat with us.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Brad. First of all, can you please tell us which class will you be entering, and what goals you have set for yourself for the race.
For my first time in Africa I’ll be riding the Expert Class (Silver) and obviously finishing is a goal but I’d really like a top 10. It’s a long way to go and another DNF would really piss me off [laughs].
Can you tell us what you’ll be riding, and maybe let the readers know a little bit about the logistics of arranging a bike for the event?
I will be riding a 2015 KTM 300EXC through Alfie Cox Racing, the bloke’s a legend of the sport and a 9 time Roof of Africa winner so I’ll be in good hands. A mate of mine Andrew from over east who I met in Romania helped line the ride up and I’m stoked to be part of the team. Bunbury KTM have played a big part as always in helping get all my gear organised while I’ve been away working and PanelWorx have been a big support also.
Tell us a little bit about your training regime leading up to this point. How are you feeling?
As far as fitness goes I’ve been doing a lot of cardio / high intensity interval training and strength and conditioning training along with a lot of running. I try to mix it up as much as I can and alternate exercises and try target all areas. These events are so demanding on your body as they often go for 3-5 days so you’ve got to be in good shape. It’s a long way to go to be under prepared.
What about bike training?
Bike time can get a little tricky since I am working FIFO, but I make sure I get in as much seat time as I can on my time off. I’m lucky that we have a small group of hard Enduro nuts that love finding the most difficult stuff possible to ride and we constantly challenge each other. This helps so much with bike skill and confidence. The main areas we ride are Brunswick and Nannup, the riding’s great and there’s a lot of technical terrain there too. Were constantly finding new stuff to ride, it’s awesome.
I saw a photo of a custom painted helmet on your Facebook page, can you tell us a little bit about that?
I’m so stoked how that turned out, Jacob at JCP Designs has really out done himself there. I’m so happy with it and the tribute to Brett (Beaumont) is awesome. Brett was a champ and a really top bloke. I had the privilege of being his team mate on the Bunbury KTM / Bridge Pumps Enduro team last year and losing him was a real shock to the whole riding community. He was a legend!
That was a tragedy, but it is really good to see that you will have your mate riding with you in Africa, a fitting tribute, well done. Now can I ask you how you expect the riding conditions will compare to what you are used to in the South West?
I’m not sure what the weather is going to be like, although I’m sure it’ll be hot. I just hope it doesn’t rain. A little would be good to keep dust down but if it really pours down it’ll make it difficult. I’m not sure how the altitude with effect things, we may have to play with the jetting on the bike a little but I don’t think it will cause too much of a problem. I’ve read we’ll be riding as high as 3000m above sea level but we also reached those heights in Romania and from what I remember everything was sweet, so we’ll see how we go.
It would be remiss of me not to mention your good friend Rosie. She was was a popular entrant at Romaniacs in 2013 and she did a good job of attracting media attention for you and your sponsors. Will she be making an appearance this year?
Of course Rosie will be coming to Africa, I never leave home with out her! You’ll just have to keep an eye out for where she pops up next haha!
Thanks for taking the time to chat mate, we will be following your progress and I will catch up with you again when you come back to Perth, hopefully to chat about your top 10 finish in the Silver class! Best of luck from everyone at Perth Trail Scene!
You can read the interview we conducted with Brad and Ethan after they competed at Romaniacs in 2013 here.