The Tough One 2011
Continuing his impressive form Husaberg’s extreme enduro star notches up another important win
With his dominant Hell’s Gate performance still fresh in the minds of his rivals British extreme enduro star Graham Jarvis has scored another impressive victory, this time comfortably winning The International Tough One. Now in its seventh year, for ’11 the event was held for the first time at the demanding Back Cown Quarry north of Manchester and despite heavy rain early on race day all three hours of the main Tough One event took place under clear and sunny skies.
No stranger to the venue selected for this year’s event Graham was in confident mood before the start. But it was the start that proved to be the toughest part of the race for the former trials ace. With all competitors performing a ‘Le Mans’ style run-to-your-bike get away, Graham learned that while he’s unquestionably a superb extreme enduro racer he’s not the world’s fastest runner. Although arriving at his bike in reasonable time, the Husaberg rider was the second to last competitor to head off into the three-hour race.
“I thought I’d managed to run to my bike pretty quickly but all of the other riders seemed to get onto their bikes and get going faster than I did,” explained a tired but overjoyed Jarvis at the end of the race. “I think I was second to last, which wasn’t what I wanted. But I had to remind myself that it was a three-hour race and not to do anything stupid on the first lap.”
Not doing anything stupid is exactly what Graham did. And despite suffering with crippling arm pump he was soon back in contact with early race leader Andreas Lettenbichler. With almost summer-like weather making the rock littered course a little easier than many were expecting, while there were few places where the top racers were forced to get off and push, the constant pounding from the terrain ensured a seriously challenging opening first hour.
“I managed to work my way past most of the riders during the first half of the opening lap, but I had really bad arm pump,” added Graham. “I had it for most of the first hour so although I was able to get past Andreas Lettenbichler I couldn’t ride as hard as I wanted to, which maybe wasn’t such a bad thing. At the end of the first hour I think I was less than two minutes ahead so I started to put in a few quick laps. My arms felt better then and I managed not to make any mistakes.”
Opening up a commanding lead during the middle hour of the race it was clear to all that Jarvis was heading towards another impressive victory. But as the clock counted down the laps got harder. “The last 30 minutes, and especially the last two laps, were really hard – it was just a case of slogging it out to the end. Although there weren’t really any places to get stuck there was nowhere to take a rest, and not really anywhere that you could grab a quick drink either. I was definitely pleased to see the finish.”
Overjoyed to have claimed victory in an event that’s ‘not been kind’ to him over the years, while the victory itself was certainly one to enjoy for Jarvis good results at Hell’s Gate and The International Tough One are all part of a bigger goal. “It’s great to win here as well as at Hell’s Gate, I really feel like I’m riding well and I definitely feel this had been the hardest Tough One yet. Erzberg’s the big one and although it’s a few months off yet it’s good for my confidence to get a few wins under my belt. I’m just going to keep training hard and hopefully I’ll be in peak form at Erzberg.”
Joining Graham as an official Husaberg representative at The Tough One was Spaniard Xavi Gallindo. Well aware just how tough the event can be, and how the weather can play an important role in making things even more challenging, Xavi was one of many riders pleased to see the sun shining. Making a reasonable start Xavi was soon battling near the front of the race but his pace was disappointingly slowed when he encountered a problem with his rear wheel, which cost him a considerable amount of time. Nevertheless Xavi battled his way to the finish to claim a creditable fourth place result.
Local rider Gavin Houson picked up a well-deserved seventh place result ensuring three Husabergs finished inside the top 10.
Results – 2011 International Tough One, 13.3.2011
Graham Jarvis is the Tough One
“The tough 1 is an event I have wanted to win for sometime and I have suffered misfortune on a number of occasions. So after a poor start I found myself at the back of the field second to last!! I thought here we go again déjà vu, but I focused and started a steady push for the front. After half a lap I was in the lead and managed to pull 30 seconds on Lettenbicher. But I was suffering bad arm pump which lasted for an hour, I knew when it wore off I could go a lot quicker. In the middle part of the race free of arm pump I found a fast flowing rhythm and pushed hard opening up a good lead. Despite the course cutting up I was picking good lines staying clear of trouble and fallen riders. As the race drew in the final third I eased off and played safe maintaining a good margin over the second placed rider until the chequered flag and victory. Once again the bike ran faultlessly and big thanks to my team, sponsors and fans .”
Graham now takes a few weeks off to run a few enduro schools the first is already full on the 19th march but limited places are available for 23rd April to book phone 077924856
Great weekend for Gas Gas at The Tough One
The Tough One extreme enduro is a huge event in the off-road calendar; debuting at its new location of Back Cowm Quarry, Rochdale it didn't disappoint with a host of riders representing the Gas Gas brand. Despite Gas Gas UK number one rider Daniel McCanney unable to attend the Tough One as he is abroad training with countryman David Knight and Factory rider Dougie Lampkin committed to helping Adam Raga at the world indoor trial in Madrid, Spain, Gas Gas were well represented in the form of Andy Cripps and Jack Lee. Both riders performed well in the exceptionally tough conditions but it was Jack Lee who put himself on the podium in the expert class. Always consistent in his riding Jack set a good pace early on in the three hour race and came home in third place after completing ten gruelling laps.
Andy Cripps has a somewhat more 'exciting' riding style which at times resulted in some awesome crashes, nevertheless Andy applied his wealth of trials skills on the various sections in the quarry and left some younger, more regular riders standing in amazement. After three hours 'Crippsy' crossed the finish line in sixth place overall and was welcomed by floods of applause from his home crowed.
The new venue also saw the return of the much loved Speed Trial which was sponsored by Gas Gas for 2011. This event arguably pulled in the biggest crowds as spectators flocked to see the rider throw themselves at huge obstacles. Overall it was Ossa rider Guy Kendrew who took the win but the next three riders were all onboard Gas Gas machines with Josh Law taking second place and 'the peoples favourite' Ian Robinson rounding out the top three. In fourth place was Nigel Crelin who had travelled all the way from the Isle of Man to take part and with a solid performance it had been well worth it.
Andrew Cripps "It's been one hell of an event, well done to Steve Ireland and the WOR events team for putting on such an awesome race! The state of my bike is testament of how good the new Gas Gas's are - most other machines would have given up after my first huge crash! A big thank you to Sandiford Off-road for their support."
Jack Lee "I'm absolutely chuffed with my result as I wouldn't say I'm an extreme specialist really. I knew that if I just got my head down and kept a steady pace I'd finish, some people go too fast early on but I just tried to keep a cool head. My 300 was the perfect tool for the job - thanks to John Lee Motorcycle and Sons."