With one qualifying run up the Iron Giant now complete, Graham Jarvis offers his thoughts on the 2015 ErzbergRodeo
The ErzbergRodeo is the toughest single day enduro in the world. Race winner in 2013, Bel-Ray Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis has begun his bid to reach the top step of the winner’s podium once again in 2015.
With temperature rising in Eisenerz, Austria, the feature race – the Red Bull Hare Scramble – looks set to become one of the hottest and most gruelling in recent memory. Fresh off his Friday morning Iron Road Prologue run, Graham chats about the 2015 ErzbergRodeo…
Graham, did it feel good to get that first prologue run under your belt?
Graham Jarvis: “It’s been good to get a blast up the mountain, yeah. You really feel like Erzberg has truly begun when Karl Katosch taps you on the shoulder on the start line and says it’s time to go!”
How was the run for you, it is hot, dry and very dusty out there – something we haven’t seen here for a few years?
Graham Jarvis: “Yes, the weather is very hot this year and it’s made conditions a lot drier and dustier than we’ve been used to in the past. I felt like my run was good. I was the third rider to leave the line behind both Jonny Walker and Taddy Blazusiak. I kept it steady, tried not to be too much of a hero, but did hold the throttle wide open on the fastest sections. You always feel like you could go quicker here and there but overall it’s been a good, clean, safe run. Hopefully it’s enough to put me on the front row for Sunday.”
Qualifying on the front row for the Red Bull Hare Scramble is important, why is that?
Graham Jarvis: “Starting the race on the front row makes a huge difference for the early part of the race. Everybody wants to be inside that fastest 50 group. The Red Bull Hare Scramble is frantic off the start – there are riders everywhere. A good start can make the difference between having a clear run up the first big hill climbs or having to wait until a line clears.”
Have you been out to check the course for Sunday’s Red Bull Hare Scramble, what are the conditions like?
Graham Jarvis: “Even though the track is a lot drier, it’s still going to be a tough race. The added heat will make it difficult to breathe in some section so conserving energy where possible will be essential. But in terms of the terrain, the dry weather means the climbs are much looser and therefore harder to find grip. It will be a hard, hard race.”
Rumour has it that Karl’s Diner is also longer than last year?
Graham Jarvis: “Yes, it’s easily twice as long as 2014 if not three times. The organisers are certainly toughening things up for this year. I checked it out earlier and it could be at least 20-25 minutes in length to ride. A section that’s generally late in the race means it could really decide the results this year.”
As the 2013 winner you obviously start as one of the favourites for victory but who else do you expect to be challenging for the win?
Graham Jarvis: “As the defending champion Jonny Walker is certainly going to be fighting for victory. To be fair to him, he’s riding great at the minute and he’s hungry to win here. My teammate Alfredo Gomez is also a guy that’s very capable of winning. He’s been on the podium in the past and is extremely good when the going gets technical. And of course Taddy Blazusiak. He can’t be counted out either. It’s going to be a fight to the end, that’s for sure.”
Finally, what would it mean to secure your second Red Bull Hare Scramble win?
Graham Jarvis: “This is the race that everybody wants to win. I’m lucky to say that I’ve won it once already but I really want another win. I’ll certainly be giving it my best shot…”.