Graham Jarvis (UK, Husqvarna) scores an impressive 1st place at the main event of Red Bull Sea to Sky in Kemer, Turkey: The Olympos Mountain Race. The Extreme Enduro dominator of the past years fenced off his closest opponent Jonny Walker (UK, KTM) who came in second followed by his teammate Andreas „Letti“ Lettenbichler (GER, KTM).
Race day #3 and the main event of Red Bull Sea to Sky started right at the beach of Kemer at the Turkish Riviera. The competitors started in rows of 10 riders each, which had been defined by the results of the Forest Race the day before. A record breaking 214 riders took on the challenge to ride all the way from „Sea to Sky“, from the beach to the peak of the Tahtali Mountain at 2.365m.
Compared with the forth edition in 2013 about half of the track was stuffed with new sections that made the main event longer and harder – especially for the riders who wanted to go for the Gold Medal for reaching the finish line. Especially the 13 spectator points were gathered by thousands of people who had come to watch the world’s Extreme Enduro elite and the ambitioned amateurs from 29 countries – and enjoyed the spectacular performance in riverbeds, extreme up- and downhill sections as well as single trails in an astonishing landscape of the mountains around Kemer.
It was the 18-years old Wade Young from South Africa on his KTM who won the holeshot of the 1st starting row. In the first riverbed 2013 Red Bull Sea to Sky winner Jonny Walker managed to pass Wade and got into his rhythm, leading a good part of the race. Graham Jarvis had a bad start, found himself in 6th position after the first corner but managed to pass Andreas Lettenbichler in the riverbed. After Paul Bolton made a mistake Graham was catching up Taylor Robert (USA, KTM) who had won the Beach Race on Race Day #1 of Red Bull Sea to Sky.
Jonny’s lead was melting away and Graham clearly showed that he was determined to win the race he had lost to Jonny a year ago. In 2013 Jonny had called the race a „battle of the deadest“ between himself and Graham and it all looked like 2014 would be just alike. However, Jarvis had analyzed the mistakes he made the year before and made sure to not repeat them. The 39 years old Extreme Enduro super star Jarvis had been beaten by Jonny at the Erzbergrodeo and Red Bull Romaniacs earlier this year so Graham wanted to set a clear signal at Red Bull Sea to Sky. He caught Jonny and followed him for about 15 minutes until Jonny made a mistake so Graham could pass. He made this stick once he was passed Jonny and came in first at the peak of the Tahtali Mountain at 2.365m .
Andreas Lettenbichler was in fourth position after the silver section and had a pretty big gap between himself and Wade Young who was going for the podium. „Letti“ pushed very hard and made up more and more time. It was only about 300m from the finish where Letti chose a smarter and bit more difficult line going uphill so he came in third and was more than happy to finally get a podium result at Red Bull Sea to Sky – after he had bad luck in Turkey for 3 years in a row.
Alfredo Gomez had bad luck at the start caused by a technical problem on his bike. He was able to fix it but had to start with the 6th row. He still made it to the finish in 10th position – a great achievement passing just about 50 riders!
Graham Jarvis about his win: „I caught a bad start and found myself in 6th position at the first corner. So I had to play it cool and calm down. I passed Letti and caught up on Paul Bolton but struggled to pass him for a while. Luckily made a mistake, Wade did too so it was Taylor Robert. Wade Young caught up and I was thinking I’m not doing very well and I didn’t know how far Jonny was ahead. But at a checkpoint someone said he’s just in front which gave me a bit confidence. I just tried to focus on my own race and learn from the mistakes of last year. In the new sections I was able to catch him, passed him but I made a mistake and he passed me. That got me a bit angry because I didn’t want the same thing as last year to happen again. I must have followed him for a good 15 minutes and waited for the opportunity. He made a mistake and I took it to the finish. It’s a phantastic feeling now, I’m very happy!“
Jonny Walker showed good sportsmanship in his reaction: „I got a good start, I followed Wade and he had a good pace. I passed him in the first riverbed and ran my own pace from there. I had a good 1 minute and 40 seconds lead but at the checkpoints they were saying that Graham is getting closer. He caught me in the Dark Canyon and we changed places a few times. I made a mistake, he pulled away and there was nothing I could really do about it. I tried as hard as I could and I’m certainly disappointed. I can’t take it away from him, he rode really well and massive congratulations to him.“
Islam Yildiz (KTM) was the best Turkish rider to finish the main event of Red Bull Sea to Sky 2014 in 41st position. Ismail Özgül (KTM) came in 45th and Sinan Memnun (Husqvarna) in 46th position.
A total of 60 riders finished at the top and earned Gold , 63 riders earned the Silver Medal and 50 riders the Bronze Medal .
Top 10 Results – Mountain Race – Red Bull Sea to Sky 2014
1. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) – 2 hours 43 minutes 20 seconds, 2. Jonny Walker (KTM) – 2:44:49, 3. Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM) – 2:54:30, 4. Wade Young (KTM) – 2:54:40, 5. Paul Bolton (KTM) – 2:57:21, 6. Taylor Robert (KTM) – 2:59:09, 7. Travis Teasdale (KTM) – 2:59:58, 8. Blake Gutzeit (Husqvarna) – 3:10:00, 9. Dougie Lampkin (KTM) – 3:10:56, 10. Alfredo Gomez (Husqvarna) – 3:11:34