The Tough One 2013 Hard Enduro saw riders take to the Welsh countryside once again for one of the most challenging off-road races in existence. Typically the race is run from day into night, but for the 2013 edition riders were given the rare opportunity to compete in full daylight the entire three-plus-hours. Defending Tough One champ Graham Jarvis of Husaberg stood atop the podium once again at Nantmawr Quarry, marking his third consecutive win at the event. KTM’s Jonny Walker finished the grueling contest in second, followed by Gas Gas rider Danny McCanny in third.
Apart from challenges created by the natural terrain, riders also had to navigate their way over and around man-made obstacles such as cars and old trailers. To start, contestants were faced with an uphill run to reach their machines, and Jarvis proved to excel in this regard too, starting his Husaberg TE300 in third-place. He was quick to move to the front, and though he struggled with arm pump during the opening laps, was able to remain in the lead nearly uncontested through the entire three-hours and five-minutes it took for him to complete to competition.
“I managed to get a good run up the hill from the start and reached my bike in third place,” said Jarvis. “At the first tricky climb I worked my way into the lead and took control of the race. From then on I just tried to control my pace and maintain an advantage over my rivals.
“At about the two-hour mark I felt strong and was able to push on. I found some better lines and fought hard to extend my race lead. Starting the final lap my lead was almost eight minutes so I took it steady to ensure the win. Getting my third consecutive win at The Tough One has been a great way to start 2013, it gives me a lot of confidence for the year ahead.”
This was the first time Walker competed in The Tough One, but the British rider is no stranger to hard enduros, having won the Erzbergrodeo in 2012. He pushed hard to keep pace with Jarvis, but mid-race was forced to stop to change gloves and effectively lost sight of the Husaberg rider. McCanney, a frequent competitor in the Enduro World Championship, moved into third-place late in the competition after KTM Eurotec’s Paul Bolton lost steam and slipped to fourth.
Jarvis’ teammate, Alfredo Gomez, finished close behind Bolton in fifth. Gomez had an especially difficult time following a bad start and spent the opening laps trying to make up ground. By the mid-point he had moved into fifth and was able to hold to the finish.
“My start wasn’t brilliant,” said Gomez. “I didn’t get a good run up the hill and then had to pass quite a lot of riders in the early laps. At about the halfway point I worked my way into fifth position and was able to hold it until the finish. I’m still getting used to slippery, muddy conditions and trying hard to improve. In Spain we don’t get to ride these conditions too often so it’s still an area I need to improve on – but I enjoyed it. I’m satisfied with my fifth place result today. It’s the first race of the season for the new team so I’m pleased with my performance.”
2013 The Tough One podium with Graham Jarvis (center) in first, Jonny Walker (left) in second and Danny McCanney (right) in third.
Following Gomez in sixth was Beta Extreme Team rider Ben Hemmingway. Hemmingway was one of two riders representing the newly formed Beta team, which will compete in five of the seven planned events in 2013. Factory Sherco’s Fabien Planet finished in seventh, followed by Sherco UK’s Wayne Braybrook in eighth. Jarvis’ teammate Xavi Gallindo and KTM’s Owain Humphries took ninth and 10th respectively.
The Tough One Results 2013:
1. Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) 3:05:02 – 12 Laps
2. Jonny Walker (KTM) 3:13:56 – 12 Laps
3. Danny McCanney (Gas Gas) 3:17:10 – 12 Laps
4. Paul Bolton (KTM) 3:18:39 – 12 Laps
5. Alfredo Gomez (Husaberg) 3:10:10 – 11 Laps
6. Ben Hemmingway (Beta) 3:12:29 – 11 Laps
7. Fabien Planet (Sherco) 3:13:23 – 11 Laps
8. Wayne Braybrook (Sherco) 3:17:17
9. Xavi Gallindo (Husaberg) 3:17:17 – 11 Laps
10. Owain Humphries (KTM) 3:21:18 – 11 Laps