Having twice finished as runner-up, KTM factory rider Jonny Walker scored a well-deserved win at The Tough One, dominating the hard enduro race from start to finish.
Britain’s most famous hard enduro race returned to the place where it all started – Nantmawr Quarry on the Welsh border – providing riders and spectators with warm temperatures and sunshine.
Walker’s plan to push hard from the beginning in order to create a gap proved to be effective. No other rider challenged him for the lead during the two-and-a-half-hour race.
“I got the lead from the start and then tried to avoid any mistakes” said Walker. “I managed to keep a steady lead of two minutes to the finish. All my team did a great job today and I’m really happy to finally win The Tough One.”
Around a track that was pretty brutal in places, Graham Jarvis struggled with his pace for the first few laps. Even though he pushed hard after the middle of the race, the Husqvarna factory rider couldn’t get close to Walker and finished second.
“I got a bit of arm pump early on, and struggled with my pace” said Jarvis. “Once I got my lines right and managed to start pushing, I had a good pace and kept a similar pace to Jonny. The only disappointing thing was my first few laps.”
Having to overcome a serious amount of bad luck, Alfredo Gómez was probably the man of the race. He first fell off at the Le Mans-style run to his bike at the start and then saw his rear wheel get stuck in a tractor tyre. Gomez finished the first lap outside the top 10. He then started a furious assault and by the end of lap six managed to get a place on the podium.
Finishing third after such a terrible start was a huge accomplishment for Gomez. The first three riders were the only ones who completed 13 laps of the slippery track. Third for the first part of the race, Andreas Lettenbichler couldn’t match the fitness and speed of the first three riders and finished fourth.
Still trying to collect valuable hard enduro experience, Mario Román was fifth at the finish, with Austrian Lars Enockl finishing a distant sixth.
Results – The Tough One 2015
1. Jonny Walker (KTM)
2. Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna)
3. Alfredo Gómez (Husqvarna)
4. Andreas Lettenbichler (KTM)
5. Mario Román (KTM)